To suc­cess­ful­ly get your body into the shape you want, it is impor­tant to know when to make adjust­ments to your diet while in a calo­rie deficit and when to take manda­to­ry breaks from your diet.

Stay­ing moti­vat­ed on a diet for sev­er­al months in a row is very dif­fi­cult.

What is a diet break and how long does it last?

A diet break is a planned peri­od of 1–2 weeks (opti­mal­ly 10–14 days) in which we increase our calo­rie intake and loosen our calo­rie count­ing restric­tions. This helps to avoid monot­o­ny, reduces the chances of break­ing down and becom­ing a glut­ton: when there is a lot of excess weight and you need to eat at a deficit for a long time, stay­ing moti­vat­ed for sev­er­al months in a row is very dif­fi­cult.

The same thing hap­pens when you try to dry up for a com­pe­ti­tion, pho­to shoot, wed­ding or oth­er impor­tant event: in the last stages the body resists the most.

How to comply

  • If, accord­ing to your goals, you need to fol­low a diet for longer than 3 months, we rec­om­mend tak­ing a break of 2 weeks.
  • If more time is required and a large num­ber of kilo­grams need to be lost, then such breaks will have to be repeat­ed sev­er­al times.
  • If you want to stay with the low­est pos­si­ble per­cent­age of sub­cu­ta­neous fat, then you can take breaks more often: every 6–8 weeks, depend­ing on how you tol­er­ate the deficit and cope with hunger.

These are rea­son­able rec­om­men­da­tions, but often peo­ple, in pur­suit of quick results, tend to skip breaks in the diet at their own per­il, and the end result usu­al­ly looks some­thing like this:


It’s not about men­tal tough­ness or com­mit­ment to your diet. How you feel when you make such a short-sight­ed deci­sion is no indi­ca­tion of how well you’ll be able to stick to your diet months lat­er.

Planning for weight loss

Plan­ning your diet breaks is impor­tant so that you can rec­og­nize in advance that there are lim­its to your abil­i­ty to be resilient, and not try to be hero­ic when it’s not need­ed.


It is this kind of strate­gic plan­ning that is the most com­pe­tent approach to los­ing weight.

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