Congratulations! You finished your diet and lost the weight you wanted to lose. You now just want to maintain your body weight and transition out of the diet.
If this is you, then this is the article for you!
Coming off your diet, your body is hungry. It is ready to feast. You feel like you can eat without stopping. You could eat a cow! Almost anything can trigger a binge.
The binge can trigger guilt and the guilt can trigger more bingeing. Further, your self-control at this time is at the lowest as your body might feel like it is starving. Thus, YOU NEED A GAME PLAN!
Therefore, understanding this state of your being is very important.
Most people who are new to dieting do not know what to do after a diet is over. They do not know what to expect. Let me guide you. To the Diet Promise Land! =P
Here are some tips:
Do not be too hard on yourself if you overeat shortly after the diet ends.
Your diet is over. You have just undertaken one of the most difficult and will power challenging tasks! Have you ever seen any being besides a human willingly diet? Congratulations on fighting the animalistic part of your brain!
It is normal to overeat in this period. It is not ideal but it is normal. If you do in fact over eat, DO NOT FEEL GUILTY! Just pick yourself up at the next meal.
For example, your maintenance calories are 2000 and you were dieting at 1500 for weeks and months, if you now eat at 2500 – 3000 for some days do not beat yourself up!
And if you have no Idea what is your new maintenance calories? Input your age, weight, sex, height, and estimated activity level at this link: Calorie Calculator (Use this as a rough guide)
It is normal to overeat after the diet ends, and because it is normal, this leads me to my next tip.
Prepare for the end of the diet.
You know the bingeing will come. You know that your body is craving food and is very likely to cave. Even the best of us will cave.
So what do we do? We get healthy food ready! Get your fridge stocked with food that is not calorie dense. Hide all the unhealthy food! Now is the moment of truth.
I promise you that you can eat unhealthy food in moderation again once you let your body’s hunger stabilize. This might take 1-2 weeks. But now is not the time.
Why do this!? This is so that even if you were to overeat large amounts of food, you do not eat too much calories! It is way harder to eat 1000 calories extra of grilled chicken and oats than 1000 calories of donut. Trust me. I might have done this 😉
If you feel ravenous, overeat the grilled chicken, oats, fruits, and vegetables! Do not feel guilty.
Better to prepare and overeat these nutritious non calorie dense foods than think we will not succumb to overeating and give in to the temptation of Fried Mars Bars and French fries when we are out with friends.
Always keep yourself hydrated throughout the day and drink a tall glass of water before every meal. This is so that you feel more satisfied and not as hungry.
Expect to gain weight.
With the end of the diet, you will be gaining weight. This is normal! Do not be dismayed. When you start consuming at a maintenance amount of calories, your body will start filling up with glycogen again. Glycogen has sugar and water.
This is mostly water weight. How much weight to expect? There are some exceptions depending on your size and the amount of weight lost. But in general, about 1-2kg.
This is because when you were dieting, your body is in a glycogen depleted state. You held less water and now you are coming back to normal levels. This weight gain is a good thing. You want your muscles to have glycogen.
Know that the process of ending the diet might take a week or two.
You have to give yourself time to eat at maintenance or above maintenance calories for a week or two. Let your body adjust.
Binge if you have to -> on the healthy food. After this period of 1-2 weeks, know that your body will not be as hungry and ravenous. It will not always be like this.
You can now expect to roughly maintain your body weight if you keep your calories in = calories out. The good thing is that the worst hunger should now be over.
Your will power should now be stronger. You do not have to hide all the unhealthy food. Of course, in going back to maintenance, all things in moderation!
All the best in your maintenance phase!
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