Did taking a maintenance break help you?

I have been actively trying to lose weight since January 12. I have managed to lose 33 lbs. I feel and look much better but I have come to a point where I am really burnt out. My questions are did any of you take a maintenance break in the middle of losing? how long did you take? did it help you or hinder you? I have about 20 more lbs to go and I really want it gone but I have been struggling with getting back into it and my willpower being strong enough to lose instead of maintain . I am not over eating and have been able to keep within my maintenance calories perfectly fine. I am just having a problem getting back to where I was when I was losing.


  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,182 Member
    Taking a deliberate break from your diet for a week so that you can eat at maintenance for your current weight is perfectly fine. You retain the control over your decisions and you can easily return to the deficit after the designated maintenance break.
  • dhimaan
    dhimaan Posts: 774 Member
    Yes. More energy, better performance and actually got leaner.
  • lokihen
    lokihen Posts: 382 Member
    I took a planned 2 week break two months ago. I also felt burnt out, so maybe I would have struggled even without the break, but I'm just now getting my determination back. I thought I could easily return to my routine after the break; I was wrong.
  • pamfgil
    pamfgil Posts: 449 Member
    When I took a maintenance break, the only thing I did differently was to eat more, I still logged all food and kept up my exercise levels. It was fairly easy going back to a deficit. If you haven't been logging maybe ease back into things by startin logging again, otherwise try a staged reduction to get back to a deficit, drop a hundred calories per day each week, rather than doing it all at once
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,372 Member
    edited July 2017
    Nope. My hunger spiked and I never managed to get back to a good deficit after that (I was about 3 lbs from goal).
  • bgorman65
    bgorman65 Posts: 32 Member
    I took a break to try to maintain after having lost 90 pounds and then regaining 10. It was not good for me because once I lost the impetus to lose (which is what prompted the break) I started eating again the way I used to and regained another 63 pounds over about 8 months. HOWEVER, I recently read an article that suggests as you near your goal or lose your motivation, you should change your motivations from positive to negative: instead of "I want to wear a size 10 again", go for something like "I don't want to keep having low back pain from my excess weight." So next time I lose my motivators this is what I will do and hopefully it will keep me on track losing or maintaining, and I suggest you try it.
  • GrumpyHeadmistress
    GrumpyHeadmistress Posts: 666 Member
    I'm just starting two weeks on maintenance so interested in the answers.
  • Marjayhan
    Marjayhan Posts: 59 Member
    edited July 2017
    Im the same as the poster above. It depends on your relationship with food. I find it very hard now to start again at 1200 calories. It's painful. Then i was stopping again and saying ah i'll start again next week. And this cycle continued for 5 months. Up 20lbs later i'm back giving it a real shot again. Now i'm making it about health. Just make healthier choices, watch the calories , exercise a little and no eating after 8pm. I just have to learn to be patient and see some of the pounds come off.
  • ladyhusker39
    ladyhusker39 Posts: 1,406 Member
    I just finished my first break a few days ago. I found out that my eating habits have changed a lot since the first of the year when I started. I used to stuff myself regularly. Trying to eat an extra 500 calories a day of healthy food like I do now is actually harder than I expected. I hated feeling over full and it messed with my digestion. I stuck with it for about 10 days then went back to my cut.

    I'm glad I did it because I needed the mental break but the next time I'll add in 100 or so calories a day to ease back into it. I think that will help.

    Also, I understand better what it will be like when I get to maintenance except then I'll only be at a small deficit. Now I get why it's important to decrease my deficit as I reach my goal. That way I can ease into it so I don't mess up.
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
    I took them 2x a year. Once in Winter when we vacation and once in the summer during a weekend camping trip.

    They were logging breaks too however but mainly due to the fact I couldn't log.

    It usually took a week back to get back into the swing of things...

  • zehrjordan
    zehrjordan Posts: 19 Member
    Yeah agree it all depends on you, I took a break for 2 weeks but planned it for when I knew we had family in town, so it had a definite beginning and end which helped me because I knew that when they left I had to get back to the diet. It becomes dangerous when you just kind of take a break with no clear cut time table
  • glassofroses
    glassofroses Posts: 653 Member
    I started on MFP at 212lbs in June 2015 and got to my goal of 154lbs by new year 2016. I hedged for a couple of months not really losing anything and decided that maintenance was my goal. Except I wasn't weighing myself or checking myself because I regained about 12lbs in three months. This sounds terrible but after having an attack of IBS bloating me out of my clothes in Paris, I decided I needed to get that weight off, except this time I wasn't so blindly focused. I enjoyed the process much more, being much more relaxed about it/lower deficit, and went on to lose a further 8lbs after that, just by plodding a long on my plan in roughly the same time it took to lose x3 as much weight as last time.

    If you're tired, your body is telling you you're pushing too hard. Try a week or two of maintenance and then come back to it fresh. Just be mindful of what you do because your weight will go up a little bit naturally the first week just by having more food in your system but don't use it as an excuse to backtrack :smile: Good luck!
  • jsecret
    jsecret Posts: 606 Member
    I started about the same time as you and have lost about the same amount of weight. I took a break around Memorial Day weekend and am just now thinking about restarting. I have stayed in the same 3-4 lb weight range and am still careful about what I eat (just less gym and logging). It has taken some stress off and gave me some time to mentally "regroup". As long as you can do it without regaining everything you've lost.
  • noirelb
    noirelb Posts: 216 Member
    I've read an article on maintenance break during diets and it mentioned that if you are a bigger person (more than 20lbs to lose from the beginning) you should diet for 10-12 weeks followed by 2 weeks maintenance where the extra calories come from carbs to increase your thyroid hormones and leptin. Of course, I would keep logging my food to make sure your maintaining your calorie goal and dial down exercise a little bit. Check it out:


    They even explain the psychological reasons behind planned breaks (rather than quitting your diet because you've been dieting for too long) to go back on your diet a little easier and knowing you will have another break later. With that said... if I ate My Fitness Pal's recommendation of maintenance calories daily, I would gain weight. You can try what they recommend but if you gain weight, it'll be for 2 weeks so you shouldn't gain more than 1-2 pounds.

    BTW I haven't tried it - I lost 20 lbs in 1 month and my body is now slowing down the weight loss unfortunately but still 1 lbs per week I would say. I will try the break in 5 weeks from now!
  • tumsashrinks
    tumsashrinks Posts: 21 Member
    It depends, I guess. You have to be very stern with continuing after that break.

    I lost 30lbs and my doctor actually recommended to take a break to insure I get more nutritions and let my body adjust to the new weight etc. Well, that "one maintenance month" ended up being like four or five years because I managed to find excuses to continue my maintenance. I did maintain the weight but I also could have lost all the weight I wanted during that time. :(

    In general I think it's good if you are super stressed and tired and don't have enought time, and just want a small break from calorie deficit, but I would still weight my food and stuff, treat it like an actual maintenance and not 'all bets are off' thing.
  • Sunna_W
    Sunna_W Posts: 744 Member
    Sounds like you are bored with your plan?

    Have you thought about trying a different set of macros and eating different things while maintaining whatever your calories are supposed to be?

    BTW, both my weight loss / maintenance calories are the same and that helped me a lot.

    I don't exercise because of some physical issues so for me, it is what it is.

    I do try to eat mostly paleo / keto / FODMAP friendly at least 75% of the time and I have stayed within my allotted calories about 75% of the time and so far so good. I have lost and not gained back.

    While I am within the range of the weight I wanted to be I am still looking to change my comp to less body fat, which so far seems to be working for me.

    Also, have you heard about resistant starch and how it can help with weight loss / feeling less hungry?


    http://www.eatthis.com/resistant-starch-recipes (note not necessarily paleo / keto / FODMAP friendly)
  • cheryldumais
    cheryldumais Posts: 1,907 Member
    Yes, I had been stalled for three and a half months. I started losing again after the break although at a much slower pace (.5 per week). I will also mention however I have increased my calories slightly since just because it was hard to go back to 1200. I went to 1350 although I don't always eat all that.
  • ReesyIsLivingOnKeto
    ReesyIsLivingOnKeto Posts: 38 Member
    Hi there. Add me as a friend. Great post.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 33,939 Member
    I've taken maintenance breaks all along the way. Heck, I had a hard time sticking to a deficit, period.

    When you come back to it, make sure you are set on your Goals to "Lose 1/2 pound per week." At 20 to go, that's the biggest deficit you should have. A half pound per week is a 250 a day deficit. Otherwise, you'll find it really difficult to stay much lower than that. Your body will scream for more food if you attempt a larger deficit, and you can only wrangle that for so long.
  • fitgymbunny
    fitgymbunny Posts: 8 Member
    I think little day or two "breaks" really help. Not too much longer. The reason why is you are creating a lifestyle. So if you go too far off your recommended calorie intake or exercise, you really are just messing with the new healthier lifestyle you've created. That said, a day or two break from lower calorie intake is a balanced normal life, which in ways can keep you going. Having experienced "trying to be perfect" with eating and slow weight loss, sometimes you just need that break to keep going. I would still count calories though even though you know you are going over. Same with exercise, sometimes you just need a break of a day or two to keep motivated. I like to exercise but sometimes a different type can be helpful, like sports with friends rather than gym. Or something outside. What is good is if you keep tracking or cognizant of what you eat, you actually reinforce your new lifestyle because you will realize that junk calories or overeating takes away progress you've made. The key is not to stick your head in the sand when you do it & letting your life have a bit of balance. Such as it is easier for me to bypass some junk food or calorie-laden things, knowing there are actually things I prefer more (like ice cream) that I would rather save my splurge for---or that NONE of it is worth messing up my progress. The biggest difference though is staying cognizant. :)