Moving into a sustainable plan
We should now have found a good balance with our plan. In month 1 and 2 we had calorie targets that we didn't really change all that much. This is essential to find out what works for each of us. For wellness we advised you to 1 week at baseline then 3 weeks at the calorie target that matches your training.
We may have experienced a few of the follow scenarios -
- Felt like way too much food to be eating
- Struggled to hit the carbohydrate target
- Didn't know what to do on a rest day
- Wasn't sure if some workouts warranted a training day
Now we asked you to stick to the calorie targets for a reason. This is to help us find your upper calorie target.
We hope you committed to the structure we outlined and even saw that eating a little more actually resulted in further weight loss and increased energy?!
Now in Month 3 we will work within a calorie window.
For example your baseline may be 1700 calories and your calorie target in month 2 was 2150. Now as long as you are within those calorie targets each day for the next 4 weeks we are happy!
This allows us to employ some flexibility and correlate our intake to our output. If we feel that the training session was really tough then you can edge towards the higher calorie target. You may feel that you want to drop a little more weight leading into a weekend away so you will stick to baseline for 5 days.
Whatever works for you...however
ENSURE you are not over eating or under fuelling.
You need to trust that eating the right amount of food for your output is essential for fat loss. You cannot just keep restricting calories.
Strategies to help you stay on track
Let's use an example to kick us off here.
- Kat followed baseline calories of 1800 for the first month. She lost 1kg.
- Month 2 she followed moderate training (1948 kcal) for 3 weeks and then dropped to baseline for 1 week. Her weight stabilised over the month (with many fluctuations).
- She found it tough in the first week to eat more (from a psychological and physical point of view), and actually put on 1kg. However she stuck to the program and this dropped back down by the end of the month.
- In month 3 she wants to focus on training more. So increasing her higher target to 2200 kcal is going to be needed. So she sets a target window of 1800 as baseline and 2200 kcal.
How Kat manages her nutrition is she has her baseline intake plan every day. She then increase her intake (via workout nutrition and an extra snack) to support training. She needs to fuel the tank!
What if I go over or under?
First thing is to assess why and where this happened. Was it a complete blow out day or was it over several days? Use the FAQ section to help guide you on reducing the macros you were over on. If it is was one day - chalk it off and stay on plan.
What if I put on weight in a week?
As we know we look at the average weight over the week / month / 6 months. First thing is to ask is it due to calories? Or could it be due to sleep, poor food choices (even if within our calorie target), stress, too much training, menstrual cycle etc. If you are really dialled in then it can be due to overeating (so drop to baseline for 1 week) or under fuelling (be aware of the signs). Check out the recovery week 3 for more info.
It is too confusing to change each day, can I just commit to one target?
Yes of course. If this is easier for you and you feel you are making progress then absolutely. Make this around 100 kcal above baseline.