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Phases Of Dieting

Learn How To Sustain Your Weight Loss And Maintain Your Sanity

Dieting … is pretty hard. I should know. For the last month, I’ve been dieting in solidarity with some of my clients to help show them that weight loss is possible. In the last 4 months, I’ve dropped 5 pounds (over 1 per week) and 1% of my BMI just by keeping my workouts and activity consistent, and following my Calorie Plan of a daily 500 calorie deficit.

We’ve created a plan, followed it, and seen clear results. So the question is, how long does the diet last? When is the right time stop, or pause, or take a break?

When you think about your diet, think of it in the following phases.

PHASE 1 - The Weight Loss Phase

This is the diet itself. We’ve created your Calorie Plan so you know exactly how much to eat every day. We’ve given you clear goals of 8-12k steps per day, 2-3 strength training workouts per week, and adequate rest and recovery to stimulate muscle growth.

Depending on your starting weight, the goal can be to lose either 1-2 or 2-4 pounds per week. This phase of weight loss should last 12 weeks. By following your plan, you should expect to lose between 12- 24 pounds, or 24-48 pounds based on your starting weight.

So, what’s next? You’ve made the 12 weeks, you’re loving what you see on the scale, but you desperately want a cheat meal or junk food or something that isn’t part of your plan without giving back all of those amazing results. Enter phase 2.

PHASE 2 - The Maintenance Phase

This is where we slightly ease our foot off the accelerator. We give you the mental break you need following 12 weeks of strict dieting. In the Maintenance Phase, we add 200-300 calories back into your daily limit to allow for some pleasure eating, snacking, a bit more freedom in your diet.

But, it’s important to remember to track your weight during this phase. It’s common during maintenance to add back a few pounds. 1-2 pounds of gain is not a big deal. However, if we start to see a 3-5 pound increase, we need to readjust our calories.

The same can be said if we continue to lose weight during the maintenance phase. The point is to give your mind and body a break, so continued weight loss would lead us to further increasing your caloric limit.

It’s all about tracking and adjusting to fit your needs. How long do we live in the maintenance phase? Also 12 weeks. Are you seeing a trend?

PHASE 3 - Returning to The Diet Phase

Here we go. We’ve had a 12 week break from dieting, maybe gained a few pounds back, and are ready to tackle the next portion of our weight loss. In this phase, we assess your current weight and create a new caloric limit in order to drop another 12+ pounds over the following 12 weeks. The good news is that each 12 week phase gets a bit easier because your body and overall health is improving, making workouts and daily activity easier to get through. Also, by taking lengthy breaks, we avoid the mental burnout and failures that come with dieting for too long.

And so on and so forth. This is how dieting works. 12 weeks on, 12 weeks of maintenance, Rinse and Repeat. Follow this plan and you can truly change your body composition and your overall health and wellness for the rest of your life.

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