Taking A Diet Break To Improve Weight Loss
When it comes to dieting, you need to ensure that you are in a calorie deficit. At Flex Success, we generally promote a more moderate reduction in calories as the focus should be to maximise fat loss, minimise muscle loss and maintain health and wellbeing.
If you reduce your calories too much you risk nutrient deficiencies, impaired muscle recovery and losing a large amount of muscle. In addition, your mood and energy levels will be affected.
Doesn’t sound too nice, does it?
When you take a more ‘modest’ approach you will still see results, but you will also ensure that the results that you get are ‘quality’.
What I mean by that is, the change in weight that you see on the scale will be mostly fat loss, whilst your mood and energy levels are mostly maintained at high levels.
That sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?
Another really interesting concept is diet breaks. A diet break is simply a period of 7-14 days where you increase your calories to maintenance.
For some of you, this may be a new concept or something you haven't considered implementing in the fear of gaining weight.
However, there is no reason to panic.
A recently published study examined whether intermittent energy restriction improved weight loss efficiency compared with continuous energy restriction.
One group maintained the diet continuously for 16 weeks while the other maintained the diet for two weeks, then broke from the diet for two weeks eating simply to keep their weight stable, and repeated this cycle for 30 weeks in total to ensure 16 weeks of dieting.
Both groups were in calorie deficit for 16 weeks total.
Those in the intermittent diet group not only lost more weight but also gained less weight after the trial finished.
But, although having a diet break every couple of weeks may not be necessary, having regular diet breaks is definitely something that you should consider.
A diet break offers all the same physiological benefits as refeeds, but as you can see there is some indication that a longer break results in a longer, more sustainable positive fat loss environment.
And this sounds like music to our ears. Hello, chocolate!
Diet Smart. Not Hard.