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!
WARNING: This is a rant. It’s a helpful motivational rant, but still a rant. This comes from years of watching people try every stupid diet, try every silly fitness gadget, take every useless diet pill, hire every lame trainer and take every ridiculous short cut – when, if they did fitness the right way, they’d be super fit by now. With that said, here we go!
As a fitness professional, I have seen a lot of people try everything under the sun to avoid doing what they know works because it’s harder. We live in a world where we like to push boundaries. We want to get away with as much as possible without getting in trouble.
If you don’t think you are one of those people, then let me ask you a simple question. If the speed limit is 70, how fast do you go? I’ll be honest. I’ll go 79. Why? Because I think that’s as fast as I can go and get away with it without being pulled over.
Some police officers say they give people 10-15mph leeway on the highway and 8-10mph break in residential areas. Of course officers could give a ticket for going 4 miles over the speed limit if they wanted, but the point is most people are pushing the limits. We all do it on some level.
The same goes with fitness. People try to eat as much as they can and get away with it. They often avoid workouts they need the most (like cardio) and do the most what they need to least.
If you think you have a chance of getting fit and still having your cake and eat it too, you bet you are going to try it. The problem is, no one is barging in your house and fining you for breaking diet laws. Your “fine” is the scale – and what you see in the mirror. So really, you never get away with it.
Listen, it’s super rare someone can eat cheeseburgers and be shredded. Have I met people who are like that? Sure I have. I also know that person worked out like a FREAK and had genetics made for professional athletes. Since I know I will never workout THAT hard, I also know I shouldn’t ever eat THAT much. Plain and simple.
“Find a trainer who cares about your body more than your checkbook.”
If you have been trainer-hopping (or workout partner-hopping) trying to find someone who will tell you what you want to hear, maybe it’s time to suck it up and try a trainer who cares about your waistline more than your checkbook. (PS: I’m not soliciting – I am not taking clients.) Maybe it’s time you find someone who is willing to tell you the truth, work you out harder than you ever have, and diet like you have never dieted before whether you like it or not – BECAUSE they know no matter how much you may hate them at that moment, you will love them when you reach your goal.
It’s time to quit waisting time
Quit wasting time trying to take short cuts, trying to see how much you can get away with and still reach your goals. AND….If you are one of those people who eat crap and have abs, keep it to yourself because most people can’t do that – and your big mouth will make some poor sap think they can do it too and your bad influence will cost them success.
Do what you KNOW you NEED to do, not what you WANT to do – because if you do what you NEED to do, you will get the results you WANT to get!
I see a lot of people work SERIOUSLY hard to reach a goal. Then when they reach it, they stop all the good habits they made and revert back to their old ways. I see this in boot camp a lot. People take a 6-week boot camp program, lose body fat, gain muscle, workout on a regular basis and then when it’s over, they never step foot back in a gym ….until the next boot camp.
That’s not the way fitness works. That’s more like going to the doctor when you get sick. Fitness should not just be about improving your health, but maintaining it. There are goals, and then there should be a new set of goals. Here are Steve’s thoughts this week on what to do after the goal is met so you don’t sabotage your hard work.
Rebound: Return, bounce back, setback, backfire, move backward.
“I recently took 18 competitors from my gym, Max Fitness, to compete in the NPC Southeast Classic (picture of some of the competitors below). The goal was hitting the stage. Not winning a trophy, but using the stage to make us push harder and be our best.
The goal was made, and the goal was met! What we do now defines what we learned on our journey to accomplish our goal. In the “realm” of goal acquisition, focusing solely on the goal can be a tragedy. What I mean is, the goal is just that: “a goal” – a means to an end. How we develop, the wisdom we gain, and the way we develop along the way is the real reward for meeting our goal. Goals are not the …READ MORE
We waste a lot of time making excuses, when we could be making progress instead.
This year, quit wasting time trying to justify why you can’t workout, why you can’t eat right, why you can’t lose weight, or why it might be hard to reach your goals – because, honestly, there is someone busier, poorer, has more kids, more issues, more obstacles, and more limitations who WILL reach their goal in 2013 because they spent more time making time to do what they need to do to get the results they want, rather than making excuses to get them out of it.
How do you jump back on the right track, after a totally blowing your diet on Holiday weekends like Thanksgiving? Here are the steps we take at the Pfiester’s, to get us back in the groove.
Purge the crap. No, I’m not promoting bulimia. I’m saying get rid of the junk in your house. For example, Steve bought a pint of ice cream Friday weekend. Sunday night he said “my diet starts tomorrow. Do you want to know how serious I am?” And he proceeded to take the ice cream out of the fridge and toss it in the trash. It’s hard to eat clean when you are surrounded by junkfood. So, like Steve, if there is food in your kitchen you know is something that will tempt you, get rid of it. If you feel guilty for throwing food away, get over it. Keeping it doesn’t help solve hunger – and giving it to your friends or family is like passing along a disease. Do you really want to make someone else fat? Just get rid of it. No one needs that stuff.
Stock up. Once you purge all the crap, it’s time to replenish and do some healthy grocery shopping. Many times we eat poorly because we don’t have anything healthy handy. If you want to eat healthy, you have to shop healthy.
Prepare. After a weekend of feasting, I cooked up all our healthy food for the week. Grilled zucchini and squash, grilled fish, new potatoes, slow cooked chicken, and a whole roasted turkey is what’s on this week’s menu. Now that we’re stocked up, there’s no reason to go off plan.
Shrink the tummy. The first few days of getting back on track is all about portions. I eat several small meals and snacks, without ever filling all the way up. I also do a lot of watery, low-calorie density foods like soup, fruits, vegetables and smoothies to keep me full while reducing calories. In a matter of days, my stomach flattens back out and the smaller portions are perfect portions.
Burn it off. After falling off the wagon, I not only get back to my routine but I do double duty. I do 2 cardios a day to help boost my turn around. It helps erase my mistakes and gets my head back in the game.
Count calories. Even though I know what to eat, I always go back to tracking calories (I use the Lose It app) after going off my regular routine. It helps me stay focused, as well as get results quickly. Without calorie counting, my bounce back is normally slower and I’m not as strict. Accountability is key – and nailing the diet is essential to success.
Stick with it. To prevent going off my diet too soon, I stick with a plan and set goals for how long I will stick to my routine. Consistency is key, so I don’t let myself cheat until I’ve either fulfilled the time, or hit my goal (which is normally a goal weight).
Diet Tip of the Week: Calorie Density
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Some people avoid the scale at all cost – especially when they are heavy. It’s kinda like testing yourself in an area you know you are weak in. If you struggle with your weight, most likely, you don’t want to be reminded of how heavy you’ve gotten. However, just because you don’t know your weight doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist – so running from the truth really isn’t the answer in my opinion.
Whether you already jump on the scale or not, here are a few tips to making sure your weigh-ins are effective and helping you move toward your goal.
1. Weigh weekly for more accountability. If you are prone to getting complacent or comfortable at a weight that’s not quite your ideal weight, then weighing yourself can remind you you still have progress to make so you don’t backslide.
2. Weigh on Mondays. Weighing in after the weekend, whether you want to see what the scale says or not, can help you fight the temptation to cheat during the time most people eat the worst, as well as be forced to deal with the repercussions of poor choices we often choose to forget and ignore.
3. Weighing daily can keep you focused. Although our body weight can fluctuate with water retention and intestinal weight, sometimes a false gain can fuel us to push further or not relax on the way to our goal. This is ideal for people who start feeling better and more confident at their lower weight, and are tempted to compromise, and slack a little, before they reach their goal.
4. Weighing monthly tracks progress. Although weighing daily or weekly can help you stay focused and accountable, weighing monthly is the ultimate test. If the scale isn’t moving significantly (minimal of 4-5lbs a month but ideally 8-10lbs a month), then you must respond with an action plan. If you don’t make changes, the scale will not make changes.
5. The scale exposes the truth. How many times have you heard someone say “I know I’m losing weight because my clothes are fitting better”. Although this should happen, and it does time and time again, don’t be that person who uses that as an excuse while the scale doesn’t budge. Although you can gain muscle and lose body fat, eventually weight loss should show up on the scale – and if it doesn’t, you are doing something wrong.
6. The scale requires honesty. First, you need to be honest with yourself and how you will deal with regular weigh-ins. Some people cannot handle the pressure. For some, it discourages them – but is it discouraging because it’s forcing you to face the facts, or is it discouraging because you have unrealistic expectations – or battle with a more serious issue, like a medical disorder? Some people say weighing regularly messes with their mind. Maybe you need your mind messed with, especially if you’ve been running from your weight problem. You can’t make the decision to weigh, or not to weigh, without complete honesty of what is best for you. We are all different and one person’s opinion is not applicable to all people.
7. Weigh purposefully, and only once a day. Don’t jump on the scale every chance you get. Often times people are tempted to get on the scale (out of curiosity) just after they ate a meal or during that time of the month. Duh?! Don’t torture yourself like that. Set boundaries and stick to them. Typically a good rule of thumb is to weigh in the morning, after using the restroom, naked and dry (not after a shower with wet hair). Remember, if you don’t like what the scale says on weigh-in days, because of our body’s tendency to fluctuate naturally, what matters most is what it will say at the end of the month.
8. Have clear and defined goals. Don’t weigh yourself unless you have a very clear objective. Whether you are weighing to prevent weight gain and maintain your weight, or you are weighing to track weight loss. Know your goal and stick to it.
Motivational Mantra to match today’s topic thanks to SinkYourBattleships:
“Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Paper!” This is one of Steve’s favorite things to say during BCx Boot Camp. Meaning – don’t look at what everyone else is doing, just worry about yourself.
Boy, I wish we could get this through our THICK skulls!! How easy is if for us to look at someone else and think “they are so much better”, “they are faster”, “they are skinnier”, “they are stronger”, “they don’t have kids”, “they don’t have 3 jobs”, “they don’t have a bum knee”, “they’ve never been overweight”, “they don’t understand”, “they are young”, “they have a high metabolism”….and the list goes on!
SO WHAT! “They” aren’t YOUR problem – YOU are. If you focus on everyone else, you are setting yourself up for failure. If you focus on what YOU can do, then you can make some serious progress. Read the rest of this entry