February 5, 2024

To put it simply, eating at your maintenance means you eat roughly equivalent to the calories you expend. Meaning you are eating enough to neither gain weight or lose weight. I wish this was talked about more than it is because it’s a crucial component in nutrition and especially for fat loss. When considering fat loss, it’s necessary to be in a caloric deficit. However, our bodies aren’t meant to live in a caloric deficit. Maintenance phases are actually associated with greater overall weight loss. A maintenance phase allows you to bridge the gap between your fat loss goals and maintaining your progress. It’s also an opportunity to practice mindful eating and learning how to rely on your habits.

Fact, almost every person that has signed up for nutrition with me has started at or below a caloric deficit. However, none of them were losing weight or had the body that they wanted or felt good in. What we have to understand are two things.

  1. If we are in an aimless caloric deficit for far too long, it puts stress on the body. It can no longer support us in our training or day to day life because the body is under too much stress which makes it difficult to support our systems.
  2. Many of my clients may be in a deficit, but are low protein, moderate carb, and high in fat. So not only are we at or below a caloric deficit for longer than we should be, but we are also not getting the nutrients and protein we need to lose fat.

To me, maintenance is about sustainability. To most, it seems counterintuitive to eat more to weigh less. Or to eat more and gain a lean body composition. The issue is, most have deprived themselves for so long that it’s a giant mind f&*(^ when I tell them to eat more to get the results that they want. It is only when I get my clients eating closer to their maintenance that we can discuss their future goals. Maintaining your progress while feeling energized and healthy is a great place to be.

How do I know what my maintenance is?

Bodyweight x15 is the general reference you use to determine your maintenance. There are other factors to consider, such as, daily activity and frequency and intensity of training.

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