Unless you simply don't give a crap about your body and overall health, it's more than likely that you've done a "diet" at some point in your life. For many, we diet TOO MUCH. Hopping from fad diet to fade diet, trying every fat loss pill and weight loss scheme known to man while constantly shredding calories. And for the majority, most never achieve the long term results they were hoping for and if they do achieve some brink of success, it's for a short time before they suffer from the dreaded, "rebound effect" or begin to experience various physiological negatives.
What does a diet break look like?
A diet break can be any combination of items that gives your mind and body a break. Whether it be taking a break from counting calories and macros every day, to bumping up your calories so you're not in a deficit, to spending some time outside of the gym, it can all vary but the goal remains the same: to give yourself a chance to breath and not mentally attack yourself simply because you want to eat this or you didn't do one thing that would help you to achieve your weight loss goal.
A diet break can be anywhere from just a few days long to no longer than 2 weeks at a time. And don't worry, you shouldn't see a dramatic change on the scale from taking a short diet break. If you do see a huge change, it probably means you were doing something to yourself that you shouldn't have.
So, what are some signs that you need a diet break?
1. You've been in a caloric deficit for longer than 12 weeks.
2. You are experiencing several biofeedback clues such as poor sleep quality, poor workout performance, chronic fatigue, caffeinated beverages aren't giving you energy, moodiness, low sex drive, not going #2 daily, etc.
3. You randomly binge eat because "you deserve it."
4. Doing anything other than laying in bed and watching Netflix is difficult.
5. You get sick of your meal preps by the second day in the week.
Important things to remember:
1. If you are constantly performing high intensity style workouts such as Crossfit, HIIT, Weightlifting with little to no rest periods, etc. while in a caloric deficit, this is a sure fire way to f*ck your adrenals and trash your hormonal profile. If you are passionate about this style of training, consult with a certified coach that can direct you on how to fuel properly for it.
2. Also, if you are anything like me and constantly attack yourself for eating various "bad foods," then that's a good indicator that you have a poor mental relationship with food and need to seek guidance/counseling and figure out why that is. Remember, it's NOT HEALTHY to have shredded abs year-round and if you do, you have to be extremely careful that you don't fall into a metabolic adaptation. Please, get out of this mindset that you need to look your best 365 days a year, it's simply not realistic for optimal health and wellness.
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***Disclaimer: Before starting any new diet and exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise and/or diet changes with them before beginning. We are NOT doctors, nutritionists or registered dietitians. We do not claim to help cure any condition or disease. We do not provide medical aid or nutrition advice for the purpose of health or disease nor do we claim to be doctors or dietitians.