How To Maintain Weight Loss After Dieting (Part 4): how to handle holidays, special occasions, vacations...and other periods of intentional and chosen indulgence.
In the final installment of this series, I want to cover how to handle holidays, vacations, etc. after you’ve lost the weight and dieted down.
There are times during the year when, frankly, you just don’t want or need to be on any type of nutrition plan. There are times and periods where you want to eat both WHAT and HOW MUCH you want. And is this fitness coach’s opinion-YOU SHOULD.
We are talking about holidays, special occasions (true special occasions), vacations, etc. In these instances, the opportunity cost of being on a plan or worrying about it simply doesn’t make sense when compared to the enjoyment derived from eating some great meals, enjoying food, and making memories with friends and loved ones.
Trust me, on your deathbed, you won’t be looking back and saying “Wow, I’m really glad I ate chicken and rice at Christmas dinner last year and kale all week on my Caribbean vacation in 2019.” 💁♂️
MOST of the time, the opportunity cost of living outside the fitness lifestyle is counter-productive: your health, physique, productivity, performance and confidence takes a hit. You live a fitness lifestyle because you want to be a better version of yourself. But a LIFESTYLE is what you do the MAJORITY of the time. It’s not all encompassing and ALL the time. You live the fitness lifestyle so you CAN enjoy holidays, special occasions, and vacations with no restriction and no guilt!
The reality of the situation is that, especially once you’ve gotten the results and are in a maintenance phase, if you are following the maintenance guidelines I’ve outlined in part 1 -3 of this series, you CAN AND SHOULD go on your vacations, enjoy that anniversary dinner, and enjoy the holidays-AND ENJOY ALL THIS WITH THE FOOD THAT COMES WITH IT!
Now, will you come out of those periods possibly crossing the thresholds you set for yourself? Maybe. Who cares? Why? Because you have a plan, approach and lifestyle to come back to. Take comfort in that. Whatever you gained will be easy come/easy go. You live the fitness lifestyle so you CAN enjoy your life and not worry if you had a 2nd (or 3rd) helping of mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving dinner. Right?
I once ran the numbers and you could spend 30% of the year in a 500-1000 calorie daily surplus (that’s about 110 days), and the other 70% of the year (about 256 days) in some combination of maintenance calories and a caloric deficit and maintain your results within a range. Think about that: 110 days “messing up” (fairly significantly)...and it has LITTLE TO NO ill effects.
110 days MORE than allows for all the holidays, special events/occasions, vacation time, etc. 110 days indulging a bit is HARDLY dietary prison and restriction right? The KEY, again, is that you live the fitness lifestyle the majority-not all-of the time. You don’t have to be perfect...just commit to excellence. If everytime you are imperfect you think you blew it and then get away from living the fitness lifestyle...THAT’S when you have a problem (and what the vast majority of people do). You just keep coming back to your way of living. You are always one meal from being back in fitness lifestyle mode. So relax and enjoy here and there! What you do consistently is far more important than what you do (or don’t do) periodically.
And that wraps up this series on how to maintain weight loss after dieting. I hope you benefited from and enjoyed it.
If you know of anyone who could benefit from this information, I’d appreciate it if you could share it below.