Break down


Senior Member
Hello. I encountered this phrase, "break down", when I was talking to a friend about dieting and losing weight. He said this: "when you eat high sugar foods, the sugar gives you a little sugar high, a buzz, and then it wears off fast so you crave more. Eating sugar gives you food cravings and makes it impossible to diet for very long. People diet, lose some weight then they break down and gobble until they gained it all back plus extra because the food craving got so strong".

I have heard of "break down" in "my dad's car broke down so we had to take the bus", or "she couldn't contain her emotions anymore and just broke down and cried". However in the context of what my friend said, I do not know what it means. I can sort of tell by guessing that it meant that the person gave in to temptation. His/her will weakened. That sort of thing. However I am not sure if I was correct or not. What do you think "break down" means in my context? Thanks.
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Break down" here means "give in / surrender (to temptation)." Their self-discipline "breaks down" and no longer functions.
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