One thing I know for sure…there is no shortage of information about “how to lose body fat” and “how to be consistent with your diet”. However, something that many don’t tell you, is what to consider doing after your diet.
In this blog I am going to share my three top pieces of advice when you complete a period of dieting. Giving these three strategies a go will help you maintain the results you worked so hard to achieve – long-term, and avoid the dreaded weight re-gain.
For the purpose of this blog specifically, all of the points I share will be relative to someone looking to improve their body composition but not someone who would be doing a photo shoot or stepping on stage, and thus at a particularly low body weight. Although some of the points can still be used by all whatever the weight loss goal. Essentially, I hope this blog will be useful for those seeking to drop a few kilos and feel better in their skin long into the future.
With every year that passes, the statistics surrounding obesity become more and more staggering. As a sad as it may be, it does mean that there are literally thousands of people in need of our help. I guess, without sounding like a business man, it’s not a bad thing for me and the guys at Team BOX.
Of course, a world where less people were overweight would be a much better place and hopefully one day that might be the case. But until then every year people will start new diets.
The problem however isn’t that people can’t lose weight, it’s that they struggle to keep it off.
Why is this the case?
More often than not, many people don’t give much thought to what will happen when they do reach their target weight/ fit into that pair of trousers/ or drop to the dress size they had been focussed on for so long.
It’s a bit like when you are studying for an exam and you are so hell-bent on doing well, studying all hours and doing the best you can; then when you leave that exam hall you are left with one feeling…
This can be the feeling many have when they finish their diet. They feel lost, unsure what to do and above all, anxious that the weight will come straight back.
So, here they are my top there pieces of advice that will give you a much better chance of maintaining your weight loss results, – long-term.
- Back up to maintenance – I see this a lot with people who lose lots of weight. They are so scared of increasing their calories. However, it’s essential to do so eventually, after all, you can’t stay in a deficit forever. After a long period of dieting lots of things can happen, your focus on food may increase, energy expenditure can drop off and adherence can falter. By bringing your calories up to maintenance or where you perceive your maintenance to be, you can help address these issues sooner rather than later. With more calories your food options will increase and rather than binging and then dropping calories and getting into a vicious circle, you can enjoy more food and still keep your weight in check. More calories can also result in greater energy expenditure, both in your training and daily NEAT. Personally, I don’t see the value in messing about and only very slowly increasing calories by tiny increments each week, or at the other end of the spectrum – drastically dropping calories after a big meal. My view is to just get back to your maintenance and move forward!
- Habits need to stick – Throughout your period of dieting you will have hopefully picked up and integrated into your life, some new and healthy habits. Things like going out for more walks, eating protein at every meal and increasing the amount of higher volume, lower calorie food choices in your diet. This is brilliant, but ultimately, these new habits need to stick. If you go back to the way you ate before the diet, then don’t be surprised to see the weight pile back on. It’s important to remain vigilant with your food choices. If you later decide to move away from tracking calories, you can still use the skills you learnt from tracking for times when you go out for a meal or are preparing a meal yourself. These new habits need to be for life but with calories being higher things should definitely feel much easier.
- Select a weight range – This could well be the most important tip to use going forward. When you lose weight, there is a good chance some will come back on – but that’s ok! The amount of weight regained will be down to how much you lost and how lean you are now. The best thing to do is relax if a little weight comes back on and simply select a weight range you wish to sit in going forward. Leading on from point two if one of the new habits was weighing in daily then continue to do this so you can monitor things going forward. Let’s say you drop down from 90kg to 75kg. Picking a range between 75-79kg would be a good idea as you can give yourself space to increase calories but if you go over 79kg then you know you need to address a few things. Likewise, if you drop below 75kg you can increase calories. Monitoring your weight is such a great habit to do so ensure that even though you aren’t looking to lose weight anymore you still continue to do it.
There you have it, three easy and effective strategies you can put into use post diet to help you maintain the results you have achieved.
Of course, it’s not always a negative to have some weight re-gain, simply try to keep things in check and you will be able to still be in a much better place going forward.
If you are currently losing weight or just coming to the end of your diet and would like some support then why not sign up to our FREE four week fat loss program. You will be able learn about how to be successful long term and also be added into our private Facebook group where you can ask coaches questions in live webinars and use the community feel to be consistent long term.