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Friday, April 15, 2011

Fitness Friday: Maintenance Mode

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In your hard work and journey to lose weight, have you ever asked yourself the question:

"Will I have to keep this up once I reach my goal weight?"

This question may seem daunting because you probably can't imagine working so hard for the rest of your life!

Well, the answer really depends on what you have been doing. If you have been:

1) Restricting your daily caloric requirement to 1200


2) Vigorously working out 6+ times/week


the answer, you won't have to keep that up the rest of your life!

Once you have reached your goal weight and you find that you continue to lose weight, you will need to adjust your exercise and diet from

weight loss mode
maintenance mode
What I mean by "maintenance mode" refers not just to the pounds on the scale. It includes your optimal fitness level, muscle tone, immunity, and health. Determining your maintenance mode may require a little tweaking, meaning you will need to find what it means for your body to maintain. The answer will probably be different for each person because we all have different amounts of muscle mass, frame sizes, ages, hormones, sleep requirements, etc.

Don't get me wrong, "maintenance mode" will still be a life full of regular exercise and a healthy diet, but it probably won't be as strict as "weight loss mode."

To give you an idea, here is my maintenance mode for the winter months.

3-4 days/week, 30-45 minutes combed cardio and resistance training
1-2 days/week, run either 5k or intervals, usually 30-45 minutes 1x/week yoga
During the week I rarely eat sweets or processed food like crackers and chips (unless there's a social event and in this case, I partake in moderation and rarely can abstain).
I do not count calories but eat a well-balanced diet, usually three meals/day and 1-2 snacks.
I snack on healthy foods such as yogurt and fruit.
I treat myself on the weekends for doing a good job! This "treating" usually begins Friday night and ends Sunday night. :)

This has been my lifestyle for the last 12 years. Keep in mind that I am not always in maintenance mode. Sometimes if I've-had-a-long-weekend-where-I've-done-a-lot-of-indulging-which-translates-negatively-on-the-mid-section, I have to step up my game and get back in weight loss mode. Also, my maintenance mode of yesteryear is not the same as the maintenance mode of today. I have to work harder than I did at age 25. It is important to be realistic about this fact, but doesn't mean it is impossible to feel and look your best at any age.

Please remember...I am here if you need my help in "tweaking" your maintenance mode! Just leave a comment, I'm good at responding!

What is your maintenance mode? Do share!

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