A friend of mine asked me this a couple of weeks ago. This spring, I’ve been eating cleaner (protein, veggies and a little fruit only), doing thrice weekly energy systems work (sprints and tabata), and speeding up my normal weight training workouts. I decided to do this mostly because I got a little slack over the long, cold, dark New York winter. As a result, I was feeling a bit sluggish, and my abs were looking more than a bit blurry.
In the midst of my fat loss quest, I was having a discussion with co-workers over my 4th grilled chicken salad lunch of the week, and one of them asked, “Won’t it all just come back when you stop trying?” That made be pause for a second – especially since it was framed very much as a “reason for not trying at all.”
Of course it will come back if you stop trying. Two months of clean eating does not give you mystical powers of un-digestion or fat-resistance for the rest of your life. If you eat clean, you get lean. Eat shitty, well I don’t know what rhymes with shitty, but you get the idea. You have to maintain or progress your efforts to maintain or progress your fat loss, and that’s OK. It does not invalidate my (or your) efforts to know that they must be sustained. Clean eating, whether for health benefits or look-good-nekid benefits, is a lifestyle, not a crash course.
If you want to get used to seeing your abs (or any other muscles), get used to eating right, because there’s no free pass.