You did it!! You have gotten to your goal by doing the 21 Day Fix!!! Now it is time to get going into the maintenance phase!
You just want to keep things just exactly like they are. No more weight loss…just stay this same weight forever.
How hard can going into the maintenance phase be??
Well, I am here to tell you that losing weight is almost EASIER to do than maintaining weight loss. It is a very well-known fact in the “diet world” that you can put on every pound you lost plus more every time you STOP eating correctly. ( find out some ways to NOT stop once you get started!)
I am going to try to help you understand what maintenance for the 21 Day Fix looks like. I personally have been in the maintenance “phase” of the program for 2 years now and so I am going to talk like an authority on the subject….cuz I am!
Is this way the ONLY way to work yourself into maintenance? NO. This is just the way I did it and what I have learned by doing it for 2 years now. You are going to have to do what works for you!
How will you know how when it is time to go into maintenance?
First, you have to determine for yourself “when” going into maintenance is right for you. It might be an exact weight you have been working towards. I personally had a size of pants in my mind as my goal, I was a size 20 when I started the program and I wanted to cut that in half to a size 10 and I did.
If you are trying to go by the “chart” that we have all seen at the doctor’s office, you might want to research those numbers a little bit. That chart would put me at 5’5″ all the way down to 115lbs to be my healthiest weight.HMMM… at almost 60 years old I would look like a worn-out old scarecrow at that weight. Every human is different. I cover the subject in a post about results.
Walking is all I ever did for exercise because of a horrid knee that started my journey, to begin with. I did leave my exercise calories in because I have a very physical job and was walking every day. My weight loss might have been a little slower than if I had done the workouts because it took me 12 full Rounds doing the 21 Day Fix nutrition side to reach my goal. A full 9 months of hard work gave me a 55lb total loss and SIZE 10 zip-up jeans… GOAL!!
Well, there was just not that much information out there about how to adjust.
The information we get in our 21 Day Fix is pretty straight forward. The math formula changes and now you go by the container count for the new numbers. Period.
Your weight x 11 = _____ + 400 exercise calories (if you are going to keep working out only) = maintenance calorie bracket. Just your weight x 11 if you are not going to workout That number is your new bracket.
Here is a graphic with the most up-to-date formulas in it…
I know that almost everyone who gets to their goal size usually has to go into Bracket A to get there. (except those who start in Bracket A but that is a whole other post) I started in Bracket C for a round, dropped down to B for about 6 rounds and then into A till I hit my goal.
“Why is this important?” you might ask.
Because you have been training yourself to eat less and less for months and all of a sudden the math problem tells you that instead of you eating in Bracket A that you can eat in B or even C!! HOLY CRAP!! I went from about 10 cups of food Bracket A to about 15 cups of food for Bracket C.
I was terrified of it at first and was afraid to add any containers so I actually lost a little more than I meant to (size 8 jeans), but then I got brave and added them in all at once. Gained back to my size 10s. Then I got a little “cocky” after a week or so and started eating extra cheese, extra peanut butter or salad dressing…I put on 8 lbs in a week. EEK!!
What did I do?
I got my containers out and went right back to Bracket A!! It took about 8 days but I got that weight back off.
What did that teach me?
To stick closer to the container system. Every bracket gets only 1 Blue and 1 Orange container for a reason. And every teaspoon counts!
So this time I approached adding containers into my day differently. I remember Autumn saying to never skip a red container or a green container in your day. Skip the other colors in a different order if you have to, but never skip that red or green. I wanted to concentrate on more veggies and protein in my day, so I added my red and greens in 1 extra container per week until I was eating all the ones in my new bracket. (Back then you only got 3G in your Bracket A day instead of the 4 per day now.) I added my purples and teaspoons in the next few weeks the same way, 1 per week.
The whole time I was adding in containers, I was watching my scales like a hawk. Why?
Watching for an upward tick. I had started the habit of weighing every single day at the start of my journey and because of that, I knew that even one day of bad eating could change that scale number drastically. (I am so sodium-sensitive that the wrong meal has made me gain 5+ lbs overnight more than once!) Adding in these containers at this speed was working, I had no sudden weight gains.
Last, of all, I added my yellows in over a couple of weeks. Right then is when I saw enough of a change in my scales to know I needed to stop. 3 Yellows, if I ate 4 a day I saw a slight gain after a few days.
What Bracket was I eating in?
Well, that is why I said I was watching my scales like a HAWK. Maintenace is very flexible. You can make a combination of containers that works for YOU, finally. So I had decided to split B and C up and make B/C. Because I was opting “more veggies and protein” I went with C for my Greens, my Reds, and my Teaspoons. My Purples and Yellows in B. I made darn sure I ONLY used 1 Blue and 1 Orange tho!!
Are there days when I flip-flop my containers? Sometimes. If I have some fruit to use up, I might skip a veggie and have fruit instead. Maybe, if I am not going to get all of my red containers in, I will go ahead and add a teaspoon or two of oil/peanut butter to my day.
YOU CAN NOT DO THIS IN AN ACTIVE WEIGHT LOSS ROUND. ONLY WHEN GOING INTO THE MAINTENANCE PHASE!!
Did I say that loud enough??
The reason is that during weight loss you are striving for “balanced macros”, about 40% carbs/ 30% fat/ 30% protein. During maintenance, you are not tied to those exact macros every single day. You want to eat them, for the most part, tho because it is a healthy balanced diet, but you can make some little switches occasionally in maintenance it won’t be as noticeable as it would be during weight loss!
What does my weight look like in the maintenance phase?
Well, I knew from my daily logging in of my weight for 9 months that any 1 DAY I could weigh more/less than the last/next day. I knew holding myself at 1 exact weight would NOT be possible. It was because of that that I decided to live in a 10 pound window.
Small numbers are just water weight and so I slide the same weight around like checkers on a checkerboard every week. Up 2 pounds and then down 3 pounds. Vacation might see me up 7 or 8 pounds from treat eating. But then the next few weeks I use my containers… taking my weight all the way down to my low number and staying there for a few weeks. I no longer FREAK OUT if I see a weight gain, I just do what I know works to take it right back off.
Most of all…… I wear my size 10 zip-up jeans weekly! They were my goal and will forever be my “test”! I like to wear them on the weekend to keep my “treats” in check.
What is going into the maintenance phase supposed to look like for you?
Just like we all get different results with our weight loss.
We don’t know. But I hope I have pointed out some of the things to do and NOT to do when you are trying to find out!
Please leave a comment with any advice you might have to share!