Of refeeds and diet breaks

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Replies

  • SeanD2407
    SeanD2407 Posts: 139 Member
    So the less you have to lose the more often you should do diet breaks? Can somebody break that down? Is that why the last 5-10lbs are the hardest to lose? Not taking enough breaks?
  • SeanD2407
    SeanD2407 Posts: 139 Member
    SeanD2407 wrote: »
    So the less you have to lose the more often you should do diet breaks? Can somebody break that down? Is that why the last 5-10lbs are the hardest to lose? Not taking enough breaks?

    The last 5lbs to lose are the hardest because of how insanely accurate you have to be. For me its taken me almost 6 months to go from the 160-165 range to the 155-160 range. Will probably be even longer to get to 150-155.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    Correct on that concept, I think the extra info you are wondering about is page 2 updates.

    Last 5-10 generally because of the accuracy issue. But also body has been under stress potentially for awhile, and waiting for a whoosh or such.

    You can also skin that cat a different way since 250 cal deficit can be hard to keep. Take your week diet break.
    Then keep 500 cal deficit for 2 weeks, take another break, then another 2 weeks. 3 weeks to lose 2 lbs instead of 4 on paper, and keeping that deficit perhaps in reality too.
  • bmeadows380
    bmeadows380 Posts: 2,983 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    Correct on that concept, I think the extra info you are wondering about is page 2 updates.

    Last 5-10 generally because of the accuracy issue. But also body has been under stress potentially for awhile, and waiting for a whoosh or such.

    You can also skin that cat a different way since 250 cal deficit can be hard to keep. Take your week diet break.
    Then keep 500 cal deficit for 2 weeks, take another break, then another 2 weeks. 3 weeks to lose 2 lbs instead of 4 on paper, and keeping that deficit perhaps in reality too.

    I'm not anywhere near being ready for hte last 10 lbs, but I'm glad to see this post; I had never thought of working it out this way. a 500 calorie deficit would for me be much easier to manage!
  • Psychgrrl
    Psychgrrl Posts: 3,176 Member
    Nony_Mouse wrote: »
    Categories are based on body fat percentage, can't remember the actual cut off between 2 and 3 (Cat 1 is 24% or below, for women), but based on your weight, you're a Cat 3.

    You need to be at maintenance cals for at least a week to get the hormonal benefits, so yes, doing it that was would be fine if it's psychologically easier for you. Longer at maintenance is better, but it's up to you.

    I checked my diary for when I was doing re-feeds, I was aiming to hit 300g a day, which was ~50% cals for me. Protein worked out to 30%, fats to 20%, though all of them were actually based on grams per lb of ideal weight. It's all in the video, from memory.

    I've only just started adding activity and that's all cardio, so my body fat % is definitely still higher. I'd like to start weights but can't afford both a gym membership and the jiu-jitsu class, so I'm sticking with the jiu-jitsu for now. I don't like weight machines and I really want to start out with a trainer when I can afford it because I want to make sure I've got the forms right and I'm doing it right, and I can't tell that from a video on Youtube.

    I am an experienced gym goer. It’ll be a long while before I can go back and do my workout the way I want (it’s not even open yet and when it is only hour-long slots by appointment, no drop-ins.)

    I bought a couple sets of resistance bands (max weight for each set is 150 pounds). Love them! I may actually buy a third set next month. They come with handles and ankle wraps. (They anchor through a door.) I can’t replicate my beloved leg presses, but they give a run for my money on squats And other leg exercises. 😃💪🏻 And I have lots of room to go up regarding upper body. I’ve been enjoying myself Getting creative and trying new movements and increasing the weight. I track the exercises and weight on a google sheet. I use an app for the gym—I can never remember that stuff! 🤪

    Quarantine has been tough, and I’ve made some good changes signed up for a meal delivery service and I’m getting more fruits and veggies. Still working on site some days—we had college students with no place to go so we kept them. And some who left and came back because home wasn’t good for them in one way or another. And all my maintenance and custodial staff stayed on site, they needed support, too.

    We all do what we can with what we’ve got.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    Glad this got bumped.

    Very true the physical pounding can just be tiring - what's bad is when that leads to wanting to chuck the logging when you know that may be required for a very long time.

    I've been doing 1 week break based on lbs lost, which ends up being every 5th week anyway, but I really should have planned out by time and had it set for planning.
    Why?
    Trying to do 3 weeks of groceries at a time to limit exposures - when I don't plan that extra food eaten reduces that time span pretty bad. Plus I forget to fill in some fun calories!
  • alteredsteve175
    alteredsteve175 Posts: 2,665 Member
    Bumpity bump bump. Lots of good information in this thread.
  • JaysFan82
    JaysFan82 Posts: 487 Member
    I don't think I could mentally handle a diet break at this point.
  • Psychgrrl
    Psychgrrl Posts: 3,176 Member
    JaysFan82 wrote: »
    I don't think I could mentally handle a diet break at this point.

    You doing OK?
  • HelenWater
    HelenWater Posts: 233 Member
    I’ve started a four weeks on followed by four weeks off based on Dr Nick Fuller’s book. He calls it Interval Weight Loss and it is about protecting resting metabolic rate while losing weight. I won’t really know if it works for me until I’ve been following it for a bit longer, but it’s based on evidence and encourages the Mediterranean Diet, exercise, and attention to sleep. I feel well even if my weight isn’t decreasing at a very fast rate.
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 9,206 Member
    @HelenWater

    On the four weeks you are "off," are you eating at maintenance or over maintenance? I think if I were to eat at, say, a 250 calorie daily deficit for a month and a 250 calorie surplus for the next, I'd maintain right where I am and never lose another pound beyond that. The scale would look like a sine wave with periodicity of two months for a complete cycle. If eating at maintenance for the off weeks, that just would mean it takes longer to get to goal, and that's really not a bad thing. Getting practice eating at maintenance will serve you well once you do reach goal, because that's what you'll have to do, on average, for the indefinite future.
  • HelenWater
    HelenWater Posts: 233 Member
    The off month is maintenance. The theory is that when you reach your goal you have also shifted your set point and so won’t really need to count calories. It’s very slow, but having lost and gained 30kg I’m ready to try a different approach.
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 9,206 Member
    HelenWater wrote: »
    The off month is maintenance. The theory is that when you reach your goal you have also shifted your set point and so won’t really need to count calories. It’s very slow, but having lost and gained 30kg I’m ready to try a different approach.

    If you're able to maintain without keeping track of calories, you're ahead of me. My experience is, unfortunately, I have to pay attention in maintenance. Maybe after another five years I'll be able to stop. Kind of risky. I'd still weigh daily. I will say I have changed HOW I track calories. I am much more comfortable with some kinds of estimates. An example is a recipe I made back in February of 2022 or 2021 for black bean soup. I make a similar soup frequently, and it's never the exact same ingredient list. For that soup, "one serving" is a gram, so I still weigh the soup, but each batch has different calories per gram. I make a few kinds of bean salads (dried beans, cooked, mixed with more vegetables than beans, and it's really good). I made one recipe for each the first time, and I figured how many "servings" it made. I use the same size bowl for a serving, and while each batch is probably different, I don't redo the recipe. It's working.

    I'm glad to read that your "off" months are maintenance and not "free for all." That could definitely slow things down. You will learn really good habits with your routine of alternating months of maintaining and months of losing. It's wise to take the long view and go slow. Yay!
  • BCLadybug888
    BCLadybug888 Posts: 761 Member
    edited January 22
    HelenWater wrote: »
    The off month is maintenance. The theory is that when you reach your goal you have also shifted your set point and so won’t really need to count calories. It’s very slow, but having lost and gained 30kg I’m ready to try a different approach.

    I had not heard of this eating plan until you mentioned it, thanks for that!

    There are some very tenacious souls that somehow hang onto their goal weight in maintenance by grit and determination, eating low calorie (like 1000-1200) and keeping up their activity. I cannot see that being my successful reality.

    The role of metabolism reduction and the rise of ghrelin (and other hormonal changes) in failure to maintain losses is disheartening and despite vows to the contrary I have yoyo'd my way to a pretty significant weight and definitely need to solve this puzzle once and for all. I am taking diet breaks, maintenance periods and s l o w pace very seriously this time, but it is hard to stay positive sometimes with progress. I am not going to regain fully ever again. I may have little hiccups on way down, and it may take years to lose all I need to (100 lbs) but this health pursuit must be FOR LIFE.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,840 Member
    HelenWater wrote: »
    The off month is maintenance. The theory is that when you reach your goal you have also shifted your set point and so won’t really need to count calories. It’s very slow, but having lost and gained 30kg I’m ready to try a different approach.

    I had not heard of this eating plan until you mentioned it, thanks for that!

    There are some very tenacious souls that somehow hang onto their goal weight in maintenance by grit and determination, eating low calorie (like 1000-1200) and keeping up their activity. I cannot see that being my successful reality.

    The role of metabolism reduction and the rise of ghrelin (and other hormonal changes) in failure to maintain losses is disheartening and despite vows to the contrary I have yoyo'd my way to a pretty significant weight and definitely need to solve this puzzle once and for all. I am taking diet breaks, maintenance periods and s l o w pace very seriously this time, but it is hard to stay positive sometimes with progress. I am not going to regain fully ever again. I may have little hiccups on way down, and it may take years to lose all I need to (100 lbs) but this health pursuit must be FOR LIFE.

    I'm going to risk a slight digression to this thread.

    I think the information in this thread is solid and useful: Diet breaks and refeeds can be a helpful strategy, for a variety of reasons described very well here.

    At the same time, I think that the idea of "metabolic damage" (reduced TDEE long term) has been somewhat oversold by the blogosphere (often with the goal of selling us "remedies" or "hacks", but sometimes just because catastrophes make better click-bait).

    As a partial counter-balance, I'd very much recommend also reading this very good thread - specifically, read the first few posts on that thread from the OP himself.

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/1077746/starvation-mode-adaptive-thermogenesis-and-weight-loss/p1

    For those who have a history of yo-yo dieting, especially certain common subtypes of that, some of the reduction of calorie needs is not just from that effect, but also from loss of lean mass (extreme diets, no strength exercise, sub-ideal nutrition) and gradually decreased habits of activity (in daily life as well as exercise, triggered as weight increases and fitness decreases simply because movement becomes harder and less pleasant). That muscle loss and decreased activity can be countered explicitly, as part of increasing our final maintenance calorie needs.

    Apologies for the digression.