The hardest part of dieting is maintaining your results. Let’s face it, once you get into the flow of dieting and start seeing amazing results you get tunnel vision and become super focused on achieving your goals. But once you reach that goal, that stage, that holiday you’ve been aiming for, you lose the self-control you spent so long working on and gorge on every single food in sight! You and I both know that’s not healthy and definitely won’t do you any favours in maintaining the results you worked so hard for. So, here’s how to maintain your results after dieting.
Regain Control Quickly
You created some life changing habits when you were dieting. You demonstrated self control, discipline and took big action to get to where you are now. Never forget that. You make up the small percentage of people who want to get into shape and actually do it, you should be incredibly proud of yourself. Now ask yourself, “is it really worth it? Is it worth blowing up 2 stones in 3 weeks just because the handcuffs have come off?” I can tell you from personal experience that it is 100% NOT worth it. When I first reached the pinnacle of my physique I let loose after my competition. The result was 2 stone of body fat in 3 weeks! I was depressed, disliked what I saw in the mirror and felt like I hit rock bottom. If I could go back 5 years ago I would tell myself this, “Lee, don’t do it… You are in control of your environment.” You really are in control and it goes back to that self-discipline that you have within you to get to where you are. Don’t be weak, don’t give in, you are in control of the decisions you make and the food you choose to eat.
Don’t Stop Training
You gotta keep going after you reach your goal, keep training and keep pushing. If you take your foot off the gas and suddenly start eating like you’re possessed then the effects will be detrimental to your body. Just think, you’ve been starved (in a caloric deficit) for so many weeks with a high-energy expenditure; training your butt off. You suddenly stop training and start eating well above your maintenance calories and more likely in a surplus. This will have a double-whammy effect on your body, as it won’t know what to do with the abundance of calories so, it will store them as fat! A lot faster than if you were still training too. So my advice is to keep up the training volume and gradually cut it down, week by week until you reach a manageable about of training sessions.
Before you reach the end of your diet phase, you need to start planning what comes next. What’s the next goal? How can you transition your focus over to something else other than food? It’s easy to get caught up in your bubble when you’re getting lean and losing body fat but you need to take a step back from your situation and start thinking ahead. Are you going to plan a reverse diet and aim to gradually increase your calories or are you going to continue pushing your body’s boundaries to get leaner (if you weren’t satisfied with your goal)? Just like you would start planning what comes after school, college, Uni or work you need to plan ahead for your personal physique goals too. This will dramatically take your obsession away from food and help get take that focus into a new goal.
Take Away Tips
I can pretty much guarantee you this. If you’ve reached considerably low levels of body fat or been dieting for 4+ months then you WILL crave food like never before. You might even scare yourself from how much you’ve become obsessed with food. But know this, you’re only human, it’s very normal to feel this way. You’ve supressed and deprived your body of calories for such a long time that it’s craving satiety. Feed your hunger, enjoy your food but try to remain in control and don’t let the food control you. You have the mental strength to stay consistent with your diet and have spent weeks building up good habits so maintain those habits for the rest of your life. Don’t stop training and start eating more, you’re asking for trouble if you do this. If you’re consuming more considerably more calories than you’re burning, you will regain body fat… fast! Plan ahead and strive for a new goal. Don’t obsess over your current goal because it will soon come to an end. Look ahead and set short-term goals leading to longer-term goals to help regain focus and keep moving forward.