“I want to take a break” I said a couple weeks before I left for vacation.
No, I didn’t say this to my boyfriend. I said this to myself. I NEEDED to take a diet break.
I have been SO consistent with working out, eating healthy, counting macros and making sure I have a “bikini body.”
But I have exhausted myself. I have done the extremes, and I was just tired.
Tired of logging in every single thing that went into my mouth.
Tired of waking up early to get to the gym, because I know I won’t do it when I get off of work.
Tired of being unhappy.
So I did what most people wouldn’t advise to do a couple of weeks before they leave for a vacation. I stopped worrying about it. If I worked out, I worked out. Great. If I ate a little more than I am used to, I didn’t sweat it.
I deleted MyFitnessPal. *DUN DUN DUN*
And I did the same thing when I went on vacation. I overate. I drank too much. I didn’t workout, unless you count walking twenty thousand steps around Universal Studios a workout. Twice.
And I was happy. And I felt free. And I didn’t look at the scale. Yes, I stared at myself in the mirror for a few seconds longer than I needed. But I didn’t hate myself. I thought I actually looked good for taking almost a month off.
I think these “breaks” are vital. SO IMPORTANT.
For mental health, especially. But I also think that your body *knows* when you have been aggressively dieting. I think it needs a “kickstart” to lose those last few stubborn pounds or whatever. And a diet break is just that.
I’ve had trainers tell me that 14 days is the magic number for a diet break. Mine was about 21. And I still worked out for a few days in that time frame, just not consistently.
You should do what is best for you and your body. After all, you know your body best.
How do you know when you need a diet break?
It is different for everyone. Some people have scheduled breaks and some just go until they know they need one.
Here are a few indicators:
- You’re tired/fatigued.
- You have stalled on weight loss or physique changes.
- No progress on lifts in the gym
- You are unhappy and moody
- YOU JUST WANT TO TAKE A DAMN BREAK
Mine was a mixture of all of those, but mostly number 5. 🙂
If you choose to go on a break from working out and tracking food, or both, you definitely should not beat yourself up about it.
I felt so guilty about it at first. But then I actually started feeling better. My mentality was getting better and more positive. Instead of forcing myself to go to the gym, I was going when I wanted to because I wanted to.
I was reminded why I fell in love with the gym in the first place.
So, I got back from vacation last weekend. A little bloated, but a better mindset. And I had no intentions of “punishing” myself and my body for having fun and letting loose.
I started back last Monday with a new split to get excited about, but I was just happy to finally get back into my routine!
If you are contemplating a diet break, I say go for it. Take as much time off as you need. It’s not the end of the world, and it won’t set you back as much as you think.
Repeat after me: YOU WON’T LOSE PROGRESS.
This could very well be the push you need to lose the last 10 lbs or get your new PR on a lift you have been working on.
And if you have been dieting for a long time and have NEVER taken a break, I can tell you now, you definitely need to take one. Like now. Get on it!!
What are your thoughts on breaks? Do you think they work, or it’s just a mind game?
Have a lovely week, everyone!
I’m Jordan, you stay classy San Diego! (and all of the other cities)