New year, new me? Not quite. I'm at the phase of weight loss journey where it's not good for me to constantly stay in a calorie deficit. Or at least for an extended period of time. I take a nice break from Halloween until the middle/end of January for several reasons: holidays, don't need tracking "stress" during this time, it's cold, etc...
So I use this time to just relax. Sometimes I eat good, sometimes I don't. I try to use this extra fuel to lift even heavier at the gym, but sometimes setbacks happen (holidays, colds) and I don't get to the gym as much as I'd like during this time. But this is my "not gonna stress about my body" time. I'm not always successful. At times the extra fluff IRRITATES the hell out of me. Not an overwhelming amount though. I've built discipline over the years working on my health journey to know that I have the tools to create whatever changes I need/want for my body.
So where am I at after a 2.5 month break? I'm 10lbs heavier. Notice I didn't say "10lbs fatter". Yeah, there's fluff there, but I know how the body and system works. I would've had to eat an extra 35,000 calories on top of my maintenance calories. I'm not saying it couldn't be done, but it would take concerted effort, plus a major lack of movement from me. So some fat, some muscle, some sodium, some glycogen in the muscles, etc... is all factored into that "bigger" number.
Will I starve myself to drop it? Helllllllll no. I cut back my calories to a responsible number that allows me to have energy to workout. For some people, cutting down to a crazy low number might seem like the fastest way to get fat off, but also realize you're more likely to lose a good amount of muscle as well, plus not have the energy to do much of anything anymore. Even with my small deficit, I will lose some strength gains and muscle, but I reduce the amount of muscle & strength lost giving myself a realistic calorie goal.
What will I do and for how long? I picked today to start because it's 12 weeks away from Easter. Just an arbitrary date, nothing special, but 12 weeks is a good amount of time for a deficit and tends to be a typical training plan schedule. I've already discussed that my calories have been calculated to cut to a realistic amount for my life. I can't cut too much with workouts and going to the movies...plus who would want to? That's no way to live life. My workout plan? The goal is 5 days a week, but I allow for weeks that I can only get there 2-3Xs a week. No need to stress over missed workouts. Workouts will consist of weekly progressions (either through load lifted or rep/set increase), warmups, cool downs, stretching, foam rolling, and sauna. I've thought about possibly throwing in the occasional HIIT workout or a yoga day, but this will depend on energy levels and available time.
Outside of the main factors of eating less & exercising, I do focus on my sleep amounts, stress levels, and social obligations. The idea being fix what you can control and don't sweat (too much) what you can't.
If you're looking to join me during these few weeks, comment below and we can all support each other.