Will a cheat day break your weight loss plateau?


When I posted the other day that I didn’t lose any weight this week, one of my followers commented that she had read that a “cheat day” would break that plateau.

I had actually never heard of this, so I did some research.

There are numerous posts from people who used this tactic with really good results.  I did have a carb loading day last week.  I wondered if that counted.  Weight Watchers does give you extra points each week for a “cushion” but I have been reluctant to use them since my weight stalled.  Perhaps I was a bit too hasty.

We all need a break sometimes from the rigors of dieting.  Constant deprivation sucks the life right out of your soul.   I thought I was being too lax, when in fact I was being too strict.

I am happy to report that I broke my plateau and as of today I am three pounds lighter. Was this just a fluke?  I am not sure.  I won’t be doing it all the time, but I have to give myself some kind of cushion.  Weight will fluctuate.  I might gain by my weigh in on Monday.  But I will never stick with this lifestyle change if I don’t treat myself once in awhile.

The trick to cheat days is that you really have to have plateaued.  I did not lose weight or inches this past week.  But why do we plateau in the first place?

Women tend to plateau more than men.  Even though I don’t have hormone fluctuations or water weight gain every month anymore,  we are hardwired to plateau more than our male counterparts.  I think it’s all about the “child bearing” thing.  Women also tend to carry more fat for the same reason.

Also, when you restrict calories for any length of time, your body goes into “starvation” mode.  Your body thinks you are starving and holds onto fat.  You have to trick your body into thinking that all is okay again by upping your caloric intake for a meal, or a day. Your metabolism then resets itself.   I basically did this last week when I went carb crazy without even knowing it.

Someone posted that she had a cheat day, gained weight, and then lost several pounds. This is exactly what happened to me.  I gained a pound, then lost three.  I am over the moon right now.  And I have a new tool in my arsenal against plateaus, without completely sabotaging my efforts.

Thank you, Raylene,  for your encouragement, and your advice!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Raylene says:

    Awh! Thanks for the love, girl! I am just so happy for you that my advice proved true and that you could see results so quickly. I need to pass the credit on to where it’s due, though. I learned about cheat days from Isabel de los Rios of http://www.BeyondDiet.com and her colleagues. Ultimately, I thank God for connecting me with her and her lifestyle plan. (Not trying to undermine what you’re doing here; I just don’t want people to think I’m some diet guru when the credit belongs elsewhere!)


    1. glutenfreelady says:

      Hey, I’m all about giving credit. Actually, there are quite a few posts online about cheat days and that they work. There is more than one way to lose weight. I’m also all about sharing and helping others any way I can. I appreciate your support.


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