Plateaus vs Maintenance

A favorite part of my day is when I get a little one on one time with folks after class to brainstorm strategies so they can reach their goals.

I had an awesome conversation last Friday with Amy about breaking plateaus. I know many of you will be able to relate to what she is struggling with so I wanted to share some of the topics we touched on.

FullSizeRender (3)Amy is a busy mother of three who is strong and healthy as is but she is looking to lean out just a bit more so that all those muscles she’s been busy building are able to show through a bit better.

To be clear, a plateau is when you are STUCK in a physically less than desirable place.  In contrast, maintenance mode, which is what I spoke about last week, is when you CHOOSE to stay where you are because you are physically content with what you see and mentally at ease with your training and nutritional choices.

One look at Amy and it’s clear she’s doing MANY things right so the gist of the conversation between Amy and I centered around fine tuning and details.  In particular we honed in on what she called her “cookie problem” and her ELIMINATION style approach…

“If I could just figure out how to stop eating them, I know I could break my plateau.”  Sound familiar?

However, unless you have some sort of allergy or intolerance to a food, your strategy should NOT BE about figuring out how to EXTERMINATE anything you love and enjoy from your diet!!

The new wave of thought now centers around two words:  PRACTICING MODERATION

It’s called a practice because moderation can feel downright hard at the beginning.  It requires you to unlearn years of elimination style eating and to trust that by eating just a few bites when the initial urge arises you are actually going to eat less calories in the long run.  Eliminate nothing and spend your energy figuring out what amount allows you both results and peace of mind.

For now, Amy is to ALLOW herself to guiltlessly reach in her pantry at least once a day and grab about 5 of these mini-cookies WHEN she wants them.  She is not to constantly dismiss an urge all day so that binge mode inevitably hits in the evening.  She is to have just enough to satisfy and take the edge off.

An added bonus is that in the end, it is THIS very  mentality that she has to possess in order to cruise into maintenance mode.  Once she achieves that last bit of fat loss, she has to be able to keep it and the only way to do that is to create habits you can REPLICATE mindlessly!

Make PEACE with your food.  You really can have the cookies, the health, and the body you want all at the same time.