Whether your goal is weight loss or weight gain, maintaining body composition is the sum of all the sustainable habits you’ve put into practice. It takes about 66 days to successfully build a routine, so it’s critical to stay consistent and accountable to your goals. Here are some tips to help you do just that!
Make every minute count:
All of us have 168 hours in our week, but how we use that time to leverage success is up to you.
Plan your recipes and write a shopping list for the week (or bi-weekly). This helps you stay creative with your food and dream up exciting new ways to fuel your body. It also prevents the boredom of rotated meals that can spike curiosity for a cheat meal.
Get some quality reusable Tupperware for meal prep. Portioning food groups for training days and rest days at the start of the week will help you stay focused each day. It will also help control your food environment, taking out the guesswork. If meal prep isn’t your thing, explore a meal service to be conveniently delivered to you so you can stay in control of your diet.
Plan for the busy periods and strategize. When your month is full of holidays, parties, and events, don’t let them ruin your habits. A handful of parties won’t throw you off your game, so allow yourself to enjoy the social periods but understand your success comes from consistency. Try eating beforehand to prevent overeating, or load your party plate up with colored vegetables. Eat until comfortably full, not to the point of a food coma.
Check in with yourself:
If you’ve hit your weight loss or muscle gain target, amazing! How do you feel? Over the course of your journey, it’s important to reflect on the sustainable healthy habits you’ve built to maintain what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. The Maintenance Phase should be used as a stepping stone to reflect on your goals and reassess. Sometimes, this can be hard after riding the highs of achieving a goal. You might think, ‘what next?’ Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a health professional. Until then, keep up your daily physical activity, eat breakfast as part of your three main meals and snacks per day, and reduce sitting and screen time wherever possible.
Don’t fixate, moderate:
Tracking progress is essential in any goal setting program, so this shouldn’t stop even if your goal is maintenance. If you used to weigh yourself everyday, then relax into a weekly or bi-weekly weigh-in and account for deviations. Rather than fixating on maintaining an exact number, moderate more gradual approaches into how you measure the success of your healthier lifestyle. Are you still making time to socialize with friends and family around food? Are you still cooking and planning recipes? Are you sleeping better? All of these things should be tracked during the Maintenance Phase to keep you motivated. Spend some quality time really understanding what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it, and how you’re going to get it done.
Balance is an art. Don’t rush it. Get it right, get it wrong, but whatever you do, don’t give up!