So you’ve finished your contest prep or have met a weight-loss goal. Congratulations! But you may be saying to yourself, now what?
At this point, the number one mistake people make is binge eating two to four days after their fitness goal is met, but this really just leaves you feeling awful and depressed. Most of the extra weight gained during this time is just water weight from reintroducing carbs and sodium into your diet, but you can also put on a few pounds if you go overboard.
I will not lie… I am a re-feeder at its finest! My problem isn’t binging… it’s portion control. I will eat extremely healthy, but instead of half a cup of rice, I’ll eat a cup. The list goes on! I just double everything! But when it comes to portion sizes, it doesn’t matter whether or not the food you are eating is healthy— excess food intake will always cause weight gain. Personally, I’m a small girl and need to cap my calories off at 1,500 on non-workout days and have them at 1,600-1,800 on workout days.
Currently, I am resting and just doing light cardio to get back in the groove. I have been in competition prep since November, so now I am taking it slow and letting my body rest as much as possible. Yes, I feel like a puffer fish right now, but it’s because after being so lean for so long, I’m getting back to being “normal” again. I know a lot of you go through the same issues. I’ve learned to take it slower this time around. That means re-entering foods (also, allowing a balanced cheat meal once a week), cardio and training.
Here are some tips for successfully transitioning from diet to maintenance— and what has worked for me this time around. (Note: this took me years to figure out, but I’m happy I finally understand the process.)
Often after dieting, your body has been in a low-carb and low-fat state for so long you have to ease normal ratios back into your daily diet. If you do this too fast by overloading, your body will not know what to do with the extra calories. It goes into shock and will not process the extra foods, which will make you retain water and gain weight.
The first thing you should do is go back to your original diet, then add one serving of a carb to a meal you didn’t have a carb in. Then do the same with fats. Try that for a week, then if you’re losing, GREAT! Then you can add to another meal, etc. Just make sure you get to your comfortable weight first before adding any extras. This is where you can watch your body respond to foods. It’s actually amazing because you will be able to really monitor what foods work for you and the ones that don’t.
There are people who LOVE cardio and there are people who despise it! I used to love it! However, doing one to one-and-a-half hours of cardio everyday can make anyone exhausted of even just the thought of it! I personally enjoy 30 to 45 minutes of cardio and I keep it intense/moderate. So I just cut my cardio in half and I keep it fun and short. My body responds faster to shorter durations of cardio while keeping it intense. This is something, again, you will have to watch.
The cool thing is that you can cut your cardio in half and try moderate intensity for a week, then throw in a couple of high-intensity training intervals. If you aren’t losing, then add five minutes, and if you are losing fast, then take it down five minutes a day. This process is fun because, again, you can personally navigate what cardio works best for you.
After a rigorous program, I always take a break from the weight room for at least a week. This gives your body time to regroup, heal and rest from all of the wear and tear you have done to your precious self. Start back refueled, fresh and excited to hit the weights. Remember to switch it up so your body is always guessing.
Keep Meals FUN
Now that your back to getting back into your healthy lifestyle, make clean dishes fun! There are tons of recipes out there to turn your meals into something spectacular. I have a few posed on my Facebook page.
Clean Recipe Websites
I absolutely fell in love with Kristine Fretwell about two years ago. She has amazing recipes that are competition safe, everyday clean eating and desserts that are too good to be true! You can find her site at www.busybuthealthy.com Another site created by my sis Danitza Freigher www.danitzadenn.com, and my Flex Till You’re Famous teammate Savannah Rose has http://muffin-topless.com/. As you can see there, are tons of clean eating sites out there! You can eat healthy and enjoy every bite.
Supplements are just that, but be sure you are properly taking them. Here is a link where I go into full detail of my Allmax Nutrition supplementation: http://www.allmaxnutrition.com/athletes-type/tiffany-boydston/
It isn’t always easy getting back on track, but remember you set a goal to get here. You dreamt the impossible and made it into reality. You dream, make goals and succeed…. Now what?! MAKE BIGGER DREAMS AND GOALS.
I believe in you, however you have to believe in yourself too. You have to want it as bad as I want it for you. Remember that for now… and forever! Keep living, loving and laughing in the process. We have one life to live so make it fun, happy and never look back.