The Secret To Maintaining Weight / Results
Maintaining Your Results – The Maintenance Phase Minimum
I am a big boy by nature. I gain weight by looking at food if I’m not careful! So, to maintain my weight loss over the last two years I have had to literally change my lifestyle. I still get a lot of questions asking me what I do when I am off Intermittent Fasting or when I stop working out but…
…as stated before on this blog, I DO NOT STOP FASTING OR WORKING OUT…fasting and exercise are part of my life and you don’t just stop living.
Now, though I fast every day and workout for a minimum of an hour 5-6 days a week year round, I am not ignorant enough to think everyone does, or can, do this. So, because I keep on getting this question a lot, I have decided to share what I suggest is the secret to maintaining one’s hard-earned results!
You Got Here…Now What?
First and foremost – CONGRATS!
Whatever your personal goal might have been, congratulations on achieving it.
Seriously, it’s not easy committing to better yourself and if you did it – CONGRATULATIONS!
And, now that you’re here….I really don’t know how else to say this other than to be blunt and straightforward…STICK WITH IT!
Sticking With It
The sad truth is that no matter what you did to change your body, your health, and/or your lifestyle you will have to stick with it if you’d like to continue feeling how you do right now.
I am truly sorry, and I know this might not be what a lot of us want to hear, but it’s pretty much fact – if you had to work hard to get where you’re at, you’ll have to continue working hard to stay there. I mean just ask JT – though, like a fine wine, he is getting better with time, unlike a fine wine JT has to continue working to get better…if that’s even possible…right?
It Will Be Easier
So, as bad as hearing you’ll have to always work hard may sound, there is some good news – IT WILL BE EASIER!
It will be easier to maintain than it was getting here.
I like to think about it as an uphill climb. As you are making strides towards your goal you are taking on an uphill battle. But, once you’ve made it up the hill, IT GETS EASIER…though it will never get easy!
Easier…Not Easy – Don’t Make This Mistake!
It is very important to note that maintenance is a slippery slope – a tightrope walk if you will…one wrong step and you’re right back down that hill!
I have found that people make the error of mistaking “easier” for “easy,” and when they do, they find themselves not just walking downhill but straight rolling down.
Yeah, it is an “easy” mistake to make, but nonetheless a potentially fatal mistake to make so remember, though maintenance is “easier” it’s not “easy!”
THE MAINTENANCE PHASE SECRET
Here it comes, so get ready…. seriously, I think your mind is about to get blown so please get ready….
…IF YOU FIND YOURSELF WORKING OUT LESS, THEN EAT LESS!!!
That is it!
Once again please?
If you decide to workout less, then remember to eat less calories!
BUT HOW MUCH LESS?
“Less” is doing about 75% of what you used to do 100% of the time!
X-Gains Rules of Thumb To Maintenance
Strength Training Minimum
3 Days A Week
To maintain muscle mass you’ll have to strength train at least 3 days a week for a minimum of an hour (including a warm up and cool down). I personally suggest 4 days a week but you really only need 3. Three days a week will give you enough time to hit every muscle at least once, if not twice, per week.
NOTE: I do strongly suggest incorporating full-body moves like pull-ups and power clings to any 3 day per week program. If not it will be very difficult to maintain overall mass just working out 3 days a week.
Cardio Training Minimum
1 Day Per Week
Here again I suggest cardio training at least 3 days a week but to maintain about 80% of your cardio improvements you’d need to go 100% a minimum of once a week.
NOTE: If you only have 3 days a week to workout then do your cardio training on the same day as your strength training! Yeah, there is some science out there that suggests doing cardio and strength training on the same day can hinder muscle growth. BUT, there is not enough proof to convince me and, if you tend to pack on weight like I do, then you wont want to let go of the extra edge cardio training contributes to maintaining a lean body composition.
Caloric Intake Maximum
Well, as per “The Secret To Maintenance,” if you are working out less you’ll need to intake fewer calories….but how many?
A good rule of thumb is 300 calories per omitted workout.
For example, if you find yourself omitting 2 strength training sessions and 2 jogs from your weekly schedule that is a total of 4 workout sessions.
Now, lets do the math;
4 (workout sessions) X 300 calories = 1,200 calories less you should be eating that week.
So…Just Stick With It…OR DO SOMETHING NEW!
In summation, though you can technically back off a bit once in maintenance mode, my personal recommendation is to STICK WITH IT as much as possible.
Like previously mentioned, the maintenance phase is a slippery slope and the difference between walking a flat road and rolling down hill is a very fine line.
I don’t want anyone thinking, “If 3 days a week is okay…2 days might be okay…?” Or, “Well, as long as I drink just one extra coke I’ll be okay.” I actually don’t want any of these thoughts in your head!
As a matter of fact, if you find yourself even thinking, “What is the minimum amount I can do to maintain?” Just because you find yourself not wanting to do whatever it was that got you here, then you’re already walking downhill! If you don’t have enough time due to personal reasons then that’s okay, just do what you can.
But if you just don’t want to keep working at a better you because you are tired or bored of what you’re doing to make you better, THEN FIND SOMETHING NEW TO DO!