In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about “diet breaks.” Diet breaks are a short period away from your diet and usually lasts for about 1-2 weeks (1:43). The goal is to eat at maintenance for that duration of time to not only give your body permission to recover, but to also feel safe. While trying to understand what made a person quit their diet, researchers discovered that those going through a dieting phase were better at adhering to their diet when given a diet break (2:10). Per the time spent dieting, a diet break can make your diet more efficient, therefore you’ll be able to lose more fat (4:02). A few reasons as to why this is the case includes a decrease in your metabolic rate, a decrease in NEAT, and a decrease in your body’s leptin levels. So at the end of a diet break, taking all things into consideration, your body will be more effective at losing fat.

Moving forward, we’re going to discuss when to implement a diet break (8:24) by giving you three different scenarios. The first will be someone in a contest prep, the second will be an everyday individual, and the third will be someone who’s obese. For someone in a contest prep, meaning that this individual is going to extreme levels of dieting, Miguel recommends dieting for 4 weeks and taking a 1 week diet break. For an everyday individual, who’s aiming to lose somewhere between 10 and 20lbs, he’d suggest either a 4:1 or 5:1 ratio. And lastly, for someone who is obese, a 6:1 ratio. This is because if someone is obese, s/he has more energy available since fat is stored as energy, therefore, there’s not much risk of muscle loss. No matter what type of dieting phase you’re going through, whether it be extreme or not, a benefit to a diet break is to teach yourself how to have healthy eating habits for when you’re not dieting (20:46). To wrap this episode up, we take you through how to implement a diet break and how to find your new maintenance calories (23:33). If you’re unsure and need a little guidance, be sure to continue listening.

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