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Periodic Diet Break to minimize diet effects on metabolic rate?

JButlerEagleJButlerEagle Posts: 45Member Member Posts: 45Member Member
After reading the recent biggest loser study
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/health/biggest-loser-weight-loss.html

Got me to wondering if I should be incorporating a periodic timeout from losing weight goal (eat at maintenance for 10-14 days). I have lost 20 pounds in 12 weeks and have another 25 to go. Here's another article I found that outlines arguments FOR taking a break.

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/the-full-diet-break.html/

What are your thoughts? Has anyone had experience with a diet break?

Replies

  • RoxieDawnRoxieDawn Posts: 15,505Member Member Posts: 15,505Member Member
    Well I don't know about anyone else and their thoughts on how this contributes metabolically, I personally like the idea and think it does. I want to take a diet brake. I get tired and it is a mental break more than anything else.

    Reaching maintenance calories is difficult for some. Actually a lot of folks you will read the forums are freaked out getting to maintenance calories because they have been dieting for so long.

    But is does not have to be dramatic, it can be adding a small amount or just say you are going to eat 200 or 250 (or what ever magic number it is) more a day for two weeks. That's what I do, but being a short person, my deficits are not very much. But being able to eat those calories even if it is 250 (it more like 400-500) is huge for me and I am in the leaner category so this is necessary for me.

    Overall, win win.
    edited May 2016
  • zyxstzyxst Posts: 9,156Member Member Posts: 9,156Member Member
    I don't think they're necessary, but I've never taken them. Well, the 6 weeks I took off last year to find my maintenance calories since my Fitbit Zip was giving my a 3,000 daily burn might be considered a diet break, but I don't feel it was. The Zip was out of whack and I wanted to confirm my TDEE was at where I thought it should be using the info from my old Ultra (it is).

    A lot of people take diet breaks or use cheat days/meals, and have no issues switching between maintenance and weight loss frequently. I'm the type who needs to stay on course until the end because I know I will give in and just stay fat.
  • JButlerEagleJButlerEagle Posts: 45Member Member Posts: 45Member Member
    Thanks all for your thoughts and experiences. I think I'll stick to my original weight loss plans for the full 6 months I told myself I would give it. Then decide to finish up the losing or go to maintenance for a while...
  • richlnrichln Posts: 811Member Member Posts: 811Member Member
    I find diet breaks very helpful. They are increasingly beneficial the closer you get to goal weight. In addition to the Lyle McDonald article you already posted, here are some other good ones:
    http://rippedbody.jp/diet-break/
    http://strengthunbound.com/when-to-take-a-diet-break/
  • paulgads82paulgads82 Posts: 256Member Member Posts: 256Member Member
    I take them but I'm sick and need to be careful with losing weight too fast, my body needs the calories.
  • walking2runningwalking2running Posts: 141Member Member Posts: 141Member Member
    I am taking a diet break due to mentally being exhausted from the weight loss journey. I do feel like I have no idea when/how to get back on track because I'm so much enjoying having little extra snacks throughout the day. Knowing myself, I thought this might happen but I tried to think I would have behaved differently. Not sure how to get back on the horse now.
  • HippySkoppyHippySkoppy Posts: 727Member Member Posts: 727Member Member
    For me breaks were essential.....the road is long and at the start I had an enormous 168 lbs to get rid of.

    Of course it took years and there were times, especially at the beginning where I did silly things like eat at the 1200 cal set and try to lose the max every week, etc etc. Do that day after day, week in week out and month ++++ .....well you get the picture.

    I found the 1200 too severe and was initially prone to big splurges. Upped the calories and that helped but there were always events, parties, birthdays etc where counting really accurately was nigh impossible so I used those times to give myself the freedom to enjoy all the foods....

    I thought it would end up with me probably stalling or even gaining but quite the contrary. These times reinvigorated my endurance and strength and gave me the mental joy of 'freedom' without the confines of the 'discipline' of always monitoring CI-CO. It may even have kept me sane (ish). :p

    Just be aware of your own limitations and strengths and weaknesses where breaking from the 'prgramme' is concerned as you also need to have the self-discipline to get back onto your road to weight loss and then successful maintenance.

    Hope this helps.
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    MissusMoon wrote: »
    After reading the recent biggest loser study
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/health/biggest-loser-weight-loss.html

    Got me to wondering if I should be incorporating a periodic timeout from losing weight goal (eat at maintenance for 10-14 days). I have lost 20 pounds in 12 weeks and have another 25 to go. Here's another article I found that outlines arguments FOR taking a break.

    http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/the-full-diet-break.html/

    What are your thoughts? Has anyone had experience with a diet break?

    You are not a Biggest Loser contestant. You are probably not as obese, nor will you be rapidly losing fat and muscle mass by exercising over six hours per day. There is no starvation mode. The results of that small study are very much in dispute for a number of reasons, including the fact they were likely cutting food portions while being studied.

    Excluding that research (which is weak for various reasons) there is some evidence (I consider it strong) that diet breaks have positive effect on long term weight loss and metabolic function.

    Starvation mode, in terms of changes in metabolic function (adaptive thermogenesis) beyond that of weight dependent function and hysteresis of weight loss do exist and are heavily documented.

    Do take breaks.

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

  • dutchandkiwidutchandkiwi Posts: 1,389Member Member Posts: 1,389Member Member
    In a way I do take breaks.
    When I am on a holiday I try to eat at maintenance (of my goal weight). But I do so because I want to have a little more room to play and taking it easy then. For me it has a psychological reason, more than anyhting else. It is a holiday so I can eat a little more, plus it teaches me to eat at that maintenance level and what I can and cannot do.
    I just don't want to let go completely during my holiday, and return to effectively the bad habits that got me to MFP in the first place. I just do not think that that will fit me and my lifestyle at all, but as said I do want to enjoy some things I otherwise would not.

    As for re-setting the metabolosm and taking a break. I never gave that a second thought but if it would help then I am all for it.
    edited May 2016
  • snickerscharliesnickerscharlie Posts: 8,549Member Member Posts: 8,549Member Member
    SideSteel wrote: »
    I would absolutely recommend periods of time where you eat around maintenance calories with the intention of maintaining weight.

    Wrote a bit about it here if anyone is interested in a casual take on it:
    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/SideSteel/view/maintenance-mindset-and-motivation-805526

    So much this. ^^ <3
  • louann_judelouann_jude Posts: 310Member Member Posts: 310Member Member
    I feel like I am getting burned out on the obsessing about calorie content and hitting my target two pounds a week. It's getting hard also when I am doing everything right and only lose a half a pound that week. I have been on a steady loss since January and have lost 64 pounds so far. The first 3 months I took no cheat days at all.

    In July I plan to go to my Moms for two weeks. I am going the week after my 180 day weigh in. During that time I am going to maintenance calories. I dont want to freak out because I ate a s'more while cooking out with the kids. And I'm so looking forward to my moms cabbage rolls and potato salad. I can cook everything like my mom but those things I can't come close in.

    Then there is several mom and pop places down there I only get once a year when I visit.

    I know I will get plenty of activity while there. I plan on cleaning my mom's house from top to bottom. Plus my Dad's house hasn't been touched since he passed in Sept. 2013. Then there is the walking trails, the lake, and so many more things us country girls love.
  • lithezebralithezebra Posts: 3,684Member Member Posts: 3,684Member Member
    I remember a thread in here about a study that showed that it takes about a year to adapt to weight loss, and stop feeling hungrier in your body's attempt to regain weight. Your metabolism will repair itself. I would keep up your dieting momentum, and keep in mind that maintaining gets easier within a finite time frame.
  • JButlerEagleJButlerEagle Posts: 45Member Member Posts: 45Member Member
    Thanks everyone for your thoughts.
  • VerdenalVerdenal Posts: 618Member Member Posts: 618Member Member
    After reading the recent biggest loser study


    http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/the-full-diet-break.html/

    What are your thoughts? Has anyone had experience with a diet break?

    The diet break that Lyle McDonald suggests is for people doing an extreme Very Low Calorie Diet called a Protein Sparing Modified Fast. On that, people usually aren't eating more than 800 calories and for me it's a little over 500 calories a day. On that kind of diet he recommends people take a break of a day or so, usually every two weeks. It's important to redress potential nutritional imbalances. (I'm speaking generally, people who follow this diet do calculations and there are specific recommendations based on their weight, body fat percentage, and activity level.)

    Unless you're on an extreme diet I doubt it's necessary physically to take a break. You may benefit psychologically. But you can't overindulge.
  • arditarosearditarose Posts: 15,610Member Member Posts: 15,610Member Member
    Verdenal wrote: »
    After reading the recent biggest loser study


    http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/the-full-diet-break.html/

    What are your thoughts? Has anyone had experience with a diet break?

    The diet break that Lyle McDonald suggests is for people doing an extreme Very Low Calorie Diet called a Protein Sparing Modified Fast. On that, people usually aren't eating more than 800 calories and for me it's a little over 500 calories a day. On that kind of diet he recommends people take a break of a day or so, usually every two weeks. It's important to redress potential nutritional imbalances. (I'm speaking generally, people who follow this diet do calculations and there are specific recommendations based on their weight, body fat percentage, and activity level.)

    Unless you're on an extreme diet I doubt it's necessary physically to take a break. You may benefit psychologically. But you can't overindulge.

    I have read this article by Lyle before. It is not just pertaining to people doing the PSMF at all. I don't even think he mentions it in there.
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    arditarose wrote: »
    Verdenal wrote: »
    After reading the recent biggest loser study


    http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/the-full-diet-break.html/

    What are your thoughts? Has anyone had experience with a diet break?

    The diet break that Lyle McDonald suggests is for people doing an extreme Very Low Calorie Diet called a Protein Sparing Modified Fast. On that, people usually aren't eating more than 800 calories and for me it's a little over 500 calories a day. On that kind of diet he recommends people take a break of a day or so, usually every two weeks. It's important to redress potential nutritional imbalances. (I'm speaking generally, people who follow this diet do calculations and there are specific recommendations based on their weight, body fat percentage, and activity level.)

    Unless you're on an extreme diet I doubt it's necessary physically to take a break. You may benefit psychologically. But you can't overindulge.

    I have read this article by Lyle before. It is not just pertaining to people doing the PSMF at all. I don't even think he mentions it in there.

    Absolutely. It has nothing to do with PSMF. It is, in his words, targeted to people following a "standard recommendations of 1-2 pounds per week".

  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 16,111Member Member Posts: 16,111Member Member
    Verdenal wrote: »
    After reading the recent biggest loser study


    http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/the-full-diet-break.html/

    What are your thoughts? Has anyone had experience with a diet break?

    The diet break that Lyle McDonald suggests is for people doing an extreme Very Low Calorie Diet called a Protein Sparing Modified Fast. On that, people usually aren't eating more than 800 calories and for me it's a little over 500 calories a day. On that kind of diet he recommends people take a break of a day or so, usually every two weeks. It's important to redress potential nutritional imbalances. (I'm speaking generally, people who follow this diet do calculations and there are specific recommendations based on their weight, body fat percentage, and activity level.)

    Unless you're on an extreme diet I doubt it's necessary physically to take a break. You may benefit psychologically. But you can't overindulge.
    @verdenal
    That's a great article but I don't think you have actually read it! :)

    My personal experience with dieting is that I find everyday calorie restriction boring, frustrating and ultimately unsuccessful.
    Learning the skills and habits of successful maintenance is a very valuable thing to practice apart from the other benefits of diet breaks.
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