What Happens When You Take a Day Off Your Diet Plan

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what happens when you have a day off the diet

You may think that overeating for one day has ruined your diet plan. Does a day off your diet actually ruin your progress?

Because you have overeaten and gained weight you then justify a binge because ‘the diet’s ruined anyway’ and then you go on a full on see food diet.

If the day off is on a Monday or long weekend such as a bank holiday this throws you off your routine even more so you decide to have a week off and start again next Monday.

One day of overeating doesn't ruin your diet, same as how 1 day of eating zero carbs doesn't get you shredded

It takes around 8000 kcals of surplus to create 1kg of fat so the weight gain is not all body fat

Things that affect rapid weight shifts more than fat or muscle will be

  • Water retained in the muscles or under the skin
  • Food Volume in your gut from big meals.  It can take 72 hours for a big meal to be fully processed and excreted.
  • Hormones around TOTM for women

One day of higher calories after a sustained deficit is unlikely to have a major impact

As detailed above, the factors influencing rapid weight gain can quickly be normalised within a day or so if you return to your normal pattern of eating and training.

It's more likely you will get a metabolic uplift from the higher calories and move around a bit more as a direct response

Typically when we overeat for one day the body will prefer to try and burn off as much energy as possible before storing as body fat which is in itself an energy consuming activity.

The actual weight gain from fat comes from the sustained surplus over the next 4-7 days

The mistake people make is believing that they have ruined their diet and then go on a mission to eat everything they can.

As silly as this sounds it is very common and a form of self destructive behaviour instigated by our subconscious trying to use nice food to make us feel better.

Ironically, the 'week off' because the diet is ruined is actually a self fulfilling prophecy

It is this continued excess of calories which results in actual accrual of body fat.  One day is unlikely to yield over 8000 kcals of  excess, howvever a week of overeating could very easily result in 8000-12000 excess kcals.

The result is you do end up heavier and it’s not from water or food volume.

What you should do if you overeat on your diet plan?

I use a 3 step process with clients to help them recognise and overcome these ‘cheating’ instances without everything going to ruin later on.  You’ll also learn how to plan for future days off your diet.

A.C.T - Accept, Control, Take a new direction


  •  Accept that it’s happened and it was out of your control this time.
  • You cannot go back in time so worry about how you move forward.


  • Control your reaction to the event don’t let it control you.
  • You always have a choice of how to behave, whether that’s influenced by emotion or not, it’s still your choice.
  • Recognise that you’ll become upset but also recognise that getting more upset doesn’t help you improve.

Take a New Direction

  • Take a new direction and focus on returning to your plan as soon as you can.
  • Don’t allow this slight diversion to move you off your chosen path entirely.  Focus on how to get back to your previous path as soon as possible.

What happens if you keep cheating on your diet plan?

If the same stuff keeps happening then you need to look at yourself and be honest.  It’s very easy to blame outside influences for your lack of adherence but if those things happen regularly then it’s something to do with you or your routine that’s the problem.

Does your routine need changing?

Are you repeating certain or omitting certain actions from your day that are contributing to your ‘cheating’?

Does your program need changing?

  • Is it right for you?
  • Does it fit your lifestyle?
  • It is flexible to allow for these swerve ball events when they happen?
  • Are you bored of your diet or training?

Are you surrounded by the right people

  • Your environment will go a long way to determining your success.
  • Are you influenced by people who pull you away from your goals?
  • Is your environment preventing you from succeeding?

Watch the video or listen to the podcast to learn more.

Check out my YouTube channel for more videos.

Use my Calorie Calculator to work out your calories for fat loss and get a free macro guide

Find out more about my coaching program to get you into your best shape ever

Camilla Body Transformation

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