top of page

The Key to Keeping Weight off...

Getting in the gym for an hour or so, or going for a run on your lunch break is great, but what about the other 23 hours in the day??

Unfortunately to reach your physique or fitness goals, you have to do more than just train once a day, 3-4 times a week.

You might not like to hear it, but you will have to change your overall lifestyle to some extent in order for long term success.

Big factors such as sleep, stress and daily movement (the amount of time spent sitting on your ass) all factor into your results, and you should be tending to each one in some form or another.

Undoubtedly nutrition is one of the biggest parts of your lifestyle.

Without making a number of small or big changes to your lifestyle, the chance of regaining the weight you lost, or losing the muscle you gained, is significantly higher.

You might have heard the phrase or quote that ‘diets don’t work’ or ‘95% of diets fail’.

It’s not that diets fail, a diet which creates an energy deficit (less calories than you are eating) will work in getting you to lose weight, however, many people can’t keep the weight off!

This is based on several pieces of literature which tend to show dieters regaining all or most of their weight over 1-5 years.

Primarily, because they failed to change their lifestyle after ending their diet, and therefore, not able to adhere to a maintenance diet which supports their goals.

This is why diet adherence is so important for long term weight management.

So making food enjoyable, not restricting what you can and can’t eat (all in moderation) will inevitably provide you with a better understanding and relationship with food and overall success!

As a fitness professional it is my job to educate you on long-term sustainable dietary habits and strategies which assist you in reaching and maintaining your goals.

When and how many calories you eat on a daily basis, the types of food you choose and the amount of fluids you drink will determine how you feel and how you look.

A change to your lifestyle and nutrition doesn’t mean you have to remove certain foods or start drinking celery juice.

It simply means being more conscious with the quality and quantity of the foods you consume, learning how to build meals to satisfy your palette as well as your goals.

Setting up a maintenance diet is very similar in most ways to how you would/should set up a weight loss diet, the differences being you are eating more of the foods you enjoy, or just simply bigger meals.

  • Firstly you need to set yourself a calorie range to eat within for the majority of the time, for example a 70kg man might have a range of 2400-2600kcal.

  • Next we need to gauge macronutrient ranges, more specifically the amount of protein you will be eating. Generally I will recommend 1.4-1.6grams per kilogram of body weight (e.g. an average of 100-110g of protein for a 70kg individual), though more might be beneficial in some cases.

Most new to dieting/tracking will find it hard to incorporate higher amounts at first, so you can scale this over time if need be (1.8-2.2g/kg/bw).

As far as the amount of carbohydrates and fat you eat, this can reflect your food preference as long as your calorie goals are still met.

That being said some find it easier to have a target to aim for to start off with, in which case I would suggest aiming for 1gram of fat per your bodyweight in kilograms, 70grams for a 70kg individual for instance.

  • For the rest of the calories make them up with carbohydrates, thirdly being mindful that you are concentrating on getting in your fruit and vegetables, those important micronutrients.

If for whatever reason you struggle to consume enough micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), then you might want to consider some supplementation where need be, for example a multivitamin.

  • Now you have the basics covered, we need to look at establishing some nutritional behaviours, a regular meal pattern. Having some routine as to when you eat will give you structure and therefore a better chance at adhering to a weight maintenance diet.

This could be the traditional three meals a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner, at times structures around your workday, or you might choose to have 4 slightly smaller meals, maybe incorporating a large snack or pre/post workout meal.

Do what works for you. The choice is yours.

  • Looking more closely at the quality of our diet, we need to acknowledge the variety of foods we choose to eat, more so the whole unprocessed foods.

So green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, wholemeal sources, roots/tubers and fruits (generally food which doesn’t have to be packaged or produced).

  • With all of the above comes the ability to monitor our food intake, this might be by firstly using a food tracking application to help guide you to understand the true portion sizes of foods and their Macro and Micronutrient contents.

You may instead wish to use a hand written or spreadsheet diary to log the foods and meals you eat.

The main aim is to improve your understanding of the energy values associated with general foods and meal portion sizes, being able to ‘eyeball’ your food intake and calories needs by looking and assessing a plate or package of food.

  • Once you have all these skills in place, learning how to be flexible and not fear foods is the key to improving your chance of adhering to a long term diet.

Forward planning when you have a social occasion, maybe a birthday party or family BBQ. This could be pushing the bulk of your calories towards the end of the day for the BBQ, or perhaps having a few lower calories days before attending a friends stag do at the weekend.

Just being able to maintain a balance throughout the week can help you enjoy your diet when you want to go a little crazy.

Like anything you do, with practice maintaining a diet becomes easier and eventually it will just become a habit.

Best of luck



bottom of page