T Nation

Maintenance Coping Advice

I’m just coming off of a ‘cut’ (I use that term loosely as it was a more long-term, low-intensity fat loss phase) and am going to maintain a bit before putting more focus on weight gain, or at least I want to.

Thing is, I was obese as a child, and as of right now (185, calipers would say 7% BF) I am still a Fatophobe. I have tried to do this in the past but slight weight gain makes me put more emphasis on cardio and consume less calories than would be conducive to strength gains.

The plan I have been on for, time untold, has essentially let me lose about 3lbs of fat and gain 1lb of muscle a month, so it is decent. My strength has not increased at all, however, which I attribute to the emphasis on cardio and less-than-optimal calorie intake.

My question is more so on coping, has anyone else had this nagging feeling before? And if so, how did you overcome, or at least accept it?

I was going to answer based on my own experience, but Chris Shugart beat me to it.

This will probably get thrown in my face, but I agree with like, 99% of that article.

As to the nitty-gritty, when I came off a cut diet, I already knew where my maintenance was (basically the kcal I was eating +the kcal of the fat I was losing/week). Over the course of a month, I increased my daily kcal to that point (which for me entailed adding 250kcal/day/week). The calories I added were in the form of fat or protein. I kept up with my conditioning (actually, I dropped from 3x to 1x/week, but that had more to do with finally becoming employed), and if I wanted to, I allowed myself an extra cheat meal.

So what you see is
a) a slow increase in the total kcal
b) eating rediculously clean
c) keeping up with conditioning
d) maybe, sometimes, having 2 cheat meals in a week. Ooooh, wild and wacky, huh.

My waist stayed the same, my weight actually went up (whether bounce from post-diet muscle building or carbs from cheat #2, I don’t know). My metabolism thanked me.

I still follow the AD though.