How to maintain weight while on diet break?
How to maintain weight while on a diet break? Everything is going great. Your diet is on point, your gym sessions are amazing. You see yourself setting and crushing goals every week and it seems like you are on a roll. Alas, life happens! Suddenly you are faced with an unexpected situation which is beyond your control. You have an office deadline or someone in the family is sick and needs attention or you have to go out of town or suddenly you get transferred to a new place because of your job or some relatives comes calling without prior notice. You absolutely dont have a choice but to take a break as there are other things which have taken precedence. So what does it mean to take a few days off of your routine? *Will you lose all your gains? *Will you regain all the lost weight? *Will you never be able to go back to being your best version? *Will you always remain fat and fitness is just not your cup of tea? These and many more questions constantly hound us and many a times we find ourselves unable to restart again after the break. Longer the break, its much harder to get back and restart. We see our accomplishments slipping away from our hands like sand that slips away when squeezed too tight because we panic and try to do everything to get back to our previous glory as soon as possible. We cut too many calories and start over exercising. But in the end, we fail as we are unable to keep up with the routine and do not realize this is a process which takes time and we should respect our bodies rather than punish ourselves for something which was beyond our control. So what should one do when faced with such situations and how to restart once you are back to your normal routine? * Firstly you can start with following portion control. If you have been following quantified nutrition for long, you will be aware of portion sizes and your dietary requirements. Prioriize protein intake in every meal. Any where between 1.2-1.8g/kg of body weigth is fine. You don't have to always hit the high end as your main goal during break is only to maintain what you currently have. You can always increase your intake when you get back to your regular regimen. * Make sure to stay active through out the day. You may not be able to follow a regular structured workout routine but being active prevents us from becoming totallu lethargic and sedentary. Keep a step tracker if you can and count your steps. Find every oppurtunity to move more like going for a walk or playing with kids or doing house chores. Just being active and not sedentary is important. * Do ensure to drink adequate amount of water as sometimes thirst can manifest as hunger and we may end up eating more. Its very important to stay hydrated. * Make sure to get adequate sleep as sleeping is the most underrated aspect when it comes to weight loss, maintenance or gaining as per your goal. Many of us do not realize this but sleep can affect your hunger levels, energy levels, stress levels and your performance in the gym. You will feel tired and sluggish through out the day if you are not well rested and start getting cravings. So make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep and you will be fine. * Lastly realize that you will not lose your progress just because you took a small break. Longer breaks might have slightly more impact but the goood news is that you will bounce back faster and get back to your former self much quickly. Once your necessary time off is done, do not procrastinate getting back to your routine. Remember, the longer you go off track, the harder it will be to getback on track. You will definitely feel lethargic and have inertia towards starting. No one said its going to be easy. Its definitely not easy to control your temptations with food all around and make time for exercise when you can just as easily laze around or catch up on never ending chores. All of us lead very hectic lifestyles and sometimes even 24 hours do not seem enough. But we have to take time out for physical activity and its imperative becuase of our highly stressful lives and sedentary jobs. Exercise in fact can lower our stress level and make us feel good once we get our flow back. So hold on until then and do everything possible to get back into your routine. Start quanitfying your diet again and do not go too low on calories. Create a small deficit and focus again on progressive overload. Within no time you will find yourself progressing and start seeing results which will keep you motivated. Stay healthy stay focused! Enjoy the process and embrace the lifestyle.