Have you just accomplished a major weight loss or fitness goal? Perhaps you finally prepped and dieted down for competition, got your body in top condition for a photo shoot or just completed a personal goal to get your best possible body for bikini season. Are you now wondering if all that hard work will go to waste? You want to keep this hot new body, but it is really possible to maintain this tight and lean condition all year round? The answer is yes and no.
Yes, you can maintain much of your progress, but you cannot sustain an extremely low body fat for long periods of time. That said, you can maintain much of your loss if you have the right mindset and are prepared. Here a seven tips to help:
Stick to your calorie count: Remember, your weight loss and body composition is a result of how many calories you have been eating up to now and how much exercise you have been performing. If you all of a sudden start eating a lot more calories and stop performing so much exercise, you will definitely gain weight back quickly. Adjust your exercise and calories a little bit at a time.
Don’t lose your food scale: Just because you have reached your weight loss or fitness goal, doesn’t mean you should all of a sudden stop measuring your food. Be mindful of your portion sizes and continue to use your digital scale, measuring cups and measuring spoons!
Focus on the lifestyle: Getting to your goal required some serious lifestyle changes. Why would you all of a sudden stop your new approach to health and fitness? Keep up with healthy eating habits, visits to the gym and continue to socialize with others who approach life in the same manner!
Keep up with your protein: If you want to keep your hard-earned muscle and keep your metabolism high, you need to maintain your protein intake. Continue eating at least 1g to 1.5 g of protein per pound of bodyweight.
Adjust your fats and carbs accordingly: Most “get ripped” diets are extremely low in carbs and moderate in fats, which can be hard to maintain. Aim for a macronutrient ratio of 30-40% for carbs and 20-30% for fats, depending on how well your body responds to processing carbs and fats and how much exercise you plan on doing. This will help keep energy levels up and reduce fatigue!
Stay within 10: It is very difficult to maintain a super lean and ripped look year-round. However, if you keep your weight within 10 lbs of your leanest weight (about 8-weeks of conditioning), you will still look super fit and will easily be able to diet back down when you are ready.
Give yourself a pat on the back…occasionally: Getting your body into top form, whether for a show, photo shoot or just rocking your bikini are all worth a pat on the back! But, it doesn’t give you license to eat! Keep to your healthy diet the majority of the time, and occasionally treat yourself with whatever your heart desires! I recommend limiting your “cheat” or “treat” meals to once per week.