So you’ve achieved the body you desire, but now how will you maintain it?
Many people mistakenly avoid considering what to do after they stop dieting, despite this arguably being more important than the diet itself. Thus, it will be up to you to create methods to maintain your new body in ways that are sustainable and allow you to actually enjoy your new fitness.
In this article, I’ll touch on four of my favorite ideas and researched techniques for creating a sustainable lifestyle that allows you to maintain the level of fitness you have achieved and naturally now desire to keep.
Build A Routine
The first step in creating a sustainable, healthy lifestyle is to begin building a routine of exercising and monitoring your nutrition. The reason for this is because, in my opinion, the number one determinant of success and sustainability is to be consistent in your practice.
Getting into shape to begin with is a difficult task that requires consistency, above almost all else. Thus, it stands to reason that being able to maintain that transformation should also take consistency.
As we age, many of us move towards a life of complacency and comfort. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that, it’s not always the most conducive lifestyle to getting in or staying in shape.
By having a regular routine that you can follow without thinking twice, your mindset can shift from worrying about having to workout to worrying that you’ve missed a training session.
By making exercise and monitoring nutrition part of your routine, executing those tasks becomes just part of your everyday life, rather than some external practice that you’re forced to take part in.
If you’re looking for practices to make your lifestyle sustainable, simply make it part of your everyday life, rather than something that you have to convince yourself to actually do for a limited time period.
Dial In Your Focus
In our youth, we have all the time in the world, plus we have the bonus that our bodies cope with excesses far more leniently than they do when we age! Not to mention, we can recover quickly from the ridiculous training sessions we put ourselves through.
Unfortunately with time and age, those things become less possible. Our time commitments increase and our bodies change, making exercise, and achieving the physiques we desire, all the more difficult.
With age, it becomes important to dial in your focus for both time and recovery’s sake. The days of working out for hours with no general direction are not necessarily over, but should be curtailed.
I suggest finding focus with your training to consolidate the workouts you put yourself through to increase effectiveness, while considering your time availability. By primarily selecting specific exercises and focuses you eliminate guesswork and also make it a bit easier for your body to recover.
If you’re hoping to maintain your fitness and make it into a sustainable lifestyle practice well into your older age, I suggest curtailing the work you do in favor of training for specific focuses.
Essentially, pick your focus and then use exercises, sets and rep ranges that allow for progress, while eliminating the rest which won’t exactly help.
Use Sustainable Eating Methods
Constant dieting stinks and there’s not much that will ever change that fact. Thus, one of the primary goals I pursue with my own nutrition, and that of my clients too, is to make the nutritional changes sustainable.
Essentially, if you change your nutrition to get a better physique, it stands to reason that in order to keep that physique, you’ll have to eat in ways that brought you there.
Unfortunately, many people find out the hard way that constantly eating chicken and broccoli, day in and day out, isn’t exactly fun. Not to mention, this is often associated with guilt, should you deviate.
I suggest deciding one of two routes. The first route includes a die-hard focus on getting and staying in great shape. If you choose this route, you’ll need to understand that eating “healthy” foods will simply be part of the process, always.
The second route is one of a bit more leniency. For this option, you should focus on eating healthy foods 70-80% of the time, yet allow yourself to deviate when necessary.
This in my opinion is the optimal route for sustainability. While dedication and consistency is imperative, unless you’re planning on stepping on stage in a month, it should be acceptable to deviate from time to time.
Create A Range Of Acceptable Weight Fluctuation
Personally, I think that people place far too much stock on their body weight. However, it can be a great tool for noticing when you’re “letting yourself go a bit.”
For sustainability purposes, I suggest that once you hit a target weight or body composition, that you allow yourself fluctuation of a couple pounds.
Unfortunately, many people panic when they see the scale change. But really, any number of variables could be contributing to weight fluctuations. In fact, just this morning I awoke 2 pounds, (approx. 1 kg), heavier than normal.
However, it’s important to not panic with small fluctuations like this, as they likely don’t indicate actual weight gain. However, fluctuations of more than 5 pounds over the course of a few weeks may be cause for concern.
In terms of sustainability, I suggest having a range of weight fluctuation that is acceptable and then a top end which is not. Once you’ve surpassed the top range of acceptable weight gain, you can quickly dial your nutrition back to avoid excessive weight gain.
Personally, I believe this to be a great method for sustainable weight loss that allows you to actually live your life and then adjust when necessary.
4 Tips For Sustainable Fitness, Even With Age
While getting in great shape is difficult, being able to maintain a high level of fitness for the rest of your life is the real challenge.
You’ve gone through the process of getting into great shape, but just weren’t prepared for what would need to happen to actually maintain it.
Fortunately, with these tips, you should be able to begin formulating your own plan for sustainably maintaining your fitness lifestyle for years to come