It's that time of year again, the time where people tend to stress a lot about...a lot. When you have worked all year to be healthy, lose body fat, build muscle and see some positive body change running smack-dab into the holidays can be a bit scary. However, when you have spent most of the year working on your health, body fat, muscles and positive change then it is OK to take some time off of thinking about your goals.
Why do you NEED maintenance?
Maintenance is good for keeping your hormones happy, balanced and ready to keep fighting the good fight of life! You don't want to be in fat loss forever, your hormones will fight you every step of the way. Some times fat loss is easier but as you keep going, it gets harder, right?? It is this way on purpose, even if you need to lose weight for health reasons your body will still want to fight you along the way. Your hormones are designed to do this, unfortunately. So putting the strain of fat loss on your hormones for too long can cause undue stress but taking a week of 2 off (I've taken a couple months here and there..this is maintenance!) is good for your mind and your progress so that you can keep losing body fat.
It takes time! Time on, and time off. But all good things that LAST take time and effort.
So what is maintenance?
Maintenance is NOT being able to go back to how you ate before or how you used to think about food (assuming you have made a lot of positive changes in the quality of the foods you choose). What you did before is why you were needing change in the first place.
Maintenance is simply the increase in calories and the decrease in the amount of focus put towards food/eating. [Read that again☝️]
It is eating mostly the same foods, same meals, same whole & healthy choices just without measuring details and without having to have too much forethought but being able to make more "off" choices when you want.
The quantity of the food goes up slightly.
The quality of the food should stay the same.
If you've lived the StressLess way you KNOW you feel better, why would you want to purposefully feel worse? Choose the foods you do love, that never changes in The Lifestyle, but THINK less about it. Maintenance looks like:
• Having that extra scoop of cheese
• having a bit more meat/fish/shrimp
• extra guac
• having a bite, lick &taste your kiddos leftovers
• going out to eat, choosing wisely and not overthinking but enjoying your time.
If you're heading into maintenance those are the things that will increase your calories just enough to be at your maintenance calories.
What's not maintenance:
• Eating all the cookies in the box
• Saying "I made my goal" now I'm done
• Mentally checking out
• Eating everything that you "gave up"
• Having 4 servings of French fries as a reward
• NOT intentionally choosing foods that fuel your health more often then food that hurts your belly
• Eating out every night because you're sick of cooking healthy food and then regretting the sodium bloat and feeling lethargic and being mad at yourself a week later.
The list could go on...but those are things that can derail a positive, healthy mindset.
Same foods you found that make you feel great and hit great workouts are the SAME foods that will make your maintenance a TRUE maintenance and not a backslide.
When is maintenance important?
Life is a cycle. We have seasons and months, school schedules, ebs and flows of life, all of that plays into how you live throughout the year. Just as life ebs and flows our nutrition and mindset should also. You don't want to head into your birthday week just beginning a "diet". You don't want to to hit vacation mode just as you cut out your favorite food! Right now, as the holidays approach, I'm sure you don't want to tell yourself you have to avoid alll the good foods, so it's a pretty good time to hit maintenance mode/mindset. IF you've been mostly on-point for 3 months or more, then you know that you can feel really good about taking a few weeks off, because your mindset needs it, your hormones need it and you need it. You can EASILY get right back on your macros or tracking food after the holidays are over. You put in the work! Now enjoy how you feel, don't overdo it, keep feeling great and hop back on it...you will be fine! You may gain some, but your body is already primed and ready to lose again. See you on the flipside of this cycle of life.....
Register for next cycle here (Jan 4th 2021!)