After working with many people and hearing the common theme of yo-yo dieting and rebounding weight gain, I've started to wonder; "Why are so few people considering an exit strategy when dieting?"
There is a strategy to all but guarantee you do not put weight back on after you have reached you fat loss goals… reverse your diet!
Reverse dieting is a strategy that is gaining a lot of momentum in the competitive bodybuilding world as competitors struggle to manage body fat levels after they have reached their stage goals.
In reality, anyone can benefit from this strategy, the concept is simple even if the process requires further discipline.
The process: once you've reached your weight loss goal you will slowly begin to raise your calorie intake. This may be as little as 50 to 100 calories per week. You may put back on a little bit of weight doing this but it should be minimal and in the end it will be worth it. If any week you feel like you put on too much weight you should re-adjust back down, give yourself another week or so and try again. Eventually you will hit a ceiling, this is your new maintenance level! All you need to do now is keep your intake within that general area and you should be able to maintain your weight/body fat for as long as you'd like.
This process may increase the length of your diet… just when you think you're done you have to diet some more. But if you really want to keep the weight off long term, the extra effort is worth it.
Add in a flexible diet protocol and you'll find the process even more comfortable.
TL:DR - Plan for an exit strategy on your next diet, one that assist you in finding your new calorie maintenance. When you find this limit you will have found the key to long term weight loss.