The Importance of Fast Breaks

Most dieters lose momentum in two weeks according to a recent SparkPeople poll.

Five pounds down, then another three. Then deadlock. You’ve hit the plateau and are stalling out and about to give up. Momentum is one of the hardest issues to battle with when you choose to diet. In the beginning, you are excited and ready to work hard to put off the pounds for good this time. A few weeks into it, however, and things have slowed down quite a bit. The enthusiasm and the drive are no longer there. What changes during this time? Are you alone?

According to SparkPeople’s poll, not only are you not alone, you’re in the majority. So what does it mean? It is critical that you get off on the right foot when starting a diet. Little things that build momentum in the beginning will carry you through to making permanent changes. That’s what SparkPeople’s Fast Breaks are all about. These little goals get the ball rolling in a manageable and un-intimidating way.

With the SparkPeople system, we’re talking about a lifestyle change, not just a temporary diet. We want you to have the tools to really maintain healthy habits. That’s why fad diets don’t really work. Sure, you see results fast, but as soon as you stop eating those certain things, the pounds can creep back on, and the momentum is gone. And who wants to be on a “diet” their whole life? Instead of craze diets, learn to be conscious about the things you eat, the exercise you do, the sleep that you get. It’s these little things that will surely bring you success in the long run, even after those first two weeks are long gone.

More than 16,000 people responded to this poll. See the full results here.

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Member Comments

It took me such a long time to learn this! Report
Bottom line/basically the answer lies within our nutritional, fitness & stress levels when we plateau. Report
I didn't plateau while losing Report
Good article Report
This program is fulfilling everything it stated as long as I followed direction Report
Even though this is 13 years old, this is still true and very encouraging! Thanks Sparkpeople! Report
Dieting is definitely a challenge. You are doing something difficult. But remember, its a journey and not a destination. This would make the effort longer than the average of 2 weeks. Report
I am just starting ..again..I had my knees replaced 2 years ago and gained 40 pounds..In the last year have lost 8-10 several times..Trying not to get discouraged before I start Report
2 years 8 months, 151lbs gone and 65lbs to go. It can be done, I still can't believe I've got this far, but I hd the best motivation... the plataeus are hard but you've just got to grit your teeth and hang in there. Visualise your goal. Report
DAZZLE: go to the message boards and post there-- people will respond to you. Look around for groups that you have a common goal or conneciton with Report
I have got 60 pounds to lose and really feeling down about the adventure. how do I get some feedback. Report
I've done this so many times in my life that I've lost count. I start a "diet" on a Monday morning and 2 to 4 weeks later it is all but forgotten. This is the 2nd time I've investigated sparkpeople, but the first that I've actually gotten involved. Now, I love logging my food and exercise and seeing the little charts. I think this is a wonderful site and one that truly advocates a lifestyle of healthy eating, exercise, proper sleep patterns, and lots of water. I've lost 5 pounds in 2 weeks and plan to continue one day at a time for the rest of my life! Report
I have been modifying my food intake for 12 weeks and joined sparkpeople almost 5 weeks ago. This last week has been the most difficult...being on vacation, away from home, trying to make the right choices, then having an emotional low of losing two beloved pets the same day. Today (day 8) I hit a wall. I rode my stationary bike, drank my water, but just ate too much. It was emotional eating for sure and at the end of the day, I thought, don't throw away 12 weeks of hard work, it's not worth it and not going to "make things right again". So i have set a new goal for the next 40 days to add 12 pounds to the 17 I have already lost and increase the exercise to every day instead of every other day. i don't like giving up. Sparkpeople has given me a lot of insight. Thanks for the support. Report
I can't believe I have been on SP for 9 months and haven't really hit a plateau. So I raised my goal 10 more points. Everyone says the last 10 are the hardest, so here goes. Report
Great article. I've signed into Sparkpeople every day for 137 days now and I won't quit, because I'm learning to live a healthy lifestyle and I'm NOT on a diet. It is sad that so many people start SP and then quit like this article says. That isn't what SP is about. Report


About The Author

Liz Noelcke
Liz Noelcke
Liz is a journalist who often writes about health and fitness topics.