Obtaining a low body fat percentage and getting into shape is only half the battle overall. Often times, many people reach their goals, only to fall off the fitness and nutrition bandwagon and regain the weight and body fat they spent months losing. Use these tips to ditch the seasonal weight gain and stay lean year round.
1. Monitor Your Nutrition
Many people underestimate calorie consumption and will fluctuate regularly if they don’t track their calories and macronutrient ratios. Additionally, restricting calories can end up creating micronutrient deficiencies, so tracking your nutrition will ensure you’re getting the essential vitamins and nutrients you need to perform optimally.
It may take time in the beginning, but once you calibrate your bodies own nutritional needs, you’ll develop an implicit knowledge and feeling for what your body requires. The tacit understanding of yourself and your caloric needs is invaluable. If you can develop this skill, then you’ll ultimately be able to make constant progress toward your goals without meticulously tracking every little detail.
Keep in mind, though, that calculators are merely tools. Whatever number it gives you is not set in stone. Be sure to adjust when you feel changes are necessary. If your fat loss progress starts to become stagnant then you will need to further decrease calories or increase energy expenditure.
2. Periodize Your Workouts
Periodization is the planned, systematic approach to implementing progressive stages into your training program. The changes come after proper adaptation to a training stimulus is achieved and the results begin to have diminishing returns. This can allow you to achieve great results without obtaining injuries and also avoiding plateaus. Although the exercise selection may often time be the same; the volume, intensity, frequency, and rep ranges can vary on a weekly basis and are intended to focus on a particular adaptation variable.
Periodization works because once your body grows accustomed to your training program, you’ll vary specific aspects of your training method. By adding these new stimuli, you’ll activate a whole new set of adaptations.
3. Be Flexible
Flexible dieting is a means of eating around a lifestyle that will support your body composition goals year around. This means that you will track your calories and macronutrients, and the primary basis of all your foods will be from nutrient dense sources; but there are not any “bad foods”. The traditional types of bad foods can be consumed if they fit your macronutrient and calorie goals and limitations. This means if you have 300 calories remaining in your day and have 40g of carbohydrates remaining, you may be able to fit in a serving of ice cream that will fit your goals and still keep you on track for your long-term progress.