When to Take A Diet Break

people-enjoying-a-diet-breakAre you restless, agitated and unable to sleep? These may be signs that you need to take a short diet break from your restrictive diet. Taking a diet break from your diet may give you a much needed mental boost, satisfy some cravings and jump-start your metabolism resulting in improved results.

Just like a training plateau, your weight loss will gradually slow or stop. Over time, your body adjusts to your calorie restriction and works against you to maintain body fat. A short diet break from your dietary routine can shock your system and get your weight loss program back on track.

Here are five signs that suggest it may be time for you to take a diet break, or at the very least reward yourself with a cheat meal:

  1. You feel tired and lethargic and find it difficult to make it through the day or your workout. This may indicate that you have exhausted all of your glycogen stores, your muscles have no stored energy or energy reserves leaving you exhausted.
  2. You are constantly hungry. This is more than a craving, if you are always hungry you may be restricting your calories to the point of starvation and your body will fight to reserve and replace energy supplies. This results in a constant feeling of hunger.
  3. You feel cold or chilled. You may have been on your diet so long that your metabolism, your basic metabolic rate is slowed nearly to the point of hibernation.
  4. Your weight loss slows or stops. Safe, permanent weight loss averages about 1 pound per week. This may not seem like much, but if you could maintain this rate, you would lose about 50 pounds over the course of a year. If your weight loss falls below this or stops, it’s time to change up your routine, your diet and take a break to stimulate your metabolism.
  5. You are increasingly restless and have difficulty sleeping. You may be overtraining for the amount of calories you are consuming. Weight loss results when you create a calorie deficit, you burn more calories than you take in, but in this case, you may be over stimulating your metabolism. Your heart beats slightly fast, you breathe quickly and shallowly leaving you feeling nervous and restless. Time for a diet break.

Be very careful. While a short diet break or even a simple cheat meal can correct many of these conditions, if you are not careful your break may lead to overeating, binge eating or a complete abandonment of your healthy diet. Don’t let that be you, plan your break or cheat meal and limit your break to a predetermined length of time.

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