Cut calories, then cut even more. Add in cardio, then add a little more. . . all to create a caloric deficit to lose weight. Unfortunately, all too often people get caught up in constantly dieting, BUT sometimes it’s a good idea to take a diet break, EVEN IF THE END GOAL HASN’T BEEN MET!
Yes, you read that right! Even if the end fat loss goal hasn’t been met, it may be time to take a break from dieting in order to accelerate results! May sound crazy, but constant dieting can actually hinder results!
Here’s the deal. . . let’s say you’ve been dieting for 6 months or longer and your calories are already down to 1300 a day, you’re working out daily and the scale won’t budge! Dieting tells us we should cut more calories and exercise more to lose weight, BUT there’s a huge problem with that! Continually cutting calories and exercising more will only lead to a slower metabolic rate, making fat loss harder and harder. Eventually there will be no more calories to cut and no more exercise you can tolerate to continue fat loss! In addition, hormone levels change when dieting, and cutting calories too low for too long affects stress and hunger hormones in the body. The only way to overcome this fat loss plateau and reset the hormones is to take a diet break.
Another sign that you might need to take a break is if you’re burnt out! Let’s say you’ve been dieting and exercising for a while and you are just over it! You are exhausted, stressed, tired of cutting calories, etc. Basically you are hating life because of your diet! If you find that you’re miserable, you need to step back and re-assess and take a break!
Let me make one thing clear. . . taking a break from dieting is not a ticket to binge and be completely unhealthy and lazy! What it means is that you need to let your body re-boot in order to accelerate your results! If you are constantly dieting like in the first example, and your metabolic rate has slowed down to the point of a plateau, it’s time to do a little reverse dieting to help with future dieting. Basically adding in calories slowly and cutting back on cardio to help repair the metabolism and make the next attempt at fat loss more successful. In the second scenario, the break is a time to reset your mind. . . give yourself a break from a caloric deficit and tracking everything you eat! Instead, focus on maintenance, cut exercise back and let yourself regain the energy you need to take on your diet again after your mind is right!
If you always try to power through, eat less, exercise more and diet even though you are miserable, it will only be a matter of time before you just give up! This will lead to a rebound and you’ll likely put the weight back on (oftentimes even more weight). Of course, this will negatively affect your metabolism making each future weight loss attempt harder! Constantly dieting and being in the fat loss mindset isn’t productive. It’s not healthy for the body or the mind!
Realizing you need to just take a break and focus on maintenance is a good thing! It will make your results last and it will lead to long term success! I often work with clients who reach a fat loss goal, then get comfortable and focus on maintenance for a while. . . I tell them it’s like practice! Once you can lose weight and keep that weight off, that’s a huge success! So instead of getting frustrated when you’ve hit a plateau, think of it as a time to reboot and get ready for the next round of fat loss!
Getting discouraged and frustrated with dieting will only hinder your results in the long run! So I urge you to assess where you’re at right now. Are you frustrated with your diet and exercise program? Have you been dieting for months? Did you just finish dieting and you’re already wanting to jump right back in? It’s ok to take a break! It doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it means you’re smart! It means you’re human!
Again, I want to emphasize that a break doesn’t mean it’s ok to throw caution to the wind! It’s just a time to stop focusing on the daily caloric deficit, and to focus more on leisurely activity instead of intense workouts daily! It’s a time to re-energize your body and your mind!
Here are 3 Signs You Need to Take a Break from Your Diet:
- You’ve been dieting for months, you’re eating minimal calories and exercising daily and the scale isn’t budging!
- You hate your diet and exercise routine!
- You just dieted and are jumping right back into a new diet without taking a break!
If you missed my FREE METABOLISM MAKEOVER, get it HERE! This will help get you on track if you’ve over-dieted and slowed your metabolic rate!
Comment below and let me know if you’ve ever been in one of these situations!