The Contrary Diet as a Way to Increase Calories after Cutting

As I finished reading the article about @TC_Luoma 's Contrary Diet I couldn’t help but wonder how it would work not as a full fledged diet but as a way to rapid increase calories after a crash/low calorie diet. With that in mind I would like some help to fine tuning it for that purpose (or some insights on how it would not be a good idea.).

Following the base of what the article said, a 180 pound (~81kg) guy like me would eat:
Protein: 3.4~4.4g/kg a day, 275~356g/day or 1100~1424kcal
Carbs: ~100g/day or ~400kcal
Fat: 45~60g/day or 405~540kcal.
A range from 1905 to 2370kcal/day.

It’s also said that you would end up in a mild caloric surplus, but using three different methods (Bodyweight (lb) x15, Mifflin-St Jeor, and Cunningham equations) the higher number of the calorie range put me in a deficit between 300 and 1000 cals.

With that in mind let me come with two possibilities:

  1. The calories really are at least maintenance levels, no problem here.

  2. They are indeed at deficit and we would need to adjust to maintenance levels, how should we do it? Increase the proteins even more? More carbs? More fats? A combination of those?

Let’s say we increase the protein, to be at the lower end of the maintenance calories we would need to increase the daily protein to 5,4g/kg, or close to 1,5kg (~0,6lb) of chicken breast per day. To be honest I could probably eat it with no problems, it would be more annoying to prepare all that meat than to eat it. (for me, at least).
The question here is not if we could but if we should, never heard of anyone eating remotely close to that much protein, but let’s leave at that just as a possibility.

To fill the difference with carbs we would need to eat 175g per day, but I have no idea of how this would chance the principle of the diet, if at all. Fats would be only ~33g/day

Let’s say that we solved the calories problem, now with the changes with the new goal in mind.

If the diet kept being low carb we could:
Week 1: Use it to go straight to maintenance and check if it’s really on point, we would not have a water rebound so it’s easy to see if calories are higher, lower or spot on.

Week 2: If you gain or loose too much weight, adjust the calories and try again.
If the diference is negligible, then we can start, get how much protein you are eating (let’s say 4,4g/kg or ~2g/lb), subtract how much you think you should eat in a maintenance/bulk (let’s say 2,2g/kg or 1g/lb), split the difference between how many weeks you want until you trade all the extra protein to carbs, subtract this number from the total daily protein and add to your daily carbs.

For example:
a 180 pound guy (~81kg) want’s the increase his carb consumption in a spam of 4 weeks, he would be eating 4.4g/kg (356g) of protein and want to go back to eat 2.2g/kg (178g), you subtract the first from the second and get 178g then divide it by the number of weeks (4) and get ~44g, that’s how much you should reduce the protein intake and increase the carb every week. Eating 312g or protein and 144g or carb per day this week.

Weeks 3 to 5:
Keep doing the same thing you did the second week until the last week…
3W- 268P - 188C
4W- 224P - 232C
5W- 180P - 276C

And that’s it, you go back to maintenance fast, jump starting some bodily function that could be impaired because of the calorie restriction, reduce the chance of binge eating because of the satiety of the high protein diet and can keep the fat regain at minimum, if at all.

(It could just be me overcomplicating things? Maybe, but at least
is something to think about)

PS: If you can’t acess T Nation+ to read the article, look for CT webinar to get a free week of acess and see why it’s worth it.


Probably, but that’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes getting meticulous with this stuff helps with adherence.

The important thing with this stuff I feel is you just gotta find something that works for you as we’re all different and we’re all coming from a starting place with a non-identical amount of total fat loss at the end of the cut.

I only ever do short cuts of 4-8weeks and I find that a rebound isn’t really an issue as long as I’m not stupid with it. My maintenance isn’t going to change drastically, and any disparity can be discovered in a couple of weeks. Any quick excess fat gain is going to be pretty much negligible if I’m counting calories smartly. If I have a day where I didn’t feel well-fed enough, I’ll try to have a higher protein ratio the next day to help with satiety.

Even if I’m a full 200 calories over my new maintenance estimation every day for a week. 1400 is just 0.4lbs, and if that’s enough to derail things I did on my cut then I didn’t lose enough on it. With a view to the long-term that little bit of extra fat potentially gained in the figuring out phase is trivial.

But like I say, this stuff is so individual and you gotta find what works for you. My story is irrelevant but I hope you see my point.


I don’t think you’re overcomplicating things at all! Maybe I better collaborate with you the next time I write something like this article!


I think this is often overlooked - great point

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Yeah, it’s usually how it works with me, for better or worse, because I need to do every single thing right to stay motivated (training, diet, suplementation etc) otherwise I can’t focus because the thought that keep repeting itself: “You could be doing so much better than this…”

Not at all, my friend, your story is relevant, I am reflecting on something that could be used not only by me but by everyone with the same goal, your story gives me perspective and I am grateful for the time you took to post it.

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I am lost for words, I am someone who’s been reading T-Nation for more than fifteen years and because of that went to college for both Nutrition and Physical Education degrees.

Sorry, I am rambling, let me back to the point. I think I am gonna put it to a test soon, as I did with pretty much every kind of diet that made at least a bit of sense in the last decade or so, adjust some things, decide about some other things and then probably start a log to let people know how it went.

I’m the same dude. The more thinking and planning I’m doing around everything to do with training, the better it goes and the easier it is to stay disciplined. Overthinking is often portrayed as a bad thing with the gym because a lot of what 99% of us need to do really isn’t that complicated. All that extra information does is overwhelm and confuse. That message we see is correct, but it fails to point out that there’s a large portion of us that needs this fixation to keep the habit. If I want something to be a big part of my life, I make it a big part of my life. Articles, books, podcasts, theory crafting in my head. I’m all about that noise, heh.