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How long should a diet maintenance phase last?

Updated on Mar 11, 2024
1 min read

One thing that people usually do while starting a diet is that they plan it for a certain period or against a specific weight loss goal. And once this period ends or they achieve their goal, they revert to their previous dietary routine. This is not a good approach to dieting!

After the dieting period ends, the right thing to do is switch to a maintenance phase diet plan.

The purpose of this buffer period is to increase your calorie intake in small increments. This maintenance phase diet can help you return to your ‘normal’ eating habits. And, as an indirect benefit, it also increases the chances of maintenance phase weight loss in your body. Phase maintenance kits can also prove helpful in this transition.

The benefits of adopting this method after a period of dieting include:

  • Swift physical recovery.
  • Mental and physical relief from the strain that dieting puts on the body.
  • Better metabolism.
  • Reduced levels of hormones that induce appetite.
  • Better thyroid hormone balance.

How long should maintenance phase last?

If you are wondering how long should maintenance phase last, here is a simple formula that can help you. Just increase your calorie intake at the rate of 100 calories a week, and you’ll be good to go.

The time you will take to achieve your goal of maintenance phase weight loss varies from case to case and depends on the following factors.

The weight you have lost.

If your weight loss has been more than 10% of your body weight, your maintenance period diet will change significantly. As a general rule, you’ll have to be on a maintenance diet for 1-2 months.

How lean you have become?

It is generally hard to maintain a lean body. If you naturally have a body fat level that is easy to sustain, you might not have to spend a lot of time at maintenance. But if your body fat level is too low, you’ll have to spend a lot of time on maintenance.

Your maintenance history.

Lastly, if you have had issues with maintenance in the past, you’ll have to spend more time on this phase before you can pursue your next body goal. In such a case, a maintenance period of 1-2 months is generally recommended.