This post is all about the glorious goal of maintenance.
You can’t be in fat loss mode indefinitely.
MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY….YOU CAN’T.
We have all known people who seem to be dieting 24/7, 365 days a year.
Lengthy diets that extend more than 3-4 months in duration run the risk of causing both mental and physical side effects such as:
-Increased fatigue & decreased motivation
-Decrease in training intensity/performance
-Increased likelihood of injury
-Increased hunger and cravings
Attempting to be in a caloric deficit for an extremely long time will cause a decrease in metabolic rate which then results in the need to drop calories lower (or increase your activity level even higher) in order to keep progressing. UGH. WOOOF THE WORST.
For every 8-16 weeks of dieting, a maintenance phase (slowly increasing your overall caloric intake so that you are at a point where you are neither gaining or losing weight) for 1-3 months can help give your MIND AND BODY a well deserved break from dieting and set you up for continued success on the route to your goals.
In my humble opinion just because we are all real people, not physique competitors, taking your rest calories up 100-200 calories your first week after your done cycling your calories is all you need to do.
Once you have spent 12 quality weeks in a deficit you can lose the accelerated fat loss days and slowly increased your rest day calories by 100-200.
Take it slow and again continue to practice patience. My goal is to not have you so far down the “diet rabbit hole” that you end up bingeing.
I want you to achieve and maintain your results. This takes PATIENCE AND TIME.
So you ask…What the fuck does maintenance mean for me?
Once you have completed 12-16 weeks of your cycling numbers you should switch over to maintenance mode. Being in fat-loss mode for longer than this has more risk than benefit. I don’t want your body to say FUCK YOU and then as a result you end up bingeing and inevitably losing the progress that you have made in the program.
Having a plan for “after the plan” is critical.
Say you have your 3 high strength days, your rest days and your 1-2 accelerated days.
To switch over into maintenance mode:
#1 eliminate the accelerated days for the first week of maintenance.
#2 try increasing your rest day calories by 100 calories for 2 weeks, (keeping strength day numbers the same).
Monitor your weight during this time.
#3 After the 2 weeks (if you haven’t gained weight) try increasing your rest day calories by another 100 calories.
I want you guys getting to enjoy food as much as possible while maintaining your weight.
#4 As you can see this requires patience…but I told you that on day one.
My goal for all of you is to be able to maintain your leanness by eating as many calories as possible. There is ONE caveat here. I tend to recommend getting to a lower goal weight sometimes because when you reintroduce higher calories some of them are inevitably carbs (carbs retain more water) and scale weight may go up a few lbs, BUT clothing size and visually, you remain the same. #MINDFUCK
Here is a maintenance plan from Lauren, last year when she went into maintenance mode.
“I am going to spend another 6-7 weeks in fat loss mode, continuing the cycling Stacey has outlined (which has been fucking amazing… to date I’ve lost 15lbs and multiple inches)
I am then going to enter maintenance mode by eliminating my accelerated days (replacing with “rest” days) and adding 100 calories to my rest day number. I’m going to stick with my 1 high day on a strength day and evaluate the progress for about 3-4 weeks and then adjust as necessary. If I’m still in a downward trend on the scale after that period I’ll add another 50-100 calories to my new rest day number until I’m at a point where my weight stays relatively the same.”