Since February 2020, Ann has been committed to a complete transformation where we reduced her caloric intake in an effort to lose body fat. We then moved into a reverse diet where her caloric intake increased with the goal of keeping her body fat the same.
From Jan. 2021- May 2021, calories went up slightly more as we shifted to building muscle while continuing to keep body fat where it was. This process is difficult, and it requires as much planning, tracking and self-discipline as a fat loss phase. Patience is key, and Ann really committed to her program.
When considering scale weight, Ann started at 131 pounds in February 2020, then dropped to 124 pounds in March 2020, maintained at 127 pounds through the fall and winter then went up in scale weight to 131 again in May 2021. These fluctuations were intentional to reduce body fat, then to build muscle while staying lean.
When you look at body fat changes, that was 22% in March 2019 a year before she started the process, then 18% in March 2020, then 15.8% in December 2020 after maintenance, then 16% in April 2021 after putting on several pounds of muscle. When considering lean body mass, that was 102.7 pounds in March 2020, then 106.8 pounds in December 2020 after maintenance, then 110.1 pounds in April 2021.
That’s the power of the long game. That’s consistency over a year and a half.
Ann started this process at 131 pounds in March 2020 and today she weighs 131 pounds, but that scale weight looks entirely different. It is lower body fat and 7.5 pounds more muscle today. It’s eating 2,300 calories a day now, versus eating under 1,500 calories a day in March 2020, and being at a lower body fat percentage and having significantly more muscle.
Ann’s goal for the rest of 2021 is to maintain, and then go into 2022 using the same pattern of increasing calories a small percentage, putting on a few more pounds of muscle, and staying at a lower body fat percentage.
It’s important to learn how to gradually bring your calories back up to avoid yo-yo dieting for the rest of your life. Many people skip reverse dieting after a fat loss phase either because they don’t know how to properly do it, or they don’t consider the consequences.
You cannot sustain a low calorie diet for very long, which is why it’s imperative you commit to tracking your nutrition and learning your body. This may take several months or even a couple of years, but it’s worth it.
Commit to playing the long game so you avoid the frustrations of lifelong chronic dieting.