Editorial: Taking a break from dieting


A break from the grind of dieting may be exactly what you need.

Taking a break
Taking a break

Are you having trouble losing weight? You can now join my frustration. Over the past 4-6 weeks, I have struggled to lose weight, and I am not sure there is a quick fix. The answer for both of us might be to take a break from our diets. During the break, we can re-evaluate what we are doing and reprioritize our goals. The bottom line is that this plan is not currently working.

It has been said that the first sign of insanity is to try the same thing over and over again and expecting the results to be different.  I have tied to diet over holidays and stressful family events and failed again and again.  Maybe it is time to try something different.  This year, I will try something different and take a 2-week break.  

A break from dieting may help you shed more pounds and keep them off in the long term. The plan is to reload our energy levels and reprioritize our efforts. The whole idea is not to wallow in our frustration and to reestablish goals that might help us be more successful. I am not suggesting intermittent dieting, but that has also been shown to be successful for some dieters. I am merely suggesting that you consider taking 1-2 weeks off when you slip to the point that you are gaining or not losing weight at the rate you would suspect on your diet.

We all know that you must burn more or consume fewer calories to lose weight. It is not magic, and there is no secret to weight loss. Actual weight loss success is made in the kitchen, and you need to eat less. Sometimes we hit energy lows and stress that causes us to stray from the path to better health. This grazing or straying may be a sign that your body needs a break. The key is to take the break but do not stray far from your plan. A few days will not spiral out of control.

Two-week intervals seem to be ideal, but there is no reason why you cannot take 3-5 days. I suggest you pick a day to return to your diet and circle it on your calendar. Once you hit the day, back to the plan. Return to the scale on day one, avoid guilt, and enjoy the break!

The bottom line:  Take a break if you are hitting diet stagnation.  It might help you return to your plan with less frustration.  I have circled 6 January on my calendar.  

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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