The fact is that all diets ‘work’, if one puts their body in a caloric deficit, then weight will be lost. However, not all diets are created equal and not all yield healthy results. One could lose plenty of weight over a period of time but is that really the goal? To lose weight could include muscle mass and not providing your body with enough nutrients to sustain itself. Thus, the goal shouldn’t be a gross number of weight to lose, rather, focus on losing fat in a healthy and manageable way. It is quiet easy to lose fat quickly when you have to right plan and tools at your disposal but how does one keep it off?
What happens after the diet is something that anyone who has put in months of work knows can be a problem. You get on a diet, lose the fat, feel great, and then it starts slipping away and you often end up in the exact same spot you were in when you started the process. The problem then is not diet but what you do after you finish it. When you diet or you get on a weight loss plan, you follow certain rules, there are foods you can eat and others not, there is an exercise program to follow and a set schedule in which it is all done. When that diet ends because you achieved your goal, or because the event you wanted to look better for has come and gone or because the summer ended… those bad eating habits start to creep up once again and the weight and fat storage begin to increase. Gradually you go back to old habits, the same ones which made you seek the change in the first place and sometimes you get even heavier than you had been.
How to Keep the Fat Off for Good?
Learn how to stay in maintenance. Just as you subtracted calories to lose fat, you can add back calories to pull yourself from a caloric deficit and have a relatively equal amount of calories in versus calories out and thus maintain the same weight. Now, you may have gotten really ripped or just quite lean for a vacation or something and not want to stay the same size year round. It can be really tough and not even healthy at times to maintain too low of a body fat percentage for long stretches of time. So, learn to let go of the grip of your strict diet but don’t let it get out of hand either.
For instance, I may bump up my cardio workouts to six days per week for a short duration to get extra lean and then as I head into winter, drop that down to 3 days per week with lower intensity. I of course have to account for the fewer calories I am burning off and cannot just add a bunch of calories back into my diet without considering the impact the lower workload will have on my body composition. Maintenance is fairly easy to stick to when you can keep track of your calories and figure out what the threshold is before you start getting back into dangerous weight gain territory. It can take some experimentation but you can find the right daily calorie amount for your own body and fitness plan.
A good diet easily becomes a good habit. That’s why crash diets are so miserable, as no one can sustain them because they are so damn unhealthy and unpleasant. If you get on a weight loss plan that is not as strict but keeps the same core concepts, you find that it is not so difficult to keep up with a plan. Being fit and being healthy are things that remain throughout life. The sooner you understand that exercise should accompany you throughout your life and that good nutrition is something that can always be improved upon then you will find that keeping the weight down is a breeze. Plus, you can always include cheat meals every now and then to help indulge a craving. From there, you just need to tighten back up for the beach season or when you’re getting a little too plump.
Don’t be afraid of the scale after your diet is done. Actually, your diet is never done, just the caloric deficit, but once you have completed your cut utilize the scale to keep track of whether things are spiraling out of control once again. It doesn’t have to be a daily occurrence but once or twice a week, after you wake up will suffice. Weight fluctuates throughout the day but an extra 10-15 pounds for no reason is not apart of these small fluctuations. Commit to making healthy habits a lifestyle. Decide that you don’t want to return to being overweight and out of shape. What sense does it make to break old habits to have them return and make you feel bad about yourself? Forget about your old life and start living like you really want. In short, it’s as simple as that.