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The Reverse Diet

The Reverse Diet

Maybe you should consider turning your diet around.

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Hear our interview with The Reverse Diet author, Tricia Cunningham.

You might say that you've tried everything there is in dieting and still haven't found results. But have you tried doing it backwards? Changing the order in which you're eating? Eight years ago Tricia Cunningham did. Narrowly missing 300 pounds, Tricia decided to reverse the way she'd been eating and dieting. The result was the birth of The Reverse Diet and the loss of 170 pounds.

Adopting an eating philosophy in which she ate dinner foods for breakfast, a moderate lunch and breakfast foods for dinner, The Reverse Diet has helped Tricia keep off the weight for eight years.

In her new book, a comprehensive website, and appearances on programs such as Good Morning America, Tricia has been helping people across the country finally manage their weight effectively with the Reverse Diet.

Considering most of us eat our largest, most calorie-laden meal for dinner and then go to bed a few hours later, we're giving ourselves no time to burn off calories, fat and sugars. And that means our body stores all of that as fat and we begin tipping the scales. However, with The Reverse Diet, you eat your largest meal of the day first. This gives you the energy and nutrients you need to get through the day. By the time dinner rolls around, you'll enjoy a small meal to get you through the remainder of your evening.

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  • An interesting and effective method of eating
  • Author has personal experience
  • You probably won't do this as a permanent lifestyle change
  • Does not provide exercise instruction

A day on the Reverse Diet could look like this:

  • Breakfast with Reverse Diet Parmesan Herbed Chicken with a baked potato and steamed carrots.
  • Lunch is Reverse Diet Wild Rice and Shrimp Chowder.
  • Dinner is a Reverse Diet Tex-Mex Egg Scramble.
  • You'll even enjoy snacks like a Reverse Diet Fruit Fiesta and Reverse Diet Zucchini Bread.

All of these recipes are outlined in the book and there are many other delicious menus and recipes to guide you. The only thing not backward from a typical diet is that the meals are nutritious and healthy.

The Reverse Diet website even has a Diet Club you can join. Here you can team up with other Reverse Dieters and swap stories, find recipes and helpful tips to ensure success. There are weekly weigh-ins hosted by Tricia, new menus on Tuesday and recipes on Wednesday, your own journal for tracking progress, new Reverse Diet info not posted anywhere else and exclusive access to live chats with Tricia.

You can start backing up your weight with The Reverse Diet and begin moving your life forward in a healthier way.


No guidance provided.


There is no scientific reasoning for why reversing your meals would help you lose weight. The logical explanation could be that if you're eating dinner food for breakfast, you are eating well first thing in the morning. Many experts suggest that breakfast should be your largest meal.

Common MisspellingsCommon Misspellings

Revers Diet, The Reverse Deit, The Reverse plan

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(Page 1 of 1, 20 total comments)


I did the Ladies Home Journal Diet back in 1972, when teaching school. For convenience, I reversed my meals, and did not eat anything after 6 p.m. I lost 21 lbs in 17 days, eating very, very healthily. I was able to do this because my husband was temporarily away, and I could clear out all of the fatty-sugary-flour-y foods that might sabotage my efforts. I also exercised a lot.

I'm sure that if I had not chosen foods well, I would NOT have had the great results. Go figure!

posted Apr 27th, 2011 2:38 pm


I am curious as to if I should do this for my family & if we will benefit from it?

Here's my story...

I have a 10yr 2mo old son that stands 5' 2" tall & weighs a wopping 204lbs (I know... it's terrible). My son eats like a grown man (probably even more than 1) & I have no idea how to stop it! I'm sure you're saying Just don't give him the food, but that's easier said then done. My son has bipolar & PDD & is on meds which has side effects that also contributes to his overeating.

I'm thinking that the "Reverse Diet" may be what he needs since I can't exactly just take his food away from him.

I also wonder if my 8yr old daughter could benefit from the Reverse Diet as well although she is not overweight but is actually slightly underweight but only recently due to taking Adderall for ADHD which causes her to not have much of a appetite after taking her pill. Her doctor actually recommeded that I feed her breakfast before giving her pill to her & also allowing her to eat breakfast at school if she so wanted but if I were to also have her try the Reverse Diet then she could eat her large meal before taking her pill for the day.

Of course I then wouldn't allow either of my children to eat breakfast at school though.

I wanna try this but wonder the opinions of other's & if anyone else has ever tried this for their child?

posted Nov 29th, 2010 12:22 pm


Lets face it america you need the fuel in the morning no later in the afternoon, coming from the third world and being slightly obese i can understand the problem, breakfast has to be the biggest meal of the day, go light the rest of the day

posted Nov 16th, 2010 3:07 pm



ridiculous, u lose weight wen u use more calories than u take in. Simple as that- meaning exercising is the best option. the diet suggests many healthy recipes which is the only plus. Remember, heavy oily protein based breakfast will leave you bloated throughout the day. Dont get sucked into idiotic, non-proven scam such as this. Use your common sense.

posted Oct 29th, 2010 1:05 pm



Sounds like a great idea, I did read somewhere awhile ago that eating savory foods is leaning towards healthy weight and sweet foods is leaning towards unhealthy and excess weight.
I remember for the longest time always feeling really hungry in the morning and never feeling like breakfast is enough - Im certainly trying this today! Starting now with a big bowl of noodle, veges and egg. I read something about having carbohydrates and protein is a good start. I hope it works, its nearly summer here in Australia.

posted Oct 29th, 2010 1:42 am


Dr. Oz said on his show to eat your largest meal for Breakfast so you'd have energy for the rest of your day.
Of course this works, but you have to remember to eat smaller and smaller before bed.

posted Aug 12th, 2010 4:27 pm

Jane Doe


I just started this diet, and I'm not hungry at all. I had breakfast at 9 then lunch at 2. Which is shocking because I'm normally hungry every 2 hours. I think the logic and science behind the diet is this: The big 'breakfast' gets your metabolism going immediately and you have the whole day to work it off. While eating a big meal at dinner time you would let the calories sit there for the whole time that you slept. I see no reason it shouldn't work with a little faith. (:

posted Jun 30th, 2010 3:10 pm


Today is my 2nd day doing this diet. Besides feeling guilty about the food comconsumption....I love it!!!! No food cravings and no weight gain as of yet. I have a hypo-thyroid so I have to be careful on the amount of calories I take in. I'm not used to eating three meals a day. I find it helpful to have others in your home doing this as well.

posted May 6th, 2010 9:21 pm



i tried this diet and it dint work i am fatter now and i aam only 13 years old i need help

posted Feb 26th, 2010 3:29 pm


I read about a similar diet to this in Woman' World, called the Breakfast Cure Diet. Seemed too good to be true because it tells you to eat cookies or hershey kisses at breakfast. Big meal at breakfast, smaller at lunch & dinner. Except for breakfast the meals are low carb. I have been doing it for a little while now, no hunger, no cravings, and I have lost at least 1/2 pound every single day.

posted Mar 14th, 2009 3:46 pm

healthy 34


I tried this eating plan yeaterday and so far I have no awful cravings. I eat lots of seaweed and unusual foods such as natto and kimchee anyhow. I will try this because... hey I wanna drop some weight!

posted Jan 7th, 2009 1:15 pm



Interesting....twenty years ago, my sister was put on a diet where she was told to reverse her eating. She ate dinner for breakfast, a medium size lunch, and very light dinner no later than 5. Within one year, she had lost almost 120 pounds. While this philosophy is certainly not new, I applaude this woman for bringing it to light. It worked for my sister two decades ago and it looks like its still working today!!!

posted Jan 2nd, 2009 7:33 pm



Hi! I wanted to know the times you have to eat! I have heard that eating fruits after 7 pm is bad because of the sugar fruits have. Can anyone tell me exactly how to do this diet?? and have this worked on somebody? thank you!

posted Dec 26th, 2008 3:03 pm

Steve Parker, M.D.


You will lose weight if you are eating less calories than your body needs for physical activity and basal metabolism. It matters little WHEN you eat those calories. Our bodies have built-in, automatic mechanisms to store excess calories and release them when needed.

posted Dec 9th, 2008 11:49 am



I saw this too on discovery health and it seems like a great idea. I started this morning with my workout and had dinner which consisted of a chicken breast and 2 types of veggies. I ate around 7am and 5 hours later, I'm not even hungry.

posted Dec 1st, 2008 1:11 pm



I have some personal experience and I've lost 5 pounds on the reverse diet, even with slight cheating. There may be a scientific reason for the weight loss in that this diet is high fiber. I took a nutrition class in college and the instructor of that class stated that 60% of all fiber passes through the body undigested. On the reverse diet very night for dinner I have been eating about a half a cereal bowl of shredded wheat with light cranberry juice. This is a significant calorie cut versus my usual prior regular dinner. My jeans are getting loose, particularly in the thighs. When I cheat and have a small dinner occasionally, I simply go back to have the reverse diet. I try occasionally to put ag generous portion steamed veggies on my plate at breakfast and lunch and one serving of main dish. I do not feel particularly deprived and the diet seems to be fiber dense enough that I can sleep without annoying hunger pains.

posted Oct 13th, 2008 7:28 am


yes she did say she stops eating at 3:00pm but if she does eat anything after that it"s fruit or veggies.


I saw the segment on Discovery Health and I am trying it. When I first started it the energy was high, but after the 2nd week, I get tired around 3. I walk a mile with Leslie Sansone tape in the morning with my class. so hopefully I am burning the calories that I had consumed. I am not going to weigh til after my 4th week. I will report if I had lost anything. Another thing too- Trica stop eating around 3. Did anyone else see that?


I read a story about this in a magazine...It was a testimonial, but I can't remember if it was Trica's story or not.


I would think a reverse diet would work...and I bet you'd eat less at breakfast anyway because most people aren't hungry first thing in the morning.


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