So you have reached your target size and weight after months of reduced portions and working out. You have even shopped and changed your wardrobe, that old pair of jeans finally fits and your self confidence is on an all time high (those compliments don’t hurt do they?). But, what is the way forward now?
This is actually the tricky part. You obviously can’t stay on the weight loss program forever it’s not healthy to be underweight. Maintaining weight loss is quite easy, although not as easy as putting it all back on but it’s definitely easier than having to lose it all again so pay attention!
This is the time for introducing some foods that were not allowed on the weight loss program. If you went the high protein route, now is the time to start introducing some carbohydrates. People have labeled carbs the enemy, but in truth, it is the easiest way for your body to get energy. So, carbs are in, however, you have to find the balance that works for you.
Everyone’s body and metabolism is different, some people are designed to eat less frequently than others. Find what works for you. If your metabolism is slow, you should try eating frequently, your regular 3 meals and then add 3 snacks to the equation, a fruit or vegetable here and there. Don’t worry, you won’t put on weight because of this, your portion size will actually reduce because you will not be very hungry and so, you won’t over eat. It will also allow you to be more deliberate with your food choices. Think of it as refueling.
If you are one of those who can go the whole day with only one meal, try to have that meal during the day and not at night, so your body can use it for fuel.
Another thing is measuring your food, on your plate, your carbs shouldn’t be more than 2 level scoops of your hand (don’t write it off before trying it!), your vegetable should make the bulk of your meal with 1 palm size for your proteins- so no over loading with “Orisirishi”.
A great thing about this stage (apart from the new waist line) is that “treats” are also allowed, I’m of the school of thought that a large part of life is about enjoyment and food can be a pleasure to be enjoyed. However, it is so easy to go overboard. Self control is paramount! A treat is a treat because it is enjoyed occasionally. A soft drink a day is not a treat. A soft drink a week or every two weeks, is a treat. So you get to savor the moment.
An easy way to find a balance is to apply the 80/20 principle to your eating style. For 80% of your week or month you eat healthy and sensibly and the remaining 20% of the week or month, you can have your treats. This can include anything from chocolates, ice cream etc.
This principle can also be occasionally applied to your day as well, 80% of the day you eat sensibly and 20% of your meal can be a treat- this could be a fried fish, half a bottle of soft drink. Moderation and self control is very key. (Set boundaries).
You should still keep up with your workouts. Your intensity level should remain the same. As your food intake has increased, it will be burnt off as you workout so nothing is stored by your body. In fact, it should increase as you get stronger so. Go ahead and step it up! Try new activities to keep yourself challenged.
Continue to drink plenty of water and plenty of vegetable. And of course, enjoy the new you.
Love your body… firstname.lastname@example.org