So here’s the thing…
I have weight loss down to an art form. I know exactly how many calories I need to eat and how many workouts I need to do to lose about half a pound per week without ever feeling hungry or run down.
I’m even better at gaining weight. Last summer, when I was trying to build muscle, the whole eating more calories than I needed part of the equation was almost effortless. I basically ate whatever I wanted and, poof, weight gain!
But weight maintenance? That’s a whole different ball game. I suck at maintenance.
The problem is motivation. When trying to lose fat or build muscle, I had an actual goal in mind and I could see physical changes along the way that motivated me to continue with my fitness and diet plan. Maintenance, however, is boring – you don’t get any measurable or visible results but you still have to put in the effort.
So the first thing I need to do is change my view of maintenance. Rather than see it as some tedious struggle to stay the same, I’m going to view it as an opportunity to achieve optimal health. As it stands, I generally have a lot of energy, both in my day-to-day activities and my workouts, but imagine how much better I could feel and perform if I added a few extra hundred calories of quality food to my daily diet?
With this new objective in mind (even if it is kind of vague), I’m aiming to eat an average of 1900-2000 calories per day. I say “average” because I know there will be days when I go under or over that amount and I don’t want to stress about it. But I do need to continue tracking my daily intake to ensure I’m at least within a few hundred calories of my target. The goal is not to go below 1600 or above 2300 calories on any given day. I’ll try this method out for a month and if I maintain my weight, great. If I gain or lose, I’ll re-adjust. Consider this a science experiment.
So here’s my maintenance meal plan for yesterday:
Peanut butter and banana slices on P28 toast and a glass of skim milk (360 calories)
Apple slices and almond butter (160 calories) + morning coffee (15 calories)
Beef and vegetable stir fry with brown rice (410 calories)
Greek yogurt and granola (160 calories) + afternoon coffee (15 calories)
Moroccan stewed chicken (360 calories)
P28 bagel with jam (300 calories)
I have to admit, I felt irrationally guilty eating so many calories so late at night, but without them, I would have fallen way short of my daily target. Besides, I did an intense BodyPump class after dinner and needed that extra protein for muscle repair. We’ll see if the extra post-workout cals speed up my post-Pump recovery tomorrow (I’m usually pretty sore the day after Pump).
Total = 1780 calories
Do you struggle with weight maintenance? How do you stay motivated?