So, you’ve done it! You’ve reached your goal body weight, you’ve finished your 12-week transformation or maybe you’ve finally reached a fitness goal you’ve been working towards all year.

Now what?

The inevitable struggle that follows any achievement, is knowing what to do next.

When you’ve put so much time, effort and thinking-space into one final outcome, what happens when you reach the end? 

Some people will immediately seek a new goal, in a bid to stay focused and maintain their results.

Some people will take a little time off to rest and recover, before getting back into a healthy routine. But sadly, many people, will fall off the wagon.

In my experience, when you spend a period of time abstaining from something that you love, it is very easy to see that green light and go all out.

With a body transformation, the food you eat is all designed to help you achieve optimal results for your body, your health and your fitness, so you will be used to saying ‘no’ to foods that you enjoy or crave. 

When you no longer have ‘rules’ in place, it’s very easy to get carried away with being able to say ‘yes’ to everything – even food you perhaps don’t really want or need.

It is common and it is normal – and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it.

At least, that’s what I’ve been coming to terms with since completing my transformation. 

In the four weeks that have followed my journey, I’ve battled a few mental dilemmas. I’ve gone from wanting to immediately get back into my training routine and getting my meal prep organised, to wanting to take time off and enjoy some chocolate in the afternoon. 

From that point, there follows the inevitable guilt. The worry that you’re slipping back into old habits, or moving backwards when you’re used to progressing forwards.

However, I’ve learnt that giving yourself a tough time won’t improve your situation. Adding guilt into the mix will only lead to a repeat cycle of trying to eliminate everything ‘bad’ from your diet again, only to feel dreadful the moment you enjoy something you shouldn’t.

Short-term goals are great for making progress, but ultimately it is important to be able to find a happy place where you can be healthy and happy every day.

I’ve covered my top 5 tips to avoid falling off the wagon and to help you stay positively motivated and maintain those hard-earned results.

trap bar deadlift

Read about how nutrition helped me to achieve my results, and see what I ate during my 12-week transformation here.

    1. Stay accountable.

If you want to get back to your positive eating habits, tell somebody about it. 

Whether you speak to your trainer or a friend, by voicing your decision you will be more inclined to stick with it. Whether you mention that you’ve overindulged and would like to cut back on the ‘treats’ or just that you’d like to start meal prepping again, just mention it to somebody who will care if you go back on your meal plan.

You could even keep a food journal or take photographs of your meals, to help you to be more aware of what food you are eating and to help you make better choices.

watt bike cardio

2. Ask for support.

It is easy to feel a little bit lost and on your own after you’ve had the guidance of a professional for 12 weeks – but at UP, the trainers care about you both during and after you’ve achieved your results. 

If you feel like you’re losing control and you’re uncomfortable with it, speak to your trainer and ask for a new plan to follow or even just some advice to help you to regain control of your habits and get back to a place where you feel comfortable. 

Again, accountability is a useful tool to take advantage of, so speak up if you’re in need of help or guidance and then you will be more likely to follow through with your plan of action.

cupcakes

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3. Don’t set rules.

When you enforce strict rules upon what you ‘can’ and ‘cannot’ have, you run the risk of bingeing time and time again. If you tell yourself you are not allowed something, you will be more inclined to want it. It happened week 1 of my transformation. At work, I would always eat similar foods, and sugary snacks or chocolate bars never really crossed my mind. 

The minute I’d been told I wasn’t allowed them, all I wanted was a bite of my colleagues chocolate bar, a piece of cookie or a nibble of a doughnut. It was all in my head and realising that was an important part of my transformation process. 

The same applies afterwards. Just because I’m now allowed anything that I want doesn’t mean that I need to eat every ‘treat’ going, despite feeling that way at times.

If you fall off the wagon, it’s very easy to try to regain control by saying ‘Right that’s it, I’m not eating any more of this food.’ However, all that happened when I created unnecessary rules like that, after my transformation, was to make a big deal of foods that were banned.

This just leads to wanting them even more.

It can be a vicious cycle, driven by guilt, which many people experience with any diet. It is much healthier, to stop labelling foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and to allow yourself to eat what your body truly wants – which isn’t chocolate or sugar or junk food. It’s healthy, nutritious foods that fill you with energy and enable you to train and work hard.

Once you stop placing rules upon foods, you can tune into what you really want and rediscover those positive eating habits that you learned during the transformation process.

A body transformation is more than just vanity and what you look like – it’s understanding how to look after yourself with great training and good nutrition. 

chicken stir fry

4. Enjoy yourself, but stop ‘treating’ yourself.

Following on from the previous tip, it is important to stop seeing food as a treat or reward. Eat when you’re hungry and use the new lessons that you’ve learned.

How great did you feel when you ate vegetables with every meal?

How not great did you feel after eating a tub of ice cream for dessert?

Remind yourself that the main purpose of food is to sustain you, to provide you with energy and to support your bodily functions. So give your body the food it deserves.

Jenny resting

5. Stop getting stressed.

The final point I will leave you with, is to stop getting so stressed out. Eat and exercise for enjoyment and pleasure rather than constantly seeking new goals and new rules to enforce. You’ve done the hard work and you’ve been disciplined and strict with your training and diet, now stop beating yourself up for being human and just watch how much easier it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

Set yourself new goals when you’re ready and when you have a genuine goal that you want to reach – not just for the sake of it. If you fancy something to eat that you weren’t allowed on your transformation, go ahead. Just don’t make it into a big deal, don’t behave as though it is an incredible treat and don’t feel guilty afterwards.

It’s natural to feel a bit lost after reaching any major goal, so use these tips to get back to a place where you are happy, healthy and in control. 

Reach out, communicate with your trainer and remember that you just because you have achieved your goal, you can still practice what you have learned along the way.

healthy meal choices

Read about how nutrition helped me to achieve my results, and see what I ate during my 12-week transformation here.

Start your own body transformation and learn how you can train for maximum results and how to eat to support your training below…