Yami Mufdi is no stranger to diets.
Discovered in last year's Bodybuilding.com Spokesmodel Search, this former dancer and model struggled with scrutiny—both internal and external—early in life.
"I have vivid memories of coaches telling me I was too fat to dance," Mufdi recalls.
After moving to New York for modeling, she adopted a 900-calorie diet, exercising for hours on end every day, and attended grueling hot yoga classes just to lose as much weight as possible for her career.
Then one day, she just got tired of it.
Mufdi decided to make a change. She searched on Bodybuilding.com for a plan that would work for her and found a challenge to kick-start her fitness routine. She immediately fell in love with lifting and fueling her body with the right kind of food in the right quantities.
Since then, Mufdi has become a certified personal trainer and an NPC nationally qualified bikini competitor. But that crucial post-competition period continued to be a struggle. She used to gain 20-25 pounds post competition and struggle with fatigue and sluggishness. Now, she chooses to "reverse diet" to build her metabolism back up after a year packed with competitions.
What is reverse dieting? It's exactly what it sounds like—a method to slowly reintroduce more calories into your diet following a period of prolonged calorie restriction. If done properly, reverse dieting can help repair a damaged or slow metabolism—helping you get leaner by eating more.
A Full Day of Reverse Dieting with Yami Mufdi
Mufdi included this pre-meal drink during prep, so her coach told her not to worry about adding it to the macros while she's reverse dieting. She also starts her morning with ON Opti-Women multi-vitamins each morning.
Meal 1 Macros
- Calories: 440
- Carbs: 34 g
- Fat: 14 g
- Protein: 43 g
Mufdi includes Nature's Own Wheat + Protein bread in her French toast recipe because otherwise she often finds she's short a few of grams of much-needed protein by the end of the day.
"Normally, I'd also add a scoop of protein powder to this recipe," she explains, "but I wanted to try to get more protein from natural sources throughout the day, so I skipped it for this meal."
Meal 2 Macros
- Calories: 280
- Carbs: 37 g
- Fat: 3 g
- Protein: 26 g
Chicken, rice, and beans are common staples of a healthy diet. Packed with complex carbs and protein, this meal has everything Mufdi needs to fuel her busy day and keep her body lean and healthy in the off season.
Meal 3 Macros
- Calories: 440
- Carbs: 44 g
- Fat: 12 g
- Protein: 38 g
Normally, Mufdi says, she would prepare a quesadilla for dinner, but on this day she felt like something different, so she made nachos.
As long as you're knowledgeable about what's in your food, you can make quick calls like this without fear. That's why reading food labels at the grocery store is a crucial habit to start while watching your macros. As Mufdi explains, an extra 4-5 grams of fat per serving can throw your daily macros off, so you have to be vigilant and search for brands that fit your macros.
Note: Mufdi often freezes almond milk to make the ice cubes.
Meal 4 Macros
- Calories: 422
- Carbs: 42 g
- Fat: 18 g
- Protein: 33 g
Mufdi says this variation on "nice" cream—competition-prep-friendly ice cream—is a great way to include a sweet treat without derailing your meal plan. If you're in prep mode and watching your carbs, she recommends using xanthan gum instead of frozen bananas for a thickener.
"This smoothie bowl has been a staple in my diet for a while now," says Mufdi. "There are little variations you can do whether you're on prep or not, but it's something I have almost every night."
Daily Macro Totals
- Calories: 1,582
- Carbs: 157 g
- Fat: 47 g
- Protein: 140 g
Is A Reverse Diet Right for You?
Each reverse diet is as unique as the person following it, so don't follow Mufdi's approach to the letter. This is just a day in the life, since she incrementally adds calories back into her diet after a period of prolonged restriction. For more guidance about how to start reverse dieting, check out the articles "The Ultimate Guide to Reverse Dieting" and "Reverse Dieting: 4 Reasons Your Best Diet Might Be A Reverse Diet."