When you should take a break from dieting – 3 key signs

Now that the year is coming to an end, are you somewhat exhausted from extreme dieting

There are so many posts daily on what to eat, how to exercise and supplements you should be taking. But no one ever seems to tackle the reality of dieting extremes, and when you really need to take a break. Pounding the gym floor every single day, prepping your meals and watching your portions can get laborious and somewhat exhausting over a long period of time. Maybe it’s just not working anymore. During my dieting phase for bodybuilding shows, I would transition from one extreme to another, never taking a break in between to rest and recuperate. Over time, this built up lots of resistance, to the point in which I wanted to give it all up. The thought of going into the gym made me feel sick. The gym is not only the place I lift my weights, it’s the place I can be my complete self and let go of the outside world (not to mention what’s going on in my head).

 Then, it became a chore and something I detested.

 Within that moment, knowing I wasn’t myself, it was apparent I needed a break. Perhaps a couple of days, or a week at most of just allowing my body and mind to be. No restrictions, no excessive training and dieting were allowed. As competitors, we may get into this phase during our time — but this is also a reality for many people. To some, it could be a point in their dieting phase when nothing is working. Where that extreme weight-loss plateau just doesn’t seem to budge. But, you are scared of deviating from the plan in case you undo all of your hard work. I know how this feels, as it’s definitely been a big part of my own fitness journey. A diet break isn’t something to fear — but a nice holiday from the mundane dieting regime that’s come to an abrupt halt. Maybe you are exhausted or had enough for the time being. It’s completely normal and something you shouldn’t try to resist. If you feel that you’re moving towards this, read on and see if these three signs describe your current situation. 

Scenario one: You’re exhausted all the time

This should not be confused with the monthly exhaustion we all face, but the continuation of something that never ends. When you eat well and exercise, energy levels should be high, and the same goes for your concentration and clarity. When we experience daily brain fog, trouble concentrating or lacking energy during the entire day, for weeks on end — we have a problem. Maybe you are stressed because weight loss isn’t working well for you right now, and perhaps that’s mixed up with work, family or everyday overwhelm. These situations can impact how much energy we have. Stress in itself is a big energy zapper — and so is any inflammation we have in our bodies. First, make sure you check your blood work with a doctor to rule out any underlying conditions. Second, it’s important to allow your body to rest through this time and be as active as your energy levels allow. Maybe it’s a walk several times a day, or a bike ride. Whatever it is, allow yourself to do this for now. Keep up with your healthy diet, and lay low on the restrictions for now. It’s a time to recuperate and reignite your energy back. Why “dieting” Is Built For Failure, Anger and DisappointmentIt’s pretty normal to dislike the idea of a diet — considering what we’ve experienced throughout our livesmedium.com 

Scenario Two: You are always hungry

When you have non stop hunger, it’s not only a sign of possibly eating too little for too long but that your body is starting to take over. That can cause it to send signals to your brain to eat. This is what can break a lot of diets before they even begin. The constant thought of food, the need to eat and our inability to stop it. Usually, we end up craving and eating the wrong type of food. This insatiable hunger is our bodies natural way to prevent starvation — a coping mechanism we’re all born with and rears its head during deprivation. This is a huge sign it’s time to take a bit of a break — and to stop the onslaught of weight gain, pace yourself slowly with nourishing vegetables, protein and healthy carbs. Don’t fall back onto the junk food bandwagon. It will only make you feel worse and add back any weight you may have lost (and possibly even more on top of that). Why Your Weight Loss Is Slow And How To Overcome This Frustrating PhaseInevitable common mistakes can stop indefinitely slow your weight loss progressionmedium.com 

Scenario Three: Lack of weight loss for long periods of time

This is a big one, and with all three combined, can become the most frustrating part. If you are doing everything in your power to eat well, exercise and still not getting results — then it’s definitely time for a break. Your metabolism may have slowed down somewhat due to the loss of muscle mass. Or maybe your caloric intake is so low, that you are burning even fewer calories. In order to move past this hurdle, it’s important to slowly increase your caloric intake and lift some weights regularly. At first, you may put on some body fat. But over time, as you build muscle and start eating more, that will slowly even itself out. The important thing is not to freak out at the results. You definitely need to be patient and stay on course. Although these are very simple and almost excusable scenarios, they can really cause a lot of health and mindset issues. Sometimes we push our bodies so much that they resist anything we do. The way past this is acceptance, letting go a bit by having a break. Life is worth more when it’s lived in an environment that brings happiness, rather than frustration. In due time, the weight loss will come about. If you would like to read more articles like this or start writing your own, please sign up via my link. I’d love to see you on the other side. Sign up here for your medium subscription

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