To Maintain, Lose, or Gain

The number on the scale has such a powerful meaning to most Americans. We obsess over it. Check it daily. “Be sure to do it first thing in the morning, you’ll be lighter,” countless friends have told you. “You gotta do it after you eat a normal meal, that’ll be more accurate,” people say. Who knows what or when? The real question is: What’s your ideal weight?

Do you even know? We all have this number in our minds, but have you ever been that weight? Were you happy with how your body looked AS WELL AS performed? Before you can begin any kind of health and fitness journey, I think it’s important to really try to go into it without any preconceived notions of what your ideal weight should be. If there’s an underlying issue, you’re overweight or severely underweight, then of course you address that but who knows, you might end up happy at a number you thought was too heavy. Regardless, let’s discuss what you have to do based on what your current situation is. 

IF you are one of the few who are happy with the way you look and your performance, then maintaining weight is the answer for you. Maintaining weight is the easiest of all 3 avenues. We all know people who have been the same weight for YEARS. They might be overweight and out of shape, but for some reason their weight got to a certain point and it stopped moving. The reason for this is because most of us are creatures of habit. We eat and drink what we like, and we don’t deviate. Sure, maybe you splurge a little on holidays and birthdays, but most of us stick to what we have for years. So, if you’re maintaining weight, you really need to just be sure you’re getting the adequate amount of protein every day.I would recommend at least 70% of your bodyweight is the amount of protein you should consume in grams every day. You can enjoy your weekends but you shouldn’t go crazy during the week.  

Now, there are a select few of us who actually want to GAIN weight. Gaining weight can be difficult. It can almost seem like eating is your job. If you are trying to gain weight, you need to do some experimenting first. I would eat the normal amount of food you do for 1 week. Whatever you have been doing for the last year or so, do that for 1 week and figure out the average number of calories you consume each day. Let’s say that number comes out to 1800 calories a day. Well, in order to gain weight, you would need to exceed that number EVERY DAY for the foreseeable future. I would recommend starting small with 20% more for 2 weeks. If you don’t notice a change, add 10% more. And just continue this trend, until you see the results you want. Be careful though. You can’t just eat whatever you want. I would recommend that you be sure to consume 110 to 120% of your bodyweight in protein every day. This means if you weigh 100lbs, you need to consume 110 to 120g of protein every day. Figure out what the caloric value of that is and then work your way towards the numbers you need with carbohydrates and fat. I would still try to balance your protein, carb and fat intake as best you could. A 40/30/30 split is best. 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein and 30% fat, but the required numbers can make that tricky. 

Finally, the desired point for, most if not all, of us: Weight loss. In order to lose weight, you would basically just do the exact opposite of someone trying to gain weight. Yes, just eat less. Shocking I know, but that’s an oversimplification of what needs to happen. Sure, you can eat a banana for breakfast and maybe skip lunch and be well on your way towards some weight loss, but the reality is we all know that doesn’t last. You can probably do this from Monday to Thursday but then we all know happy hour after work with friends comes calling and we all go bonkers. The reality of weight loss, much like weight gain, is that CONSISTENCY is the real key. You have to eat less calories than you need to maintain your weight CONSISTENTLY. But, how do you do that without crashing and going on binges? Well, the answer to that is to eat foods that DO NOT have a lot of calories and also get you full quickly. What are those you ask? Oh you know, just MEATS and vegetables, some fruit, little starch. Yes, basically just the perimeter of the grocery store. This means that every time you sit down to eat ½ your plate should have a meat source on it and the other ½ should be filled to the brim with fruits and vegetables. And, you CANNOT deviate from this. Yes, I know, it sucks. The problem is that your body needs to receive a constant feedback of a lack of calories in order to access your stored fat. If you go off track and have a surplus, it will kill that day’s progress. You also need to occasionally breathe heavy (not just standing in place…this means…exercise). 

The point is to understand where you want to be and DO NOT deviate until you have reached your desired results!

To learn more about maintaining, gaining, or losing – or to figure out where to start, schedule a time to talk with us

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