Episode 59 – What Should You Do If You Overeat While In A Calorie Deficit?

Key Topics Covered


Energy Balance – The body is made up of calories. So if we’re burning more calories than we consume, then we’re in a calorie deficit.

So if you’re intentionally trying to lose weight (be in a calorie deficit) and one day you overeat – what should you do?

Option 1 – Do Nothing 

  • Ideally, you are so consistent with your nutrition most of the time, that it doesn’t matter much if you go over your calories 
  • Mathematically, unless you massively go over your planned calories for the day, you are likely still in a deficit for the week.  
  • One day is rarely the issue. 
  • Using an example:  
    • 500kcal deficit for 6 days of the week = 3000kcal deficit. Going 500kcal over planned calories = maintenance, and 3000kcal deficit for the week. 1000kcal over planned calories still leaves a 2500kcal deficit for the week. 
  • By not doing anything to compensate, you might also improve your odds of staying consistent. 

Option 2 – Eat less the next day  

  • Say you overate by 500kcal, you could then eat 500kcal less the next day to balance it out. 
  • The benefit of this is that it means you stay on track with the same rate of weight loss 
  • The downsides are that you might be hungrier, have less flexibility, and struggle a bit more with training. 
  • In some cases, it could also lead to a cycle of struggling to stick to the plan and unintentionally going over again 

Option 3 – Eat fewer calories spread out over multiple days 

  • For example, it could be like the previous example but 250kcal less over 2 days instead of 500kcal over 1 
  • It presents the same problems as the prior option, but on a small scale 
  • From another perspective 100kcal, less for 6 days allows you to eat 600kcal more for one day. It is barely a difference 6 days of the week for 600kcal more on one day. 

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