Remember that thing called summer? I know fall is coming to an end, and winter is fast approaching. Things like pool parties, spontaneous road trips, apple picking, and leaf raking are drifting away, and the holiday shopping is looming. Luckily Texas weather isn’t too harsh during the winter.
Right now you’re busy with school and maybe things at work have picked up. Your responsibilities are mounting and your free time is dwindling. And maybe, just maybe, in the back of your mind you’re thinking to yourself, “Hey, pretty soon I’ll be buried under layers of cold weather clothes anyway. Who’s really going to notice if I put on a few pounds?”
Besides, you’ve been good this summer. The front desk people at the gym even know you by name! Not to mention you’ve barely glanced at a cookie all summer. “Um no, that cookie will be on display at the beach this weekend if I eat it.” So maybe now you’re thinking it’s time to slack off a bit on that crazy workout and strict nutrition program you’ve been on.
Don’t fall into that trap!
After years of being around gyms and coaching clients, one of the most common mistakes I’ve seen is the tendency for people to fall (pun intended) off their routine around this time of year. They can’t commit to the same frequency as before, so they just…give up.
Everybody goes through this. It’s not a matter of willpower or laziness. It’s a matter of routine. The all or nothing line of thinking doesn’t help either. When things come along and throw off your schedule, it’s hard to stick to new things you just started. Like your healthy eating and workout program.
The secret to maintaining that physique during the fall and winter seasons is to keep doing what you’ve been doing, just a little less. Sounds obvious, and maybe a little vague. So, here are some more concrete steps you can take away.
- You don’t have to be a gym maniac: Scale back what you’ve done to get into awesome summer shape for the next 3-4 months. If you’ve been hitting the gym 5 days a week, tell yourself you’re only going to do 2 days. But stick to it. If you feel like doing more than 2 days, then great! Go with it. But set the bar lower so you don’t disappoint yourself, and can meet your expectations.
- Nutritional Allowances: If you’ve been super strict on yourself, relax a bit. Allow yourself to have a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s after dinner. Rather than focusing on excluding the “bad stuff,” focus on including the “good stuff.” This means one to two fist sized servings of vegetables and fruits, and one palm sized amount of lean protein sources like meat, eggs, yogurt, etc… per meal.
Sometimes it’s alright to just maintain. Staying fit and looking great shouldn’t be an ebb and flow of hardcore progress, followed by inevitable regress. When life gets hectic and there’s simply not enough time to make progress in your fitness or physique, just remind yourself that tomorrow’s another day and you don’t have to call it quits.
If you have questions on this or just want some tips, feel free to contact me on Twitter: @BrandonKCole
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