You’ve reached your goal…Now what?
Now comes oddly the hardest part…MAINTAINING YOUR RESULTS!
And maintenance is hard because it’s a new process in and of itself.
You can’t keep doing what you did to get to your goal – you can’t stay in a deficit forever.
And you can’t go back to what you were doing prior.
Old habits will just lead to you losing everything you’ve worked hard for.
Soooo, what do you do?
Here are 4 tips to help…
#1: Realize that maintaining itself has cycles.
We don’t do one thing forever.
Mentally I don’t think we could handle that.
Plus, there will always be mini goals, ebbs and flows, we need to adjust and tweak to work toward.
There will be times you don’t care as much and hit minimums and get lax.
There will be times you want to look extra fabulous on vacation and dial in those macros for more of a cut.
There will be times you want to lift more. Train for a marathon. Or simply feel in shape.
There will be times you’re out with an injury or surgery or child birth.
There will be times you’re stressed.
And there will be times you’re super motivated.
The key thing is to realize you can tweak based on any goals you have and even the lifestyle you want or need to work around at that time.
The key is to give yourself mini cycles and end dates and have clear goals for your workouts to keep you motivated.
#2: Be patient with yourself as you transition and retrain your body to eat more.
You have to slowly transition from a deficit to more of maintenance calories.
You will slowly need to increase as you retrain your body to use the increased calories.And you will slowly adjust ratios as well.
Doing one thing at a time can be key. Whether you’re slowly increasing over the weeks 100 calories at a time or first going to more even macros, you want to find more sustainable ways of fueling.
And even then realize you may at time do short cuts with a small deficit. Short muscle building phases with a small surplus.
You may give yourself protein minimums to stay consistent enough or increase your protein for a little cut with set ratios to get ready for that beach vacation.
But you need to start retraining your body to use more calories which is a slow process while also finding a balance to work in more foods you love!
#3: Don’t freak if the scale fluctuates.
There will be times as you learn to maintain that you do gain. Especially to start.
Your glycogen stores will now be constantly full over depleted. So you have to be aware that maintaining may mean a gain of a few pounds to start but it shouldn’t just continue.
You may also see bigger fluctuations from cheat days or lack of sleep as your body does fight against staying down.
But over time, with patience, you will create that new set point.
And as you maintain for longer, you will find it is easier and easier to stay down and you have more flexibility.
But just realize you can’t restrict or stay super motivated forever, so you need those breaks where you do the minimum.
Be patient as you cycle learning what feels best.
And at the slightest gain don’t go back into that deficit. Watch your data but realize that little fluctuations will help.
By tracking you WILL catch anything before you lose progress.
#4: Don’t stop tracking.
It’s tempting to start stringing together workouts based on how you feel. It’s tempting to stop tracking or at least not measuring everything.
But this is a quick backslide into old habits.
Especially because we feel good.
So as you first are retraining your body to eat more and trying to create that new set point, to even help yourself trust the process when the scale does increase slightly, MEASURE AND TRACK EVERYTHING.
Once you’ve maintained for a few months, you may just do tracking check ins if you feel or hit minimums, but give yourself time to really understand what you need to maintain.
Do NOT stop tracking and realize that using it to check in is also a good way to hold yourself accountable!
It is key we prepare for maintaining and realize that maintenance is a process. Our habits, lifestyles and goals are constantly evolving. We will never fully do one thing forever. But through macros and clear progressions we can tweak as we need.
So realize that learning to maintain takes time and you will have cycles.
But recognize it is a process and journey in and of itself!