"Progress is not achieved by luck or accident, but by working on yourself daily." – Epictetus
Friday. Is it just me, or is it way too early for pumpkin spice lattes? I guess fall no longer starts when the weather cools down, or the leaves change colors. Nope — in 2023, fall begins when Starbucks decides. Have a problem with that? Just order your PSL over ice. I guess the seasons are just one more thing controlled by large corporations nowadays. Moving on to something that is under your control, how can a “diet break” help with real, sustainable weight loss? Let’s dive in.
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Give Me A (Diet) Break
We’ve all experienced this at some point — being caught in the cycle of dieting, losing weight, and then inevitably gaining it all back. According to the latest research, a staggering 95% of dieters regain the weight they've lost within just two years. That is an alarming statistic, especially when you realize that calorie-restricting diets might help with weight loss initially, but they don’t stand the test of time in producing long-term results.
You might wonder why these diets don’t work in the long run. Well, it’s not just a matter of willpower or determination. Our bodies are intricately designed survival machines. When we introduce calorie restrictions, our body perceives it as a potential threat and begins to take countermeasures. These measures include metabolic shifts, hormonal imbalances, and neurological changes — all of which work together to make us feel more lethargic, more hungry, and less satisfied with what we eat.
Let’s break it down. When you go on a diet, your body will slow down, and hormones responsible for hunger will increase, while those that make you feel full will decrease. This makes the weight loss process incredibly difficult.
Plus, our brain focuses more on food, lighting up our reward centers when we eat high-calorie foods. This is why a little “cheat bite” or “cheat meal” during a diet often spirals into a cheat weekend or a cheat month. On top of all this, some people have genes that make them prone to binge eating, especially when on a diet.
But there is a way to make the weight loss journey much less daunting. Recent studies have introduced a concept known as “diet breaks,” which might sound counterintuitive, but hear me out. Instead of consistently cutting down on calories, you'd take a week-long break where you eat normally — neither cutting down excessively nor overeating. This doesn’t mean you go on a food spree; it’s more about eating sensibly and allowing yourself a treat once in a while.
The science behind this is quite simple. All diets work on a single principle: consistency. Whether it’s about carbohydrates, fasting, or including superfoods in your regimen, the real magic lies in sticking to the plan over an extended period — and that's where diet breaks come into play. While the break itself might not result in faster weight loss, it can prevent burnout and the familiar cycle of weight regain. It’s akin to pacing yourself in a marathon rather than sprinting and burning out midway. And the results? The same amount of fat loss as continuous dieting but with the added mental peace.
The key takeaway? We have discussed this before, but the journey to a healthier weight is less about achieving perfection and more about maintaining consistency. Diet breaks can offer the flexibility many need, reducing the associated stress of stringent diet plans. By “taking a break,” many might find the strength to cultivate healthier habits, enhance their nutritional intake, and, most importantly, maintain their weight loss over the long haul. After all, the real success lies not in the weight you lose but in the weight you can keep off.
1. Prep On Sunday, Ready For Monday
I know some people on here feel very strongly about oats, but here goes anyway. Overnight oats can be a great, easy way to prep breakfast the night before, especially if you want something tasty to fuel an early morning workout!
This loaded broccoli salad is loaded with nutrients and flavor! Enjoy!
3. Lettuce Wrap Burgers ARE NOT Lame
You can have fun without the bun. These lettuce wrap burgers are a great way to enjoy this American staple, get some protein in, and skip the carbs!
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