I have a rule that I follow that allows me to stay lean year round without getting too obsessed with food and counting calories.
You see, I like to drink beer and eat tasty foods, but I also like to have visible abs and a lean youthful appearance. I will talk about a simple and realistic approach to insure that you never have to worry about racing to get in shape for the summer ever again.
[With the increase in beach pictures, you can probably tell that I’m dying for a tropical vacation. People who live in the upper latitudes like me can probably relate. This picture just sums it up perfectly. Suntanning and swimming. My idea of an ideal vacation.]
So What is The 5 Pound Rule?
It is simply this…never allow yourself to get over 5 pounds over your “ideal weight”. When I talk about ideal weight, I’m not talking about the weight you are at when you have busted butt in the gym for 3 months straight and have dropped every last ounce of fat (this is more of a “event weight” which I will talk about later).
Your ideal weight is a realistic weight where you look great in and out of clothes. You aren’t chubby – you lean and toned, but maybe not a ripped as many movie stars get for their special roles.
Your Ideal Weight Depends Upon a Few Factors
To be honest, your ideal weight is defined by you. What weight does it take for you to be comfortable in a swimsuit? What is the weight where clothes fit really well? What weight does your face take on an attractive appearance? There isn’t a “weight calculator” or formula that will figure out this number for you.
For me, my ideal weight is 190…someone else my same height my look better at 200. You may have to experiment a bit to find out your ideal weight.
Find Out Your Ideal Weight and Stay Within 5 Pounds
Do what it takes to stay within 5 pounds of that weight year round. Once you are 5 pounds over that ideal weight mark, tighten up your diet and do what it takes to work back down to your ideal weight.
As long as you follow this rule you will look great year round. It is as simple as it gets.
This Allows a Lot of Flexibility to Eating and Exercise
This is a way of life for me. I can eat those bar nachos and drink beer on occasion and easily stay within that 5 pound zone. If for some reason I go from 190, up to 195 then I tighten up my diet and increase my activity levels…until I get close to 190 again.
I know that people like to get really complex with measuring body fat percentage, but once you know the weight that you feel is the best or you…then you don’t really need to complicate things.
“Event Weight” is Typically 5 Pounds Less Than Ideal Weight
Certainly 5 pounds is just a bit of an estimate, but if you go about 5 pounds lower than your ideal weight…you will reach what I call “event weight”.
I called this event weight, because this is the weight to reach for vacations, weddings, photo shoots, etc. I wouldn’t call it ideal, because it isn’t a realistic condition to hold year round. It is fun to push your body to the limits now and then, but attempting to do this year round is bordering on obsession.
Eating Healthy is The Goal the Majority of the Time
Even if you could stay lean on a junk food diet, that isn’t the goal. Ideally you want to eat a diet that is largely based on vegetables and healthy whole foods. If 75% of your meals are healthy and full of great nutrients, then you are on the right track.
If You Have More Than 10 Pounds to Lose…
If you have a lot of weight to lose, I would recommend that you work hard and allow yourself to be a bit “imbalanced” for a short period of time.
Seriously, just do what it takes to get down to your ideal weight and then make the point of never having to lose a lot of weight again. Once you reach your ideal weight, then use this more balanced approach and live a little.
Note: I was compelled to write this post, because I don’t want people to get too obsessed with fitness.
As long as you stay within a 5 pound range and not let things get out of hand, you can live a well balanced life and stay extremely fit for the rest of your life.