Losing fat can be one heck of a task which can seem to go on forever. It’s not uncommon to hear of people taking well over a year to lose several stone, so it’s a serious business. Once fat… one should take very good care to ensure that they aren’t again, because it’s just time wasted since you can’t build muscle whilst burning fat.
I’ll assume you’ve lost all the fat you intended to lose (and I congratulate you), but now you are faced with another task – the task of staying lean.
Did you even notice yourself getting fat in the first place? And if you did I’m sure that, beyond scale measurements, once you gained the first bit of weight it became very difficult to even notice where the extra fat had gone. Maybe, almost as if it just crept up on you. And that, is the biggest mistake most people make – it happens bit by bit and the difference seems so minimal that before you know it, you’ve ballooned possibly several stone again.
You need to actively work hard at staying lean. The biggest lesson, of course, is to keep you eye on the ball. Take no fat gain as acceptable.
Secondly, you need to really watch what you eat. Make it your business to know how many calories you can eat on a daily basis without putting on weight. And, once you’ve found this number, be sure to stick to it. (It only takes 3,500 calories over your maintenance level per week (or 500 a day) to equal another lb of fat.)
Avoiding simple carbs, and only eating complex carbs when you are about to do some rigorous exercise, or after exercise to rebuild glycogen stores and repair muscles is a good idea. Otherwise, you are making it easy for your body to store fat.
Eating low amounts can be very difficult, and as we get older, we become more prone to putting on fat anyway as our metabolisms slow, so I advocate cardio up to three times a week, for 30 minutes to an hour each time, to help you stay lean. Cardio doesn’t have to be jogging; it can also be rowing, swimming, jump rope or cycling. The main thing is that you are burning calories so you aren’t in danger of over consuming.