Over the last several days, I’ve been sharing my “Ten Commandments of Dieting that Your Doctor Will Never Tell You.” The first seven commandments to permanent weight loss success are 1. Thou shalt not worship food as your god; 2. Thou shalt not worship a false image; 3. Thou shalt not murder, 4. Thou shalt not steal, 5. Thou shalt not covet, 6. Thou shalt not cheat against thy confidence and self-esteem and 7. Thou shalt not lie. The eighth commandment:

8. Six days shalt thou labor, but in the seventh day thou shalt rest.

Everyone needs a break from time to time.

Dieting can be like babysitting a house full of kids—if you don’t take a mental break, it can make you crazy. Going 24-7 is expected of the ambitious in every aspect of life today, but I believe mental “play time” is critical to our dieting success.

This may seem shocking to you, but it’s okay to take a break from this diet if you’ve reached your mental or physical limits. Why would a doctor prescribe a diet and then tell you it’s okay to not follow the diet strictly? Because diets that are too strict cause people to burn out. They retreat defeated and beaten, completely dropping the diet.

It is okay to take a diet time-out if you need it. Choosing to take consistent small steps is much better than falling completely down the staircase.

Rome wasn’t built in a day—and neither will your new and improved physique appear overnight. It takes substantial time and food to store fat and become fat, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it takes some time to “deconstruct” it as well.

Choosing to be consistent over time is more important than choosing to defeat yourself with too strict a regimen.

Aaron Tabor, MD., is a diet and nutrition expert and book author. You can learn more about his weight-loss philosophy and weight-loss system by visiting DrTabor.com.

Next: Honor thy family by succeeding together.

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