By: Anthony Campo
Understanding this sliding scale can also be a very valuable tool when trying to maintain a healthy body weight. So let’s say you have dieted for 3 months and have successfully lost around 15 lbs. It would be in your best interest to maintain this weight for a while in order to reset your homeostatic weight for your body so that the weight won’t so easily go back up. Mentally it also can be healthy to focus on maintaining a certain weight for a period of time instead of just trying to always lose. Anybody who has had continued success with improving their body composition over the years will tell you that it pays off to shift your goals for periods of time in order to maintain focus and improve the quality of the execution of a plan.
So when your goal is to maintain your weight, if you can get to the point where you can accurately assess where you are on the sliding scale you can find opportunities to treat yourself without damaging the success that you have made. So let’s say you are now on a sliding scale of 187-192 lbs. You train Saturday and Sunday, and have eaten very clean. You have been drinking plenty of fluids so you know that you are well hydrated. You get home Sunday after the gym and weigh yourself. You weigh 187.5. You can safely make the assessment that you are on the depleted end of the scale, so this would be a great opportunity (especially post-workout) to treat yourself for dinner. On the flip-side let’s say you gorge yourself Sunday night. You wake up Monday morning and weigh yourself at 191.8. You should now make the assessment that you are on the bloated end of the scale and should eat very clean that day. If you can learn to master this concept in order to maintain your body weight, you can even plan for future events.
Let’s use this same example. It is Monday and you wake up at 191.8. You have been invited to a party that Saturday, and there is going to be lots of “cheat” foods there you would like to eat. All you have to do is eat clean all week in order to get to your depleted level on the sliding scale, and then you should be able to enjoy yourself Saturday at the party without worrying that you are going to wreck your body composition.
Many people like to say things like “Oh, one cookie won’t hurt you,” or “Come on one day won’t mess up your diet.” Well they are partially right. If you plan for the “one thing” or “one day” accordingly it is easy to maintain a certain weight while treating yourself occasionally. However, it is important to remember that many people are trying to lose weight, not just maintain. If your goal is to lose weight then these principles I just mentioned for maintaining body weight do not work for losing body weight. Always make sure your actions match your goals. Saying you are trying to do something has no meaning unless you make actually strides towards your goals every day.