One of the things I hear a lot after someone has lost a lot of weight is that someone gained all their weight back. It’s a big fear for most people. They join a boot camp or do a competition and they reach all their goals, and a few months later they are right back to where they started – or worse.
While, in our gym, there are more people that keep it off than people who gain it back, it happens – and I sure didn’t want that to happen to me after my competition so I sat down with Steve and we made very specific rules. Here are the parameters I plan to put in my life to help me maintain my weight during our “off season”.
Whether you are in between trainers, boot camps or competitions, you can apply these same rules to your own life to make fitness a lifestyle instead of a phase, and make your new goal weight your new normal weight.
5 Tips to Maintaining Your Weight
1. Decide on your new ideal weight. If you haven’t reached your goal yet, your ideal weight will be a lower weight. If you have reached your goal, your ideal maintenance weight should be your new weight (unless you’ve just competed and dehydrated – then your weight should probably be 5-7lbs heavier than your stage weight). This weight is what determines whether you should be dieting (eating fewer calories than you are burning) or maintaining (eating the same amount of calories than your burning).
At 5’9″, my ideal weight used to be 144 for me. If I started rising above 144 (my NO! STOP weight was 148), I would diet back down and get my weight back into control. Now, my new normal weight is 136. After the show I stayed in the high 130s and hit 140 and I immediately jumped right back on my diet until it went back down. Today, I weighed 135 today. I will continue to weigh in to keep me accountable.
2. Set a new goal. Whether this is a race, a bikini or bodybuilding competition, a weight loss contest, a cruise or a photo shoot, you must put some kind of goal into place. Goals give your training purpose, and make it easier to say no to high-calorie foods and the temptation to skip a workout. My goal is to come into January at a specific body fat percentage, muscle weight and fat weight. I want to know I am starting my diet ahead of where I started it last time. I also want my skin to stay tight and continue tightening up. I can’t do that if my weight fluctuates too much, so my goal is to avoid weight gain so I can improve my skin texture. Plus, I just feel a million times better in all my clothes!
3. Make a recovery plan. What do you do if you bounce a check or max out a credit card? Do you keep spending what you can’t afford? No. You start making a plan to pay it off and get back in the black. The same goes for dieting. As soon as you go over budget, you have to start paying it off because you can’t afford to eat that much anymore. This is when you step up your cardio (work off your past debt) and reduce your caloric budget (learn to be more frugal with your calories). This is just checks and balances – but you have to make a plan ahead of time. As soon as you get back to your ideal weight, you can afford to have a cheat meal, you can afford to skip a workout. But, until then, you have to stay disciplined and get your body back in control.
4. Cheats are treats. What I mean is, cheat meals should be a treat, not a habit. There are certain things Steve and I decided we would not buy and bring into our home. This forces us to go out and get it if we want it (which requires more planning and reduces the chance of impulse eating). For instance, we will not buy ice cream. If we want ice cream, we’ll make a date out of it – but I’m not going to have something that available to me. Same goes with chips and other high-calorie snack foods. As soon as I bring them into the house, they can work their way into our daily lives. Then it becomes a unhealthy eating habit. We will continue to have limits on how much we eat out and how much we “treat” ourself. And, we will continue to cook healthy, low-calorie meals and have low-calorie snacks at home.
5. You’re never “off”. One of the biggest mistakes people make is doing a boot camp or competition and then taking “off”. They work hard for 3 month and then they stop completely. You should never be “off” – you are either in weight loss mode or maintenance mode. While a competitor can gain a little weight in off season while they try to build muscle, the more fat they gain, the harder they have to work to get it off when they are in season. Why not try to keep your fat under control so you start your season ahead of where you started it last time.
Stop right now and make a plan of how you plan to control your weight over the holidays so you don’t start 2015 behind where you are right now. If you fail to plan, then plan to fail. Planning is key to success!
It’s not uncommon for kids to go off to college and gain weight. Parents aren’t there to buy healthy food, fast food becomes an easy quick fix for hunger, and new freedoms with less accountability typically doesn’t end very well.
I know when I moved out, Ramon Noodles were a staple food in my apartment. Luckily, I worked out and ran so I also was aware of eating healthier than most.
If you have a kid or friend in college, here are some helpful ways to encourage healthy habits – and if YOU are the college kid, I have tips for you too. First the parents…
10 Tips for Parents
2. Purchase some Protein Powder so they can supplement if they are not getting enough protein from whole foods.
3. Send an occasional gift card to a fast food place that is a healthier option, like a Sub or Salad shop vs McDonalds, instead of just sending money.
4. Ask them what they ate today. Accountability is a powerful thing. If they know you are going to ask them how they are eating, they may make better choices when ordering food.
5. Help them grocery shop. Some college kids have never seriously grocery shopped. They may have gone for a few items, but they may need your pointers on how to shop smart. Teach them what to shop for and what to look at (calories, prices, etc).
6. Teach them how to manage their money. If they can’t manage their money, they won’t be able to replenish food with healthy choices. Instead, they’ll turn to cheap options.
7. Don’t just hand out money like it’s going out of style. Kids would often rather go spend money on partying or new clothes than spend it on healthy food. Give your college kid a gift card to their neighborhood grocery store so they aren’t tempted to spend it on frivolous things.
8. Track their activity and sleep with the UP band by jawbone. This is a great way to see how active they are – and how much sleep they are getting. Anyone who joins your “team” (a group of friends and family using the UP band) can see each other’s activity.
9. Set some healthy rules. Even if your kid is all grown up, if you are paying for college, there should be some rules. Whether it’s a maintaining certain GPA, or a budget, accountability is important – especially when someone is on their own for the first time. While they may be in college now, they have zero experience being an adult. Your years of experience can save your child from making unnecessary mistakes.
10. Reward you college kid with things that support a healthy lifestyle. Clothes and money are great, but what about rewarding your child with personal training, a membership to a yoga studio, new running shoes, box of protein bars, fruit basket or small workout accessories like a gym bag, iphone arm band, etc. The healthier your kid is, the better he or she will perform in school – and the more confidence he or she will have on campus.
Ok, so YOU are the student and you want to know what you can do to not be another statistic of one more college kid that gets fat at college?
10 Healthy Tips for College Kids
1. Burn if off. If you admit you eat poorly, or you just eat too much, make the time to burn it off. It doesn’t require a lot of money to go for a power walk or jog. It will help you relieve stress, as well as keep you in good shape.
2. Go to the gym. If you have a school gym, USE IT! You will meet like-minded people there who can help support your goals.
3. Party, but don’t always drink. Most kids don’t want to feel like they are missing out so they hit every party they can. I’m not saying you can’t go have fun and socialize, but you don’t have to consume loads of alcohol calories every single time you go out. NOTE: Most people feel better holding a something (like a drink) when meeting people and are in new surroundings. Like a baby has a pacifier, have a go-to drink option that pacifies you, like a really cool water bottle or your favorite seltzer water.
5. Snack, Snack and Snack some more! The college life is a fast paced life. You are on the go a lot and if you aren’t prepared, you’ll end up STARVING and making poor choices. To avoid temporary hunger retardation (when you get so hungry you make really dumb mistakes), always keep snacks close, like almonds, protein bars, fruit, low-fat cheese sticks and greek yogurt.
6. Trade going to the club, for going to the fitness club. Gyms can be a great place to socialize and hang out. It’s a lot healthier than going to bars. If you don’t hesitate to pay a cover fee at a night club, then you shouldn’t hesitate to pay a day fee at a local gym. Trying different gyms around town can not only be fun, but it can help you learn what gym you like most (and which one has the cutest boys). Hey, don’t laugh, I may be old, but I still remember what it was like to be college age!
7. Stay active. It will be tempting to sleep the weekends away, but it’s super important to stay in some kind of healthy routine. While sleep is also important (and if you need it, of course catch up on it!) however, sleeping until 1pm and lazying around the apartment isn’t smart either. Make plans to go to the beach, go to the pool or play a game of ultimate frisbee or volley ball. The more you stay cooped up in the house, the more tempted you are to eat – as well as hide your growing belly. NOTE: The more you are in a bikini, the more likely you are to be careful what to eat. And, if you are in a northern college where it’s cooler, you can still stay active and accountable in other ways.
8. Weigh yourself. Out of site, often leads to out of mind. If you have a healthy outlook on your weight, weighing yourself can help you catch weight gain before it’s too late. Otherwise, you may just think you are a bad laundry person and shrinking all your clothes. 🙂 Sometimes seeing your weight in big digital numbers is enough to keep you on track.
9. Eat smaller portions. If you are on a broke college girl (or boy) budget, and all you eat is fast food, at least eat less of it. Divide meals in half and stretch each meal out. Not only will you feel better, but your money will go further too.
10. Get good sleep. College kids are often sleep deprived – normally just because kids would rather party, they have full schedules, or they just don’t manage time well. Force yourself to go to bed early when you can. If you can’t fall asleep, try taking Sleepy Time tea to help you get tired so you can get the rest your body and mind needs.
Every where we go we are inundated with weight loss commercials, diets, exercise gimmicks, workout fads and commercials for healthy food. Just by all the commercials alone, it is clear everyone knows America has a weight issue.
149 million Americans are overweight or obese. We suffer $208 billion in lost productivity and $46 billion in direct medical costs as a result of our weight issue. One out of three youth are overweight, and one out of six is obese. And, if a parent is overweight, their child has a startling 70% chance of being overweight or obese too. So, it would only make since that anyone who wants to make money would jump on the weight loss bandwagon to sell us something to fix our problem.
So how do diet and fitness brands try to grab our attention? They don’t attempt to hook us by listing health risks or obesity facts. No, they capture our attention with six-pack abs and hot fit bodies. Why? Because our outer body is more tangible and real to us. It’s what we see. But what about what we cannot see?
Rolls of fat are bothersome, and tight jeans are frustrating. Our outer layer of fat speaks to us every day. It stares us in the face and screams at us constantly – but what if your organs, blood and bones could talk to you and explaim how your weight affects them?
This picture (posted above) is a look inside the body of a person who is overweight vs a person at a healthy weight. Look at how crowded the overweight person’s organs are. Look at how the body fat shifts their joints out of whack and changes their posture.
Let Me Hear Your Body Talk
If your body could talk, your heart may ask you for a much-needed break, and complain about how hard and fast it’s been beating. Your lungs may tell you how cramped they are and how badly they would like to expand more so you could perform better. Your bones may cry for relief from carrying such large loads day in and day out. Your blood might be too busy yelling at your artery walls to even have time to complain to you about your cholesterol issues. Each blood drop is probably yelling “pardon me, coming through, make a way” because of all the build up it has to dodge or squeeze through every second of the day.
We take life for granted. It’s not that we forget the fact we are alive, but we neglect to realize all the work it takes to keep us alive. We have such high expectations for our body. We expect our body to perform well even when we treat it like crap. We act surprised when we have health issues when, if our body could talk, it’s probably been struggling for years.
Sure, weight loss looks great, but we can’t forget about how much better weight loss looks on the inside too. Don’t you think your body deserves a break – and maybe even a little pampering? It’s been working so hard all these years. Let’s take good care of it, so it can continue taking good care of you.
Today’s Fitness Motivation:
Every Christmas Steve and I allow ourselves to go off our diet for a period of time and indulge in some of our favorite Holiday treats. And, every year, I wake up the day after Christmas surprised at my growing belly. Why I’m surprised, I have no clue. I ate enough to kill someone and deserve to look 4 months pregnant. Ha! But, now it’s time to get after it and get back to a healthy routine of working out more regularly and eating healthy SMALL portions again.
Here is a vlog I did the day after Christmas last year. All the feelings and tips are just as applicable today, so I thought I’d share them with you once again. 🙂
Let’s make 2013 the BEST YEAR YET!
As I sit here on the computer wearing some of my “bigger” jeans, I think about the reality of my expanding waistline. After taking a break from dieting, I have to admit I’ve enjoyed cheating and the extras – but that extra junk adds up to a lot of extra junk in the trunk.
Tomorrow is Christmas Day, and the last real excuse to indulge with family and loved ones. You have 2 choices. You can stop the eating frenzy the day after Christmas, or you can do like many people, and wait until after the New Year.
It’s easy to talk yourself out of exercise and eating healthy again when you think about the fact you probably still have parties to attend and New Year’s festivities to enjoy, but don’t be tempted to let those excuses get in the way of trying. If you’ve fallen off the wagon, don’t just lay there on the side of the road and watch your ride to success leave you behind. Get back on, and ride it as long as you can hold on. If you fall off again, at least you are doing better than you were if you didn’t do anything at all.
It’s easy to just quit dieting and working out during the Holiday – but don’t give in. What you do over the Holidays will soon be in the past. Now is the time to plan how you will get back on that wagon and start heading to your goal. Like I always say, it’s not how many times you fall, it’s how fast you get back up that really counts.
How fast will you jump back in your routine this Christmas?
Like Britney said, “Oops, I did it again“. I bet she didn’t think those lyrics would be headline news every time she made a mistake when she wrote that song. Although we may not all fall as publicly as her – we all fall and we all have to get back up again.
I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up (yet)
We’ve all done it. We gorge ourselves with junk. We cheat on our diet – or completely go off of it all together! We stuff ourselves so full that we walk away from the table completely disgusted with ourselves, only to do it again a few hours later.
Are we mentally retarded? Nope, we are human. We like food and we hate discipline. But sooner or later, there comes the time to say goodbye to poor eating and to start fresh and erase your “sins”.
Ironically, we can go weeks, and even months, spending more time regretting the damage than we do on repairing it. Quit beating yourself up. You did it. It’s over. That’s so 3 seconds ago! It’s time to move on!
Quit fretting about how fat you feel. Quit rehashing your mistakes. Instead, focus on your plan and focus on fixing what you messed up. Honestly, this is a simple fix – you just have to erase the calories.
Here’s the facts: You ate more calories than you burned so you gained weight. Now you just have to burn more calories than you eat to erase it. It’s literally that simple – checks and balances.
Get on Solid Ground
We all trip up. The actual fall (or the embarrassment of falling) and the getting up part is the hardest part. Once you get up, standing is easy – as long as you are on solid ground. Get your footing and plant yourself in a healthy environment.
Quitting regretting and start repairing!
Monday’s Motivational Mantra:
Exercise of the Day: Turkish Get Ups