At our first BetterU meeting, I told the ladies to enjoy the process and to be present (physically and mentally). I told them the 12 weeks would fly by in a blink of an eye. I said this is about building a foundation and getting ready for a journey to last a lifetime.
On our last meeting, I could tell they felt that the 12 weeks went by much faster than they anticipated. They seemed anxious and a bit nervous. There seemed to be one question on everyone’s mind – what’s next? Where do we go from here?
I told them you do the same things that made you successful. You practice new habits until they become old habits. You do the things that make you feel healthy – day in and day out. The secret to weight maintenance is consistency.
The 4 Keys to Real Fitness are meant to help you learn the basics. They are also the blueprint for successful weight maintenance and living a healthy and fit life. You may refine them. You may take them to a new level but the basics stay the same. You may be tempted to coast but you have to stay committed.
It’s easy to skip it. It’s easy to take a walk or do a spin class. Strength has to stay #1 on the workout priority list for fat loss, health and independence. If time is short and life is crazy do a circuit or keep rests very short. Super-sets, with no rest between a pair of exercises, can also be a time saver. Find a class that will give you both strength and cardio like Body Pump or a Zumba class with a strength component if your week is really packed.
You have to challenge yourself with the right cardio for your goals. You can’t skip it either. Walking the dog is great for your body but it won’t replace a quick HIIT session. It won’t give you the same fat burning results. If you have 15 minutes you can do a 3 minute warm up with 4 rounds of 30 seconds sprints (running, biking, elliptical or body weight exercises) and 90 second rests you can get your HIIT done. Walk the dog too for the steady state cardio and movement your body needs. Take advantage of the changing seasons to try new types of cardio. Cooler weather makes for great hiking. Going indoors means more time for laps in the gym pool.
Maybe it is time to count calories. Keeping your portions in check may get you to a certain point but if you plateau the first place to go is your food journal. If you’re eating too much, drop your intake 100 calories. If you’re eating too little (recheck your RMR) then go to a maintenance level of calories for 2-3 weeks. Then drop your intake 100-200 calories below maintenance and see what happens. If you feel yourself getting off track go back to your log!
Improving the quality of your food is a constant work in progress. Every year of my journey my diet improved just a little. With the OxyChallenge meal plan, my diet is probably the cleanest it has ever been. Your daily diet will never be perfect but let it keep evolving as your life and goals do. Just keep listening to what your body is telling you
The most important thing I shared at our last meeting is this…
If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
If the plan we laid out in our 12 weeks is still causing your body to change then just keep at it, I told them. If you feel good, keep doing what your doing. Don’t change just for changes sake. Too many people run from program to program looking for that one magic thing that will solve all of their fitness problem. It doesn’t exist. The only thing that works is doing the work day in and day out. Only when the progress stops do you change something. Not everything, just one thing. Try it out for a few weeks. If things start to change, stay with it. If not, change one other thing.
That’s how we hand what’s next. We follow the map that got us started. We venture down new paths one step at a time.