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Hope you all had a great weekend. Now a question I get asked a lot is:

“What do I do after my shred?”

OK, let’s say you have a goal in mind. Maybe you have an event coming up, a holiday or you just want to lean up a little, shred down and lose some un-wanted weight. Now we covered this in last week’s email to lose weight we need to be in a calorie deficit. 

We know to lose weight we must be burning more calories than what we are consuming. Let’s say we do this over a series of weeks maybe 6 – 8 weeks and in that process in order to achieve our goal we have to gradually lower the calories each week, increase our daily steps, increase our energy expenditure, increase our workout intensity etc etc in order to get that energy balance right to achieve fat loss. 

Now in doing this the calories by the end of this process can be quite low depending on your starting point and for most the energy expenditure will also need to be fairly high towards the end depending on how lean you want to get. 

So, what do we do when are food is low, our exercise is high, and we have got that shredded look but now we want to simply maintain it? WE REVERSE DIET and slowly start to lower our energy expenditure again. 

In simple terms we can’t keep functioning on low calories and high output forever. It’s not healthy nor is it smart. At some point once our goal is achieved, we are going to need to reverse diet back out again. 

For those who don’t know, reverse dieting means slowly adding calories back into your week. Now from my experience as a PT and online coach where I see so many people go wrong in this process is, they reverse diet too quickly. Or in most cases people get so hungry and drained and tired from the lack of food and exercise because they have been in a calorie deficit for too long so they then start to binge eat which is even worse and does nothing but develop an unhealthy relationship with food and keeps having that person in a calorie surplus every few days which isn’t beneficial or smart. 

The more logical thing to do is to slowly increase calories back into your week. 

As a guide I have put together a table below of how I do it for myself and my clients:

Week 0 – Goal was achieved

Week 1 start of reverse diet – Keep calories the same but start by eliminating some of the extra cardio that was added. Maybe 1-2 sessions. 

Week 2 of reverse diet – Keep exercise the same as above (now minus the 1-2 sessions of cardio) and now add 10% calories back into your plan each day made up mostly from fats (9 calories per gram). So, if your daily allowance was 1,500 calories it is now 1,650.  

Week 3 of reverse diet – Keep things as above to let body and metabolism adjust to new calories and energy output.

Week 4 of reverse diet – Keep things as above to let body and metabolism adjust to new calories and energy output.

Week 5 of reverse diet – Now it’s time again to add another 10% calories back in this time from carbs. Protein stays the same.

Week 6 of reverse diet – Keep things as above to let body and metabolism adjust to new calories and energy output.

Week 7 of reverse diet – Here I would eliminate again some of the exercise perhaps some more cardio that was added to get lean. 

Week 8 of reverse diet – Keep things the same to let body and metabolism adjust.
This gives you a basic guideline and run down of how I slowly decrease my energy expenditure over a two-month period after a shred and how I gradually add more food back into my plan to build up my metabolism again. Remember this can’t be done at once it needs to be done gradually to ensure we don’t add unwanted fat. 

This slow, gradual process of adding food back in and slowly eliminating the cardio that we used as tool to get lean allows us to still stay relatively lean still, maintain the level of shreds we achieved all while living a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. In short, we can’t be smashing hours of cardio and consuming low calories all year round it just isn’t safe my friends.

Now some coaches say cardio isn’t necessary to get lean but what they don’t mention is how low their calories then need to be in order to get shredded. I personally would prefer to add cardio into my plan to help myself and my clients get lean that way I can afford to keep my calories quite high because I mean who doesn’t love eating more food whilst also getting lean at the same time. A huge win if you ask me. 

Knowledge is power team so be smart, look after your body and metabolism and​ aim for longevity in this game. This way when you go to get lean your calories will be back up high again and as a result it becomes easier and easier each time through this smart, sustainable approach. 

Hope this helps guys any further questions please don’t hesitate to reach out by hitting that REPLY button I am always here to help each of you. 

Yours in Health and Fitness,

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