6 Things I Do Weekly To Maintain My 115 Pound Weight Loss
Losing 115 lbs and counting was not an easy or fast process. A lot of time, blood, sweat and tears went into losing that weight in a healthy manner. There was so much mental work and behavior change that needed to be done in order to get continued results. As I’ve mentioned in the past I was a serial yo-yo dieter. I tried any and everything out there that offered me a quick fix and each time I easily piled the weight back on. When I finally reached the point where I was ready to mentally and physically commit to the long haul process of lifestyle change and behavior modification I knew it would be the last time I ever needed to diet again. Making sure I maintain my loss in a healthy and sustainable manner is so important to me. It’s a concept I try to pass on to my clients as well. I’m here for their continued success and I try to lead them by example in all I do. Many many people struggle with weight maintenance even when they have committed to the long haul process of lifestyle modification. The following are 6 six things I make sure to do weekly to maintain my loss of 115 lbs.
I workout with a focus on strength training. I personally strength train 6 days a week and follow it with 25-30 minutes of cardio for heart health. I recognize this is not realistic or sustainable for many. I would recommend a minimum of 3 days per week to help you maintain weight loss and muscle mass. Not only is strength training what helps you shape your body (that “toned” look you want…it’s muscle mass. You can not tone muscle. You either have muscle or you don’t so if that’s the look you are going for pick up the weights girlies) there are numerous other health benefits.
Over time strength training will increase your metabolic rate simply because lean muscle mass utilizes more calories at rest. This allows you to eat more food while maintaining your weight.
Multiple studies have proven a decrease of 17% in all cause mortality. This includes all major illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Lowers your risk of injury. Strength training improves the strength, ROM and mobility of muscles, ligaments and tendons. Strength training also helps correct muscle imbalances.
Reduces age related loss of bone mass. After the age of 50 we begin to lose bone faster. Women in particular can lose up to 20% of their bone mass within 5 years of starting menopause.
Improves overall quality of life. Strength training is about a lot more than appearance and the lessons learned from it carry into almost every thing you do.
I get a minimum of 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day. Not only is it proven that your daily activity actually burns more calories than that 2 hour workout I have personally experienced what happens when daily activity decreases. When I took a more sedentary desk position my weight began to slowly increase. My calorie intake had not changed nor my workout program. I discussed it with Ryan and he suggested that it was the decrease in steps and daily activity. The following are some easy ways to add steps to your day.
Take a 10 minute walk after each meal. This may seem little but it does add up. This also helps to aid digestion.
Take the steps instead of the elevator.
Park far away from the store or work.
Walk around while talking on the phone.
Take frequent 5 minute breaks during your work day and walk around.
Meal planning and meal prep. Working with numerous clients from all walks of life I am very aware that meal prep is not something that is realistic for many or is something they simply do not want to do. That’s totally ok. Just like anything else when it comes to health and fitness, if it's not realistic or sustainable for you then you shouldn’t do it. If it is something that is manageable for you it will absolutely make your weeks a lot easier and worry free. You can prep traditional meals or you can batch cook the ingredients and put together different meals from the ingredients each day. That being said I would strongly encourage you to have a plan. What’s that quote “If you fail to plan you plan to fail”.
Take the time before you grocery shop to plan out the meals you will cook during the week.
Write your list and stick to it when shopping.
If you are someone who eats out a lot, take the time to look at menus before you go out so you can make better choices.
Be prepared to make better choices when life throws those curveballs at you and you are unable to stick to your plan. This might mean knowing what the best option is at a fast food restaurant or keeping things like protein bars, nuts, apples and other healthy snacks on hand to hold you over until you can get to your meal.
I eat the same foods I ate to lose weight . I just eat them in a higher volume. My diet may seem very boring to some people but I thrive in routine so eating basically the same foods with minor changes each day is what works for me. Some people, most people really want a variety of foods and that is also totally ok. But when your coach tells you that what you did to lose the weight is what you will have to do to maintain your weight they are telling you the truth. This is why elimination and restriction diets are not realistic for most people. It’s also why this process needs to be viewed as a lifestyle change and not a diet. Diets are temporary fixes.
When entering into maintenance it is important to determine your maintenance calories.
From there you can decide how to add the calories back in. Don’t overthink this. Keep doing what you were doing just increase the volume of food you eat so you stop losing weight.
If you go back to the way you ate prior to losing weight I will guarantee you that you will gain your weight back. I’m not speaking as a coach here. I’m speaking as someone who has personally done that more times than I can count.
I continue to utilize the 80/20 rule. I’ve found this rule applies to a lot more than health and fitness so I recommend you get comfortable with it. Basically the 80/20 rule states that what you do most of the time is a lot more important than what you do some of the time. Consistency will beat perfection every single time. When it comes to health and fitness keep the following in mind.
Be sure 80% of your daily food comes from healthy nutritious food that fuels your body and the other 20% comes from food you enjoy. I personally like to have a treat in the evening that I factor into my calorie goal. I also program in a high calorie day on Saturdays so I can enjoy a date with my husband or a meal with family. This means I eat slightly less throughout the week to keep my weekly calorie average where it needs to be. This is what I have found works best for me.
Apply this to your workouts as well. If you are able to be consistent with exercise 80% of the time you are going to be successful.
I get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night. Ok most nights because…life. I understand that we are all busy but sleep deprivation will not only affect your weight, it will also affect your recovery from workouts and your performance at work. Sleep deprivation increases the hunger hormone ghrelin and decreases the satiety hormone leptin leading to an increase in appetite the following day. To hit even harder sleep deprivation also increases the stress hormone cortisol.Studies show that on average people who are sleep deprived consume 550 more calories per day than people who get sufficient sleep. The reason behind this is that the body thinks it needs energy so you will consume calorie dense foods and/or increased carbohydrates as they are the body's preferred fuel source. Additionally if your goal is to gain muscle studies show that sleep deprivation decreases muscle protein synthesis by 18%. Some of the ways I ensure I get my sleep are
Do things that relax your mind and body before going to sleep
Take a magnesium supplement about an hour before bed to help calm and relax the mind and body.
Stop ingesting caffeine a minimum of 5 hours before bed.
Get my daily water intake in early in the day and slow drinking in the afternoon and evening to reduce waking to pee.
Do not go to bed hungry but also do not consume a huge meal prior to bed.
Attempt to keep the same schedule on days off.
I personally utilize a sleep tea that helps me fall asleep and stay asleep.
Try incorporating some of these things into your routine if you struggle with maintaining weight loss. Again this is a big picture, long haul kind of thing and bumps in the road are normal. Believe me, no one knows better than me just how hard losing the weight and keeping it off is. If you’re ready to commit and want this to be the last time you ever need to lose weight again consider booking a consultation with myself or Ryan. We will meet you at your level and walk with you each step of the way.