I have talked and written about diet breaks before.
They do meet a physical and a psychological need during long periods of weight loss.
There have been a couple of studies that have shown good results using diet breaks.
The MATADOR study showed improved weight loss in groups who dieted for 2 weeks and then had 2 weeks at maintenance for a total of 30 weeks.
You can read the study here;
The conclusions of the study were that ‘greater weight and fat loss was achieved with intermittent ER (energy restriction or deficit)’ and that ‘Interrupting ER with energy balance ‘rest periods’ may reduce compensatory metabolic responses and, in turn, improve weight loss efficiency’.
The other was the ICECAP trial that you can read here;
Taking a break can have great psychological rewards as you allow yourself to eat foods that you may be restricting.
Having higher calories feels good!
Remember though that a diet break is not a ‘cheat week’.
It does not mean eating everything and anything not nailed down.
It is not an excuse to binge.
This will just undo all the good work that you have been doing.
It is a period at maintenance calories or energy balance.
That is, eating the right amount to balance with how much you are burning.
If you are tracking calories, it can be quite simple to add a couple of hundred a day.
If you are not tracking then you may just add a couple of snacks, or have a slightly larger portion.
This not only gives your mind a break but it also gives your body a break from the deficit.
It can definitely mean better results over the long term.
Plus it can mitigate against physical adaptations that your body makes when in a prolonged deficit.
If you would like to know more about these, I did a podcast with Dr Eric Trexler (FlatWhite Ep 20) and the link is below
If you would like to join our 8 week bulletproof habit program starting on the 19th October, the link is below. This course will help you sail through Christmas without the need for a shitty New Years resolution and only costs £2.43 per day – less than a cup of coffee!