It is one thing to get in shape, it is quite another to stay there! Since my early teen years I grew up idolising physique models for the shape they achieved for their photo shoots believing that is what they looked like all year round. Now, a little less naïve and more clued up I realise that it isn’t healthy to stay so lean all year round. However, I don’t think it is healthy to ‘’yo-yo’’ between cut & bulk cycles either. What is so wrong with being in bloody good shape all year round? No more ‘’diets’’ or drastic measures where you can’t put anything else ahead of your diet – just a consistent lifestyle choice which enables you to stay in shape, enjoy life and maintain the body you desire without the headache associated with it.
Here is a 3 point plan to maintaining your physique once you have achieved a good level of condition, typically 10% or less for men and around 16% for ladies.
1 – Learn Moderation
I heavily dislike the term ‘’everything in moderation’’ because it just doesn’t make sense, think about it. However, moderation in the correct context can become your friend ONCE you are in shape already. The treats which you crave day in day out can become part of your plan. However, be smart about it. Try and save that pizza for your post-leg workout, or even better make that pizza a gluten free home-made variation. You won’t regret it 3 hours later and you won’t be doubled up with knots in your stomach! Once you are in shape it is ‘’OK’’ to indulge a little however stick to your frame for the most part – once your initial deadline has passed you are very vulnerable to a binge which will quickly put you back to square one or possibly worse.
2 – Keep It Simple
You will have found the transformation process a bit much, almost like your life revolved around the final date. That’s fine; the hard graft has paid off. Now you can make minor changes which will allow you to live a more chilled life and stay in great shape.
By now you know roughly what size portions you need, don’t worry about weighing food now. Secondly, allow yourself a little more freedom with food choices – whilst the plan has initially told you X meat at Y time, you can afford to chop and change a little with ‘’like for like’’ substitutes now.
These small changes will make it more of a lifestyle change.
3 – Routine
Find a routine which fits you. Every Saturday night might be your night of choice whereby you enjoy a little treat or two with your better half. You might enjoy a Sunday roast with the in-laws – whatever it is, find yourself a routine which uses a lot of the principles which got you lean and ensure you enjoy it.
As you can see, staying in shape is much easier than getting in shape.