A Lesson on Maintenance

under-maintenanceYa’ll….I have been in “maintenance mode” for 6 weeks now and you know what? It’s working! I don’t remember the last time I ate this many calories on purpose for such a long period of time. It’s awesome. The feeling of being full after every meal feels so good! And I haven’t gained any weight! I haven’t lost any either…but that’s the freakin’ point! I honestly was just kind of stuck in a rut and didn’t know what my goals should be at the time and then I became an LBC client and that decision was lifted off my shoulders. It has been absolutely wonderful not having to worry about my own diet and training.

If you are feeling similarly to how I was (stuck in a rut, tired, not seeing progress), bring those calories on up! Your body needs a break. It’s not meant to be in a deficit for so long and it’s just generally not healthy. You’re not going to progress that way! From someone who was afraid to raise their calories to someone else who might be afraid to raise their calories, just do it. Do yourself a favor. Enjoy the influx of food. Enjoy different varieties of food. And enjoy the strength gains, awesome pumps, and renewed energy!

From my experience, here are some tips on going into maintenance mode. Hopefully these will help some of you guys out.

1. What should you set your calories at? If you have no idea what your maintenance calories are, a general rule of thumb (if you’re relatively active) is to take your current weight x 15 and that number will be your starting calorie level.  When I first started eating this way my belly was a little bloated from all the food, but that subsided. No, my abs aren’t chiseled at the moment but I’m killing my workouts and feeling really strong and healthy right now. It’s important to keep your calories at that level for a while to let your body reset. I can tell that my body is “resetting” itself now because I’m still hungry after my hyoooge meals. When I first started eating this way I was stuffed after each meal, but then my body adjusted and I started getting hungrier between meals. You know what happened then? My coach upped my calories a little more! Ha!

2. Should you raise them all at once or go slow? If you’re a little scared about increasing your calories you can raise them slowly, but I just dived in and raised them in one go and didn’t balloon up. Now, I think if you’ve been eating very very very few calories for a very very very long period of time coupled with a lot of training and cardio, you might want to increase your calories much slower because your metabolism will be so slow that it just won’t be able to burn up the extra calories you’re feeding it. You’ll gradually need to stoke it by slowly increasing your calories week by week. But that’s just my 2 cents. My calories weren’t THAT low to begin with, so I didn’t have to make such a big jump and my metabolism caught up quickly. (Hallelujah!)

3. You CAN’T go crazy and eat anything and everything in plain sight. One thing to note about a maintenance phase is that it CAN be almost as hard as a fat loss phase. I told my husband one day that I was about to start my fat loss diet and he asked me “I thought you were already dieting!?” Just like in a fat loss phase, I’ve been very diligent about measuring and weighing out my foods and following a pretty regimented diet. Yes, you can be a little more lenient about having a treat here and there than you can be during a fat loss diet, but if you go too overboard you might start gaining weight. Weighing yourself regularly (that is, if it doesn’t freak you out) can help you keep it all in check. I don’t care WHAT the number on the scale is, I just don’t necessarily want it to fluctuate too much if that’s not my goal.

Like I said, I’m about to start my fat loss phase and I know it’s going to be a challenge, but I’m hoping that because I’ve been here at maintenance for a while my metabolism just might be primed and ready for it. We’ll see!

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