One of the least propagated techniques used in weight loss is just taking a break. Taking a break while dieting is a great way to give yourself a psychological boost when you are on a restrictive eating plan as it lets you satisfy your food cravings with some brief relief from any hunger you experience while dieting.
A diet break is also a jump-start for your body metabolism which may have reduced due to your reduced calorie intake. So when you continue your diet again, which may be the next week, day or even the next meal, you see faster results overall.
So here are some signals which indicate that it’s time for you to take a break from your diet, or at least reward yourself a cheat meal.
1. You find your workout performance reducing which can be because of low muscle glycogen levels. This can be remedied with a short diet break.
2. You feel hungry all the time. If you feel hungry 20 minutes after eating, it shows your leptin levels are dropping and that your body thinks your energy levels have reduced and need more food to use or store as fuel.
3. You don’t remember when you had last indulged. Following a diet for long itself is a reason for a diet break as you strain your self-control too much which in turn reduces your motivation.
4. You are always feeling cold, which indicates that your metabolism is slowing down and that it’s time for a diet break.
5. You find that your progress has significantly dropped. If you were losing a pound a week for the last three weeks but have not lost anything despite your sticking to your plan, it means it’s time to take a few days off your diet.
6. You find it difficult sleeping. Diet impacts your sleep quality wherein you may not get the restful sleep you require. A diet break of a few days can however resolve this.
7. You keep thinking about food. This obsession of food indicates that your body is asking for more. One cheat day is all that you require to turn off this train of thought.
8. You feel like sleeping all the time. Besides finding it difficult to sleep, wanting to oversleep may be your body signalling that it does not have the energy to do anything else.
9. You are always irritable and anxious. Long term dieting tries your patience and mood. So reset this by taking a little break like a cheat day or a weekend off.
10. You seem to be having strong food cravings, especially for carbs through the day. A drop in leptin because of long-term dieting makes you crave carbs more than anything else.
Pay attention to signals
In a nutshell, you need to pay attention to how you feel while on your diet and the progress you experience. Your body usually signals when it’s time to eat more for a while. If you listen to your body, you will get faster results and be more satisfied.
In case you don’t see any of these signs, remember that it’s still a good idea to take a few days off your diet for a few days every 5 -8 weeks of dieting. Use this as a guideline to ensure you stay on course, and thus support your long term weight loss success.