Maintenance is when you have moved from a negative or surplus calorie zone into a neutral zone. In other words, you aren’t gaining or losing on any large or noticeable scale – you are at maintenance. Technically it isn’t possible to always land at “zero” in the surplus/negative scale. Still, no noticeable budge in either direction within a few weeks span of time is a good indication of the fact that you are in maintenance.
The last sentence I wrote is extremely important to because there are a lot of people who feel they are working very hard towards their goals (fat loss or muscle gain) but are not seeing any change. For whatever reason (be it mistake in expenditure/intake or metabolic adaptation) this means you are at maintenance. This means you can’t rationalize your efforts or lie to yourself about your results. This is one of the most important things you can read about your body composition and can save you a lot of heartache.
You Are Either In or You Are Out
I say this all the time to my clients, friends, and forum members. Don’t f**k around. You are either in maintenance or you aren’t. Playing these games with yourself only leads to you feeling like you live a life of dieting frustration. All you are really doing is lying to yourself and doing your mind and body harm.
If you really are “dieting” down the whole time, all you have done is cause a metabolic adaptation. You are just avoiding the inevitable refeed that needs to take place. If you just think you are dieting down, you are just making it harder on yourself and creating a mental frustration that leaves you jaded. The same is true for gaining muscle mass.
Don’t Create Negative Cognitive Patterns
When you constantly tell yourself you are working towards a goal and you constantly “fail” at that goal, you create a negative cognitive pattern. What you are telling yourself, over and over again, is “I can’t do this.” What you are telling yourself is “I fail at this.” The more you do this – the more you “try” and fail – the harder you make it on yourself. The mind believes very clearly when it can’t do something, no matter how it got to believing it.
Think of when you tried to achieve a physical feat and failed. Take a simple game of Red Rover. The rules of the game are simple. A line of people with their arms connected are standing in front of you. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to run as hard as you can to the weakest link and bust through. “Red Rover, Red Rover send YOU on over!” Like a bolting car you run over with all your might towards the arms of your competition. You reach your destination only to be slammed on the ground by defeat of two tightly joined arms.
How do you react the next time you attempt to achieve it? How do you feel now that you have landed flat on your back towards the ground in vicious defeat? You are more cautious and less trusting of yourself. You may hesitate with the speed you run. You may believe because you failed to break through one set of arms, you will fail to do so again. Some people will rise to the challenge and others will quit the game. Be it Red Rover or a diet, the more it doesn’t work out for you, the more you are trained to believe it will never work.
Retraining The Bad Pattern
Chances are you have already created the negative pattern in your mind. Chances are, you already don’t believe in yourself or the fact that dieting can work. Don’t worry, there is still plenty of time to retrain this pattern and the course of your thought process. To help, I have provided these simple steps to follow in order to achieve your goal.
Step 1 – Face The Harsh Truth
I don’t care if you write a letter, leave a comment, start a log in the forums, call your mother, or shout it in the middle of the street. You need to be honest about everything. Your lies to yourself, your victories (small or large), and your justifying. Live in the reality of what you have created for yourself. No shame, no drama, just honesty.
Step 2 – Wipe The Slate Clean
Once you understand your past – leave it there. What is done is done. You need to wipe the slate clean and give yourself a ticket to ride towards a new life.
Step 3 – Set Up A Program For Yourself
It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t even have to be new. What it does need to be is realistic. Take into account the intensity of your goals and what you feel best serves your outlook. If you need any pre-made programs you can check out the Fat Loss Troubleshoot or the members for the Lean Being Programs.
Step 4 – Accept That Results Will Happen When you Do the Right Things
Leave it at that.
Step 5 – Constantly Set New Goals
One goal doesn’t help anything. Ending goals means ending motivation for life. What is the point of living in this world if not to work towards something or to create better (whatever that means to you). Constantly set and challenge yourself to new goals be it in weight or the game of life.
Step 6 – Accept Maintenance For What It Is
No one is perfect because that would be boring. We are all changing, affected, human, and emotional. If you have an off day – so be it. Just acknowledge it for what it is. Sometimes maintenance is for a day and sometimes it is for months. Just see it for what it is. Enjoy your time off when you have it and be proud of the hard work you do. Acknowledge that not eating over and staying in the middle is a victory all own it’s own.
Celebrate the victory of maintenance because in maintenance you truly learn to have control over your own life.
Before starting any new diet and exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise and/or diet changes with them before beginning. I am not a doctor or registered dietitian. I do not claim to cure any cause, condition or disease. I do not provide medical aid or nutrition for the purpose of health or disease and claim to be a doctor or dietitian. This is merely an opinion blog. Read full disclaimer here - http://www.leighpeele.com/disclaimer