CALORIE MAINTENANCE - HOW TO MAINTAIN A STABLE WEIGHT
How awesome would it be, if you were able to eat as much as you wanted, wouldn't it?
Well, wat if I told you, that you easily can enjoy a weekend with a hotel-buffet or a piece of cake witt he afternoon coffee, without gaining weight on the long term?
This is where our calorie maintenance plays a role.
The truth is that we are social beings, and we like hanging around other people. 9 out of 10 times, those social gatherings have some kind of food or snack involved. I believe that a fitness lifestyle should also be able to be combined with your everyday social events.
I hope this article can teach you, how to structure those days where calories are overshot.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE EXTRA CALORIES
If you've been following me in my instagram, you'll know that you should NEVER feel bad about yourself or your body if you have had an evening enjoying the buffet a bit too much. Instead, you should take advantage of the extra food (and therefore extra energy) you have in your system, to get a kick ass workout in the day after.
Beat your PB's, run a little longer, jump a little higher, lift a little heavier.
It is a lot more fun being high on endorphins from a great workout, than to be sad from one of yesterday's decisions, you can't undo anyway.
CaLORIES IN VS
Whether you lose weight or not is all about your calories in (food) vs calories out (energy output). So it is probably no surprise to you, that you will maintain your weight if you eat the same amount as you burn. Unfortunately a lot of people make the mistake of only looking at their calories for that given day. Instead I want you to think about your average calories over a few days, a week or a month.
Lets take a look at this example:
Susan's trainer has told her, that her calorie maintenance is 1.800 cals. This means that she over the course of a week should consume 12.600 cals (1.800 x 7). However, one day Susan went 300 cals overboard, but she's not worried, because she knows, that she can simply eat 300 cals less the next day (or even better 150 cals less the next 2 days) - this way she'll still hit the 12.600 cals when the week is over.
The only situation where this isn't possible is if you've gone 1.000 - 2.000 cals over. Here Susan would have to cut it from the next 2 weeks. Her trainer has told her, that if she totally under eats the next day, it will only lead to her binging at night or the next day and again under eat the following day. She will have entered a vicious cycle of binge eating and restricting.
EAT LESS CALORIES ON AVERAGE
Generally I actually recommend most of my clients, to eat a tiny bit less (note, that I'm saying a tiny bit) than your calorie maintenance most days. Check out the picture below. By doing this you give more room, if something unexpected should come up you can't say no to, or you want to enjoy a couple of drinks on the weekend.
Back to Susan: Her trainer has told her to take advantage of days where she is 'busy' - working, taking the kids to school, cleaning the flat, meeting a friend etc. This keeps her on her maintenance calories because she often has big event's on the weekends, where she's in no control of what she eats. And again, her trainer makes sure that she keeps it sensible and doesn't totally under eat or totally over eat.
She also makes sure that her protein intake is high in the weekdays when she's cooking her own food.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU STICK TO MAINTENANCE?
If you on average eat at your maintenance level you can't allow yourself to go overboard. This will mean that you will gain weight slowly (NOT just from 1 single weekend, but if you do it regularly. You should also note, that it is possible to gain weight as muscle instead of fat). Take a look at the picture below
Please note, that I don't know what your calorie maintenance is without knowing more about you and your body. The calories I have given above is only an example. If you want to know your calorie maintenance I suggest starting either personal training or online coaching with me.
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