This may seem counter intuitive but will make sense once you understand the logic.
Your body is a complex machine.
Every function of your body has been honed over millions of years of evolution.
Biological evolution has had just one goal:
To select the genes that are most likely to be passed on under diverse and challenging conditions.
That’s right. We didn’t evolve to be healthy, long lived, happy, or anything else. Adaptations are simply the features that have been shaped by natural selection to promote reproductive success.
Storing excess body fat is an adaptation that serves as an “energy reservoir”.
This was great for our primitive ancestors who didn’t know where their next meal was coming from. But for us, in a world where a 3000 calorie Domino’s pizza is a mere phone call away, this has become the cause of an epidemic:
30 percent of the global population is now obese. That is 2.1 billion people.
Storing excess body fat was adaptive in the environments for which we evolved but has become maladaptive in the modern environment that we have created.
You might be wondering:
“What has any of this got to do with fat loss?”
Well, now that you know why our bodies store fat you can better understand how to lose it.
Fat Loss Broken Down
The fundamental principle of fat loss is:
Consume less calories than you burn.
When dieting, the goal is to create a caloric deficit. In an ideal world this deficit is accounted for by our fat stores. In the real world, however, this is not always the case.
The amount of fat you can burn for energy is directly related to the amount of fat you have available. The higher your body fat, the more fat you have available for energy, and the larger caloric deficit you can maintain. As your body fat drops, the amount of fat available for fuel does as well.
Here’s the kicker:
If you maintain the same caloric deficit towards the end of your diet as you did at the beginning, your fat stores are unable to keep up, and your body begins to tap into other sources for energy, i.e. muscle.
Are all calories created equal?
This question has raised much controversy.
The Oxford Dictionary defines a calorie as:
The energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water through 1 °C
In its purest sense a calorie is merely a unit of measure like, say, an inch or a pound.
When it comes to our bodies and food, however, factors other than just the calories come into play.
It is safe to say that a 100 calorie brownie will have a different effect on your body than a 100 calorie chicken breast.
Check out this great post on Why a Calorie is NOT a Calorie.
That being said, counting calories is still a great way to keep track of the food going into your body during a diet. The important thing is to make sure the calories are coming from quality sources.
Now, you might be wondering:
“Okay, this is all good to know, but I came here to learn about the reverse taper diet?!”
Enter The Reverse Taper Diet
The Reverse Taper Diet entails matching your caloric deficit to your particular body fat while slowly increasing caloric consumption to a point of maintenance.
It is about getting to a point of optimal calorie consumption for maintenance in the long term.
The goal is to find the sweet spot for maximum fat loss.
This sweet spot changes as body fat drops.
Therefore it is important to revise your caloric goals after every 2 weeks or so.
In essence, you start off with your lowest caloric intake. As your body fat drops, you increase your calories to a point where you are at your leanest and consuming the amount of calories required for maintenance.
Traditional dieting entails gradually reducing calories as you get leaner. You are at your lowest calorie consumption at your leanest. This leaves you susceptible to losing lean muscle AND gaining all that weight back once you start eating at normal levels.
A never ending cycle.
Reverse Taper Diet: Getting Started
I learnt about the Reverse Taper Diet through the Adonis Golden Ratio program. They provide you with a Nutrition Software in which you enter a bunch of your measurements and it outputs all that you need to know.
Women can check out my review on the Venus Factor program which also uses reverse tapering principles.
The following are guidelines to put together your own Reverse Taper Diet plan:
Step 1: Determine Daily Caloric Requirement
I recommend using this calculator.
Enter your measurements and determine your maintenance level of calories.
Step 2: Determine Your Waist Size
Your waist size is a good determinant of current body fat.
Men should aim for a waist (measured around the belly button) less than half their height.
Women should aim for a waist (measured at the narrowest point just below the ribs) less than 40% of their height.
Step 3: Determine Your Caloric Goals
How I set my caloric goals is based on how far I am from my ideal waist measurement.
I am 6 feet tall and I look like this when my waist is just below 32 inches.
So if my waist is above 33 inches I aim for an intake of 500 calories below daily maintenance.
I measure my waist every week and as the measurement drops I gradually increase caloric intake.
Step 4: Consider Macronutrients
As mentioned earlier, a calorie is NOT just a calorie.
It is important to consume calories coming from quality sources such as lean meats, complex carbs, and healthy fats.
Using the calculator above you can also determine the ratio of protein:fat:carbs that suits you.
What Do You Think?
I like the Reverse Taper Diet because it doesn’t overcomplicate the nutrition side of things.
It is simple, and the logic behind it makes a lot of sense.
What do you think?
Does the logic make sense to you?
If you have tried the Reverse Taper Diet, did it bring you results?