AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Here’s a line that you never thought you’d hear before: Sticking to your diet plan could in fact be one of the biggest reasons that you aren’t seeing results from your program?.

Could this be true?

Time and time again you hear that diet adherence is key for results, so how could shifting off your diet actually bring about a favorable response?

At times, moving away from your diet plan can be one of the best things to do as far as your long-term results are concerned because doing so is going to help to kick-start the body again after a time of intense dieting.

Let’s go into a few more details about why a short diet break is one of the most effective strategies you should incorporate into your program to continue to see rapid rates of success.

What A Diet Break Is

First let’s stop and consider what a diet break is.Essentially, this is going to be a period of time where you move away from your standard weight loss diet plan and bring your calorie intake back up to more maintenance levels. As you do this, it’s also going to be incredibly important that you’re also eating sufficient carbohydrates as well.

While all three macronutrients proteins, fats, and carbs need to be consumed in the right quantities, carbohydrates are especially important for reasons that we’ll get to very shortly.

A diet break typically should last anywhere from 3-7 days to be most effective, however if you’ve been dieting for months and months on end, you may want to take a two week period instead.

This would likely yield slightly greater results and make sure that you continue to see the rates of fat loss occurring that you desire.

Why You Need A Diet Break

So what’s the purpose of a diet break? Why do you need this in order to see results?

The main purpose of a diet break is to signal to the body that it’s out of starvation’ mode. Any time you go on a reduced calorie diet plan and cut back on your intake dramatically, your body is going to start to adapt to this.

It’ll begin slowing down its metabolic rate, reducing the amount of energy you have (so you’re less active during the day), and holding onto your body fat stores.

By taking the diet break, you tell the body that it doesn’t need to do any of this as enough food is coming in. This will then cause your metabolism to speed up, your energy level to increase, and you’ll just feel that much better overall.

The end result of this is that when you do move back to your fat loss diet plan, you’re going to see far faster progress because you’ll be burning up calories more quickly every single minute throughout the day.

Since your total daily calorie burn is one of the major determining factors of how much weight you lose, it’s vital that you aren’t overlooking this.

If you’re suffering from a sluggish metabolism on a daily basis, not only are you going to have to consume an incredibly low calorie intake to see any weight loss whatsoever, but you’re also going to see extremely slow rates of weight loss progress.

All in all, this is a miserable situation to be stuck in and one that is definitely not going to do your progress any favors.

Doing A Diet Break Properly

So now that you can see what a diet break is and why you need it, how do you go about doing it?

The first thing that you must do is make sure that you understand how many calories to be consuming. In order for it to be effective, you’re going to have to eat enough.This means bringing calories up to a more maintenance level, which for most people will be around 15 calories per pound of body weight.

Some people who are highly active may need more, but for most, this will do the trick.

Keep in mind that as you increase your calorie intake, you may see some temporary carbohydrate retention as well, but this is perfectly normal and will go away once you return back down to your lower calorie diet plan.

Now, since you should already be taking in at least one gram of protein on your fat loss diet plan (many of you may be taking in slightly more), your protein intake can stay constant. There’s no need to eat any more protein as you raise your calories as your needs are already being met.

Where you really want to raise your intake is with your carbohydrates.The carbohydrate intake you eat is going to be most connected to your thyroid gland output, so you want to really maximize things here. Additionally, carbohydrate intake is highly correlated with another hormone in the body leptin, which controls your hunger and energy levels. By taking in enough carbohydrates, you’ll ensure leptin is where it needs to be and thus you’ll feel better as you transition back down to your diet plan.

Carbohydrate intake should be no less than 150 grams per day, if not more.

Finally, with what remaining calories you have left, add some additional healthy fats.Healthy fats don’t need to go that high during a diet break as carbohydrates are the stressed nutrient, but don’t cut them out either.

They are still very important for all-around health.

So there you have the vital information that you need to know about a diet break. You should be making sure to do a diet break after every 2-3 months on a diet plan, especially if using a much lower calorie intake.

Those who are almost at their goal weight and thus very lean may need to do them even more frequently to prevent the fat loss plateau that plagues so many dieters.

Shannon Clark holds a Degree in Exercise Science and Sports Performance and is a certified AFLCA personal trainer. She has been working in the health and fitness industry for the last 12 years and writes for, and magazines on the topics of health, fitness, weight loss, and strength training.


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