It’s not always a good time to diet. Living in a calorie deficit is not sustainable nor enjoyable. Despite what you might think, constantly dieting is not the best way to achieve a fat loss goal.
Here are 7 reasons to stop dieting, even if you haven’t achieved your fat loss goal yet:
1. Your calories are very low
If your calorie intake is getting really low, your energy expenditure is really high and you’re no longer seeing any progress, it’s time to stop dieting.
2. Your menstrual cycle is irregular
Dieting for long periods of time and especially if your calories are quite low, it can impact on your menstrual cycle. If you are noticing that your cycle has become irregular or that you are no longer menstruating, that’s a big red flag to stop dieting.
3. It’s affecting your quality of life
If dieting is starting to significantly affect your energy levels, mood, strength, libido, sleep quality or cause you added stress it’s time to consider taking a break. It’s not worth sacrificing your physical health, mental health, or quality of life just to be a little bit leaner.
4. You’re constantly hungry
It is normal to feel a little hungry when dieting. By definition, you are giving your body less fuel than it needs to function optimally. But if you are constantly hungry and thinking about food to the point that it’s taking over your life, it’s time to take a break.
5. You’ve been dieting for too long
You aren’t meant to diet forever, even if you haven’t reached your fat loss goal yet! Depending on the client, we usually only have our clients in a calorie deficit for up to 12 weeks before giving them a diet break or considering a reverse diet/period at maintenance.
6. It’s affecting your relationship with food
If you are really struggling to stick to your intake and you are starting to notice a pattern of over-eating, then feeling guilty about it and subsequently restricting, that’s a sign that your calories are either too low or you need to take a break. Any form of disordered eating is a reason to stop dieting and just focus on healthy lifestyle behaviours.
7. You want to focus on building muscle
Most women want to look more ‘toned’ and part of that is building muscle which isn’t done effectively in a calorie deficit. If you want to really change your body composition and make future fat loss efforts easier, we highly recommend spending some time focusing on muscle growth!
8. You just want a break
You don’t need to have a reason to want to stop dieting. If you are just sick of dieting and want to take a break – that is ok!
If any of these sound familiar to you, it’s time to give your body a break. There are plenty of other goals that you can focus on that will actually help make your future fat loss efforts easier like reverse dieting, a period at maintenance or even spending some time in a slight surplus. Switching your goals from a focus on aesthetics to a focus on strength and performance can really help with improving your mental health and mindset. If you need help with working towards any of these goals – check out our 1:1 Personalised Coaching!
There’s more to life than just dieting!