100 lb. Club - Taking A Diet Break

View Full Version : Taking A Diet Break

07-20-2013, 09:14 PM
After talking with my husband, who wholeheartedly supports this notion, I have decided to take a planned two-week diet break. I've been reading a lot about this concept in various places. This article sums it up the best: The Full Diet Break (http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/the-full-diet-break.html)

This does not mean that I go for a two-week, free-for-all binge. What this means is that for two weeks, I will set my points and calories at maintenance. I will primarily be increasing the amount of carbs I've been eating. I've been engaged in this weight loss effort since January of 2012. I've lost close to 80 pounds. It's time for an intentional reset to allow for both physiological and psychological resets.

I've been really struggling with two things lately. One, I've been hungry. Not just emo-hungry, but real gut growling, feeling weak, shaky and light-headed hungry. I tried increasing my food intake by eating most of my Weight Watchers weekly points but I'm still hungry. Two, I'm cold. I'm not just a little uncomfortable; I'm purple toenails, fingernails and nose cold. I'm wearing long sleeves and layers and covering up under blankets cold. I'm cranking the heated blanket up to max so I can sleep at night cold. I'm not physically comfortable unless the ambient temperature is 80 or above. For those in the medical profession, yes, I'm getting my thyroid checked. I saw my doctor last Thursday and I'm having blood drawn for all the thyroid screens on Monday morning.

So, yeah, even though I've tried to put a good face on it, I've been a bit miserable. Being cold all the time really, really, really sucks. I can handle being cold or I can handle being hungry. What I've found is that I can't handle them both. This has also been causing my lizard brain to bounce off my skull bones a good bit. Thoughts are creeping into my attic like, "Is it worth it feeling like this?"

It's time for a break.

I may gain some weight doing this. In fact, it looks like I've gained almost two pounds this week and I will still have weeklies left tomorrow. From some stuff I've been reading, that could actually be due to me being on the weight loss path for so long, my falls off the wagon notwithstanding.

So, tomorrow I will set my points at Weight Watchers and my calories over at My Fitness Pal to maintenance and stay on this plan for two weeks.

I'm interested in seeing what happens!

07-20-2013, 10:31 PM
Sounds like a good idea, and a break seems to be in order given how you're feeling. I too will be interested in hearing what happens. I wish you luck with your thyroid tests on Monday!

07-20-2013, 10:53 PM
Sounds like a good idea, and a break seems to be in order given how you're feeling. I too will be interested in hearing what happens. I wish you luck with your thyroid tests on Monday!


I have bumped my calories up to maintainance during shark week and been able to jump back on the wagon afterwards. You can do this! Hugs and good luck!!!!

07-21-2013, 10:30 AM
Thank you, Tuscany and mozzy. I reset my trackers today. I had my normal breakfast but added a banana and for the first time in a couple of months, I'm not hungry all ready!

07-21-2013, 10:32 AM
I've heard that can give people a really good way to get things moving again, especially if you've hit a plateau or you're getting frustrating - and definitely in your case if you've been having negative medical side effects. And it sounds like you are being really sensible about it - so good for you!

I hope everything goes well with your doctor and just maintaining for a couple of weeks helps!

07-21-2013, 12:24 PM
Garnet, hope the change provides you with some relief from these issues. As others said, you're taking a very practical approach and getting the tests done at the doctor's is a good idea. The hunger and being cold all the time would be terrible distractions for anyone -- don't know how you've managed to stay on plan with these kinds of issues. Good luck and do keep us posted on what you find -- we do care about you and hope that all is well. :hug:

07-21-2013, 01:06 PM
Just wanted to say that I take a pill for low thyroid. I was miserable before I found out and was always cold and so depressed - it was hard to concentrate. I thought I was just getting old - at 40!

My brother's daughter was diagnosed with a Thyroid problem and her doctor told her that it runs in families and our whole family should be checked. If it hadn't been for that bit of info, I would probably still be miserable.

It took a while to get the level of medication regulated, but, eventually, I felt better. I remember feeling as if I was constantly immersed in a warm bath -- it was the exact opposite of being cold all the time! Such a good feeling. Of course, I just feel "normal" now, but initially, it was amazing! If you have a deficiency, I hope you have the same experience when it's "fixed."

I wish you all the best and hope this break is just what you need. Post and tell us how things go for you. I would love to do the same kind of break, due to being on a pretty long plateau, but I'm afraid to do so! Would love to peek into your experience.

07-23-2013, 10:50 AM
Thank you, punkrocksong and Betsy. Support of this decision means a lot to me. :hug:

AwShucks, that describes so much of what is going on with me, particularly the concentration thing! I've been having a real hard time with that and also losing words when I speak or skipping words when I type. Of course, all of this could be due to the fact that I'm turning 50 this year. :dizzy:

I've been eating at maintenance since Sunday and it's really quite...nice. Last night, I went above maintenance in a planned cheat. I indulged in some ribs and burnt ends along with fixin's from a local restaurant here. OMG, it was good! I stepped on the scale with some trepidation this morning given the high calories and mega sodium intake. My weight stayed the same.

I know I'm not very many days in but I'm already seeing a psychological benefit. I'm just not fretting as much about what I eat. I'm still eating the kind of food that I lost weight eating, just a little bit more of it. I've also added some dairy back in. I didn't even realize until grocery shopping this last weekend that for whatever reasons, I'd just flat stopped eating dairy. I think somewhere up in my lizard brain, I equated dairy with a calorie hit that I wasn't willing to take. The thing is, I love cheese and yogurt so there I was depriving myself.

I have not been hungry at all. This has been the best part. The hunger, coupled with being cold all the time, was really getting to me and messing with my head.

07-26-2013, 11:35 AM
Three signs you need a break from your diet (http://chestermeremindbodyconnection.com/three-signs-you-need-a-break-from-your-diet/)


This article nailed me!

07-26-2013, 11:56 AM
I bet this really is going to be good for you in the long run, and it seems to already be benefiting you! :)

As you know, I'm sort of on a maintenance break of my own. Allowing myself a little more freedom has been good for me mentally, I think. Like you, I'm still eating much of the same healthy things, but am having more, and do splurge on the occasional treat. I'd spent months retraining my patterns of thinking to eat less, cut out more, avoid this, eat only that . . . and I had horrible moments of getting cold. Hunger wasn't really an issue once I'd spent a few months adapting, but I think I was getting mentally drained from being so avidly strict all the freaking time. When my doctor put me on the three day "sugar rush" diet in order to prep for some bloodwork, I was so far out of my comfort zone. I was actually scared to eat the planned cookies and was ready to freak out over having to add actual sugar to my normally plain tea!

I don't want to spend the rest of my life being scared of cookies or ready to cry at the sight of a spoonful of sugar. I want to be able to enjoy such things in moderation, perhaps even when I get back to working on losing weight. Getting through those three days helped me see food a little differently, and I think what I'm going through with the pregnancy maintenance/gain is good practice for when it'll eventually be time for settle into maintenance. Which is still a ways off, but it's nice to think about.

Enjoy your break! I'm sure you'll feel refreshed and ready to ease back into it when it's time. :hug:

07-26-2013, 02:19 PM
Thank you, Elladorine. I wish you all the best on your "maintenance break" although, I tend to think that building a baby is hard work! :hug:

As always, you raise good points. I think that I have gotten into some very unhealthy thinking about food. I've ridden the pendulum from eating everything in sight, no matter what to being overly restrictive and worried. Hopefully, this exercise in maintenance will help me to reset that as well as my metabolism.

07-26-2013, 10:18 PM
OMG. It's 73 degrees in my living room and even though I'm not covered up with a blanket or wearing my hoodie, I am warm.

07-28-2013, 06:58 PM
Well, I've finished week one. I'm up a pound, that makes up three pounds from my lowest weight. I'd gained the other 2 pounds while still eating at a calorie deficit. I have to say that I feel so much better. Yesterday and today, I've been much warmer even though it's unseasonably cool here. The outdoor temp right now is 64! Hubby hasn't changed the temp in the house; if anything is cooler in here than normal.

My hunger is back to normal. Meaning, that I'm only getting hungry when I should be like in the morning and around my meal times. I don't have that constant gnawing feeling. Nor is my hunger making me feel ill or light headed like it had been for the last month or so.

Also, I got the results of my blood tests back. My thyroid is normal. For the first time in my life, my triglycerides are also normal. My cholesterol is still a bit high but it's getting much closer to normal. Woot!

I'm definitely going to stay in maintenance mode for next week. In fact, given some stuff I've read, I may stay in this mode even longer. I don't know for sure yet. I'm going to wait and see how I feel. I honestly didn't realize how miserable I was until I started feeling better. Oh, I knew things just weren't right otherwise, I wouldn't have taken these steps. But now that I'm feeling better both physically and emotionally, I'm getting a better gauge of how much I was struggling and just flat feeling bad.

08-08-2013, 09:37 AM
A strange thing is happening. I'm in the middle of week 3 of my diet break. At my weigh in on Sunday, I was up to 222. Yesterday, I was down to 221. I figured that I'd be up today because last night, hubby and I had dinners from Famous Daves and I ate a LOT. This morning my weight is 220.5

Things that make you go hmmmmmm.

08-11-2013, 04:49 PM
WI day. After eating out at a Mexican restaurant last night, my weight was 221. That's 1.5 pounds down from my weigh in last week. *googly eyes*

Physically, I'm feeling better. I still struggle with being cold but it isn't the kind of purple fingernails cold I was when I started maintenance a month ago. I have more energy. I'm not crazy hungry anymore, just normal hungry right around meal times. I'm not obsessed when I'm going to eat next. I'm also sleeping more soundly.

Psychologically I'm just more relaxed than I've been in a while. I still struggle with bouts of anxiety, I probably always will. I had a pretty bad anxiety/binge episode at the end of week 2 but I recovered faster than I normally do.

I think after next week, I'll be ready to go back to weight loss mode. However, from here on out, the longest I'm going to stay in weight loss mode is 12 weeks. Then, I'll take a month of maintenance.

As I've often said, this isn't a race. It's about getting healthy and I need to do that at a pace at which I'm comfortable.

08-11-2013, 06:39 PM
I don't really focus on either low carb or low fat. My focus is eating at least 2 servings of fruit, 3 servings of vegetables and keeping the rest under my calorie goals. I do tend to avoid trans fat and anything with a lot of sugar in it.

My NP did test T3 and that came back normal. I don't know about rT3, I'll have to dig up my results and see. Thank you for, Lolo70, for bringing that one up. I'd never heard of it before.

08-11-2013, 06:54 PM
"It's time for an intentional reset to allow for both physiological and psychological resets." -- Very insightful!

And YES for the thyroid check; 1/4 every woman has a condition.

Good luck, I'll look forward to your updates.

08-11-2013, 07:02 PM
It sounds like this break did wonders for you, I'm so happy for you :)

I kind of took a small break from dieting while house-sitting this past weekend...from Thursday to today. I still watched what I ate, so I didn't go binging on things that were bad for me, but I didn't weigh, I didn't measure, etc. I made lean and light stuffed peppers (after calculating they came out to 287 calories per pepper), had salads with chicken and light dressing, etc. I nibbled on some candy, but I found that it didn't taste as good as I wanted it to taste, so I didn't eat a lot.

I didn't have my bathroom scale to weight myself (and my parents scale seems off), so I'll weigh myself tomorrow morning for the first time since Wednesday morning. It's ToM for me, so I'm still expecting some bloat from that, but I don't feel like I let myself go. As a rule of thumb, I don't like to not count calories for more than a day because I felt like I would be so tempted to go off plan and won't be able to get back on. But I don't think that's the case, and I'm ready to start counting again tomorrow.

08-18-2013, 05:22 PM
Well, this was my last week eating at maintenance. When I started the diet break, I weighed 220. This morning, I weighed 222 which is unsurprising given that I had a very high sodium day yesterday. I reset my trackers today for a calorie deficit instead of maintenance.

I think an overall 2 pound gain was well worth the month of not trying to lose weight. It's hard for me to describe how much of a pressure relief this month has been. I had really been making myself crazy, particularly when I was eating at a calorie deficit and still not losing weight. I'm really hoping that this reset works and that I can start losing again.

08-18-2013, 07:31 PM
Garnet well done for listening to your body and doing what you needed to do, 2lbs gained is not a high price to pay if you have seen so many benefits from your diet break. a lesson learned for all of us who may find ourselves in similar situations through our own journeys. thank you for sharing!

08-18-2013, 07:37 PM
It definitely sounds like your body is happy with you right now. I took a planned weekend break from my diet about two months ago, and I had gained 5 pounds almost instantly, but it melted back off rather quickly. It was worth the push cause I ended up giving my body a break from ketosis, but I noticed that mentally I was still struggling with wanting to not eat the foods I was eating. Nothing tasted great in my mind when I was on the break.

I have another planned break coming up for a day for my birthday. I wonder how it's going to go.

08-18-2013, 07:42 PM
I think it's wonderful to take occasional breaks. Weight loss is joyful but it's also exhausting. It also gives you a chance to practice maintenance by seeing whether you still have the same weaknesses, and for me it gets me used to watching calories even when I'm not particularly trying to lose. And it gives you a wonderful mental break. 2 pounds is nothing, you'll get rid of that before you know it and be back on your way.

06-25-2014, 10:23 AM
I'm bumping this thread instead of making a new one.

I'm currently one week into my two week diet break (thanks to JohnP for sharing the info!). I scheduled it to fall in line with my vacation, which I am now back from and have one more week to go. Well, just 5 days really! It was really nice to not have to stick with my plan over vacation (I do 5:2, and doing a 500 calorie day while backpacking wouldn't be a good idea anyway). My boyfriend and I still tried to make better choices, swapping salads for fries and skipping meals when we weren't hungry, but man I ate some good food and drank my fair share of beer.

Now that I'm home, I'm trying to slowly move myself back into my normal routine but I won't do another fast until next Monday. So far I'm only .8 pounds above my low weight, and I suspect that's still water weight (with all the hiking I did, I think I still managed to lose!). I might get back to the gym this weekend, but honestly my body needs a rest after an active vacation, so I'm not going to let myself feel guilty about that!

I was having quite a few spells of lightheadedness and fatigue, so I'm curious to see if this makes a difference in how I was feeling. If I'm happy with the results, I'll schedule the next one in September. I like that this was planned, so I know I have an end date I have to stick to.

Anyway, I'll keep you all posted!

06-26-2014, 12:47 PM
Thanks for letting us know how it's going.