The Real Weight Loss Struggle: MAINTENANCE

Posted on 30-May-2016 by Kripa Jalan

The Real Weight Loss Struggle: MAINTENANCE

Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral or fattening. In other words Murphy’s law. Losing weight isn’t even half the battle. The real struggle begins with maintaining it. You’ve done it, you’ve lost weight. You’ve made the necessary compromises and engaged in months of “eating clean” and “training dirty”. It was hard work, you’ve levelled up so take a minute and pat yourself on your back. You have every right to gloat. But now that you’ve hit your first milestone, what in the world should you do?

Should you keep trying to lose more weight?

Should you continue with the same exercise pattern?

Should you continue to eliminate the “villainous” foods?

Should you return to your normal eating habits?

So it’s safe to say you’ve been hit by a wave of questions. You’re standing at the crossroad and you don’t know which way to go. In most cases, we tend to trot down the easiest route. I mean we’ve lost weight, right? That leaves us room to put it right back on. We feel a constant need to reward ourselves. After all, we have been extremely good. However, that one piece of chocolate turns into three, then six then probably a whole bar. A rare cheat meal turns into consecutive cheat days. We feel guilty and our nutrition goes for a toss, we stop thinking about what we should be eating and the cycle continues. So we’re back to where we started.

Let’s not fall trap to this.

You must have noticed that it’s significantly easier to push yourself when working towards a goal as opposed to when you’re already at it.

In truth, you can truly never be done in terms of performance. There’s always that much faster you can run, that extra weight you can lift, those extra few seconds you can plank or even that much higher you can jump. Your body is always going to be a work in progress. Even your new and improved situation is going to be an old not-so-improved situation in a couple of months, if you keep at it. Progress doesn’t need to be big. All you need to realize is that you’re moving forward, that you are doing better than you were previously. When you see these positive changes and acknowledge these short-term wins, you’re going to want more. That’s going to keep you going. Not all addictions are evil. Rather than focusing solely on your weight/aesthetics, shift your aim onto performance. Working towards this, will give you new challenges to pursue.

Soon you’ll come to a stage where:

“I have to workout today” turns into “ I want to workout today”

“I pray I’ve lost weight” turns into “I hope I can lift more today”

“This food is going to help me lose weight” turns into “This food is going to enhance my performance.”

When you shift your focus from body image to performance you’ll witness a range of changes.

  • Strength-Our bodies adapt to the stress we subject them to. You’ll never have to ask someone to help you with your bags or pick up a heavy object for you. You’ve got this. The best part is strength training can be customized to the way you like it best. Hate the idea of doing bicep curls? Try CrossFit. Don’t like the idea of barbells? Try a resistance training program like TRX.
  • Everyday Movement- If you’re not getting better at everyday life with your workouts maybe you’re doing something wrong. Fitness doesn’t end when you walk out of the gym. Each movement is designed for a purpose. Take sitting and standing from a chair, that’s a squat. Lifting a heavy object from the ground, that’s a deadlift. You get the drift.
  • Speed- Before you dedicated this time an effort to your body it took you say about 20 minutes to run a 3k. Why not try seeing how long that takes now?
  • Endurance- Obviously you’ll see a significant improvement in your stamina. If you can run up a flight of stairs now without panting as opposed to before, you have yourself a win my friend.

Maybe you’re not convinced yet. Your goal is still body image and body image only.

I’ll keep this brief. Appearance is a direct outcome of fitness. By constantly nourishing your body with the right foods and exercise, you will get stronger, feel better and consequently look a great deal better.


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