An Honest Look at Reverse Dieting



I’ve been at it for a couple of months now, the systematic increase of my calories, bit by bit in the hope that one day my metabolism will recover from the years of abuse I’ve done to it.

In my “prime” I could go for months at a time at 800 calories a day, and no, I did not compensate with more food based on my exercise level. I considered it a good day if my calories at the gym exceeded the calories I ate for the day. I was in great shape, but I destroyed my own ability to eat realistic amounts of food. 

My goal these days isn’t so much about looking great, although, that would be really nice. As I’ve mentioned before—I really like my clothes and miss them. A comfortable weight for me is somewhere between 140-145. That’s about a size 8 on my body. I’ve been thinner, I’d lie if I said I didn’t like being thinner, but I can’t maintain thinner healthfully, so at this point in my life that’s my ultimate goal.

 I don’t think it’s happening any time soon.  One of the absolute hardest parts of this reverse dieting program I’m on is that there’s no weight loss. I mean, I’ve lost a couple of pounds, but at the phase I’m in now, my only goal is to maintain my weight. After two months of regular meetings with a nutritionist I’m just now boosting my calories to the next level. It took me two whole months to figure out how to eat just the basic amount. I know that sounds silly—just eat more! But it’s not totally about eating more; it’s about eating more in a regimented way and eating more of the right things.

While one of my goals in the end of all this is to have a comfortable relationship with food—it would be nice to go out to restaurant and not dissect every single offering in the calorie counter in my brain—I find myself thinking, nee worrying, about my food choices all the time.

Reverse dieting isn’t easy; it’s a bit life consuming.

I’m probably up to around 1300 calories now. That seems like a little bit to most people, but I’m someone who has spent years eating between 800-1000 calories. The ultimate goal is to get up to 1800 calories, which should be a healthy food intake for someone my age, activity level, and size. That will take some time; if I go straight to my end goal I’ll pile on more weight. It’s a slow process. The thing I’m keeping in mind isn’t so much my wedding (25 days away!) but the fact that The Fella and I want to make some people in the next couple of years, and I can’t do that in a jacked up body—I mean I can, but it will most likely be hard on both of us. So, I’m investing this time, I envision it taking about a year to find my way back to a healthy weight and body image, so that the rest of my life has a better foundation.

I’ll keep you posted on the process!



  1. I can’t imagine how hard this must be. I’m so proud of you! And I knew you would make a great mother someday, but you already are a great mom – thinking about your future children and becoming healthy for them! I think one of the best gifts we can give our children is healthy food choices. Yay Kim!


    Kimberly Rae Miller Reply:

    Thanks, Dana! I really appreciate your kind words and vote of confidence!


  2. This is seriously such a great thing to do for yourself and for your future kids! I lost a ton of weight before I became pregnant the second time and it’s really hard to stay on track and not to gain a million pounds. I am due in three weeks and I definitely gained a lot more than I wanted with this kid – but still only a little more than half of what I gained with my first, so it’s progress. But it’s hard to see people with a normal metabolism eat way more than me, not working out and having trouble gaining any weight. I also noticed, from my due date group, that a lot of the ladies who have trouble with gaining too much weight have a similar background – having lost a lot of weight in the past and having bodies that are used to working out a lot and keeping the calories on the lower side. So, good for you to get that sorted before! And it’s amazing that you are doing this just before your wedding!


    Kimberly Rae Miller Reply:

    Aline, Congratulations! I didn’t know you were pregnant again. And I really appreciate the feedback from the trenches–since our baby making goals are still a year or two out(depending on our schedule and fertility) it’s good to have this perspective now to help keep me on track in this goal. Thanks! Sending you easy labor vibes.


  3. Hi Kim,

    only two days ago I wondered how you were doing diet-wise, so thanks for the post!:) we all wish you luck here.


  4. Congratulations on making the change. Good luck in your diet endeavors.


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