Weight Loss Support - Stopping dieting for a week?

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07-08-2010, 01:12 PM
I have seen in the past two weeks my weight loss slow down from pretty fast to a crawl, and lately the scale seems to have been either not budging or moving up. This strikes me as a really bad trend. Now I know that you can always expect weight loss to be faster at first, but still. It is a very, very bad thing if I make an average of maybe 1000-1200 calories "normal" for my body. I heard that breaking away from the diet for a week, upping your calories to maintenence and coming back afterwards can help- can anyone here confirm or deny this, or say how much weight I can expect to gain if I do?


07-08-2010, 01:36 PM
i have heard this is a good plan. I would not think of it as "stop dieting" though. I would think of it as shifting calories with a plan.

07-08-2010, 01:37 PM
i tried that once when I got stuck. I wouldn't over indulge and go crazy with eating, but I didn't work out and I added about 500 more calories a day to my food. It helped kick the stand still. But I can't guarantee it will work for everyone. Best of luck. Maybe you should do 4 days vs. seven?

07-08-2010, 01:41 PM
I heard that breaking away from the diet for a week, upping your calories to maintenence and coming back afterwards can help- can anyone here confirm or deny this, or say how much weight I can expect to gain if I do?

Different people will give you different answers as every body does different things. You'll have to see what happens to your body as it's unique from every one elses. Me personally? I raise my calories, thus creating LESS of a calorie deficit - I gain weight - each and every time without fail.

I'm not sure what you mean by

It is a very, very bad thing if I make an average of maybe 1000-1200 calories "normal" for my body

Are you looking to consume this # of calories for a week or looking to veer away from this for a week as if this is what you HAD been doing? Regardless,why don't you tell us exactly what you have been doing (types of foods, how careful are you counting/measuring, exercise, etc), so we can know where to suggest you tweak things.

07-08-2010, 02:38 PM
I had been calorie cycling, 1000 1200 1500, which theoretically brings it to 1250ish a day, except that I have a tendency to overestimate calories like crazy when I don't know exactly how much are in a thing, and I was also consistently under goal and never over it. A more sensible analysis of what I was doing puts it probably closer to 1100 on average. I have ended up eating a lot more in the way of meat, vegetables, fruits, and dairy than grains of late as well.

I have not been doing strenuous exercise, but 3-5 mile walks every day or every other day. I have a strong aversion to doing strenuous exercise without music and I was still waiting for my iPod shuffle in the mail (just got it in today and waiting for it to fully charge :) ). So that will probably be changed to maybe a half hour jog every day. Also I fence for around 3 hours 1-3 times a week.

07-08-2010, 02:50 PM
Im a huge proponement of taking a structured, scheduled "break" or Re-feed....
Women especially, and those with *less* to lose need to take them more often-- every 8 to 12 weeks. with 12 weeks being the max amount of time you should stay in a caloric deficit without a break. Youve lost a lot of weight, and youve been dieting a long time. You are the perfect candidate for a refeed, and long overdo.

The point of the re-feed is to reset your hormone levels, offset developing thyroid or menstrual issues and other things associated with the stress of fat loss, and your adapting metabolism.... YOu hit the nail on the head... your body has adapted to stop losing (pretty much) at wherever you are stalled, and you definitely do NOT want to maintain at 1200 cals for the rest of your life! There is one way to solve this, and only one food group is going to get you there-- you mustflood your body with a SURPLUS of calories, specifically Hi glycemic index carbs.
Weight gain? Of course...will it be fat? NOT IF YOU REFEED CORRECTLY.
It should only be water weight, extreme bloat and the filling up of your muscle stores with glycogen and the associated water along with it. It could be significant. It could be 4 pounds. 7 pounds, 11 pounds ( i gained 11 pounds! n ONE WEEK of eating at approx 2500 cals a day, with over 60% of my intake coming from carbohydrates, and 50% of THOSE carbs consisting of starch and other Hi glycemic foods! One thing to keep in mind is to try and keep the diet low fat. Any surplus fat might just get stored as, well FAT :)
Oh, and BTW, those 11 pounds? That were purely 100% water weight? Gone in exactly 14 days.

My results? I was finally able to lose those LAST 10 pounds (Or 8, in my case!) Where i HAD BEEN completely stalled for about 6 months, basically maintaining at around 1200 a day. The refeed 100% took away my sensitivity to carbohydrates, along with my fear of them.. i was able to lose those last 8 pounds while still eating carbs (including bread) which was something i hadnt enjoyed for over a year. I am now also able to feel hungry again! Thats a good thing.. humans are supposed to feel hunger...but eating in a deficit supressed my ghrenlin level so much (ghrenlin is the hormone responsible for making you feel hungry-- when you are in a caloric deficit it begins to fall, slowly but surely, as a survival mechnism, is one theory) that i was never hungry, for a year.
Oh ya, and the best part? I am now MAINTAINING at anywhere from 1600 to 2000 a day, depending on how active i am that day (this is a FAR CRY from maintaiing at 1200 a day) It could be better though...i should be maintaining at 2500 or more, given my activity level......


Two articles that touch on the iportance of refeeds (As they pretein to hormone level resets) also talk about what to eat and how much, etc etc...but in both cases the refeeds mentioned are designed for body builders donig things like carb cycling, who already have low levels of body fat...... and who havent necessarily been "dieting" for more than a few weeks kind of thing....

07-08-2010, 02:52 PM
To "stop dieting" for me...for a full week...would assure at least a 2-5 pound gain. So, no, I would not do that.

However...I really am a big believer in calorie cycling and taking a break sometimes. As long as you don't let it get out of hand or have too much fun with it, it can be beneficial to up your calories a little for a few days or a week.

Good luck!

07-08-2010, 03:13 PM
ThickN Pretty--- you would not take one step back to take 3 full, giant leaps forward? That must be how this is looked at...... SOme women gain more than that every month with their period!! This si the same thing......

SOmetimes people (not YOU!) are so "scale obsessed" they dont know/care for the difference between water weight and fat weight and muscle weight. A pound is a pound is a pound

One week of refeeding (which was actually precedded by about 6weeks of dieting/training break) offset what could have potentially been YEARS of spinning my wheels, and complete misery and frustration. And like i said the water "weight" fell off completely on its own within 2 weeks.....no uber harsh restrictive starvation or anything.

07-08-2010, 03:39 PM
You do realize that everyone is different, right? I know my body. I also know my habits and my tendencies to go waaay overboard and stay off the wagon. There is nothing to say that I wouldn't take a week of "refeeding" and turn it into a month long binge. My answer to the OP was that no I myself would not do that. Did I say it wouldn't work for her? Not at all.

Some people have a lot more self control than others. To stop dieting for a week for some people might be as harmless and simple as adding 500 more calories a day. For others, it would be thousands. There are SO many variables at play here, you cannot say that for everyone, a week of refeeding would be beneficial. Never will that be a fact. I gain REAL weight a lot more easily than most people I know. My metabolism is not the same as yours...my level of fitness is not the same as yours...my genetics are not the same as yours.

I would take a step backwards and struggle. My answer remains that no, I would not stop dieting for a week. At the most I would eat maintenance calories, add 200 or so calories or perhaps cut back on exercise.


07-08-2010, 03:40 PM
Just re-read your post - it's been only about two weeks now. I know it's easy for me to say *only* when I'm the one who's not going through it, but it hasn't been all that long.

Me? I'd journal the heck out of everything that goes in my mouth, measuring carefully and basically do exactly what I've been doing - using that journal to just check that all is as it appears to be. No more guessing.

Petite Powerhouse
07-08-2010, 03:47 PM
Personally, I think eating a little more could do wonders for you. But, then, I eat a ton and like it that way, and I'm very active so I have to eat more. So, alternatively, I'll second what Robin said: It has only been two weeks. I stalled out for two weeks once, and promptly lost five pounds the next week. I didn't do anything differently: I just waited it out.

07-08-2010, 04:37 PM
I should have clarified- this is not something I am considering doing right now, more as a last resort. It makes me kind of nervous to not have options for worst-case scenarios, especially those that I see coming in slow motion. I fear I have done damage, that is primarily it. My plan for the moment is to just see how it goes once I start doing more serious exercise (maybe throw in some plyometrics, which should help build muscle) and up my calories a bit. Thank you all very much. Perhaps I overreact. But like I said, backup plans are good.