A diet break is a period of time, usually at least a week, where calories are raised to maintenance level or even a higher.A  The object is to cease losing weight. Warfare is a good analogy for the anti-starvation system.A  Your body is fighting your diet, using ever stronger and more powerful weaponry. Doing controlled carbohydrate refeeds will reduce the effects of your hunger hormones, but reefed effectiveness will wane over time, and often a reefed is nothing more than a short term fix. You do want a calorie surplus if significant metabolism boosting is your goal, but 10%-20% over maintenance is much more reasonable. If metabolism alone is your goal (no muscle gain), you want as small of a surplus as possible; walk microsurplusses upward, bumping your maintenance cals 25 a week or so for months on end.
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A diet break is a planned and purposeful two week break from dieting to help prepare psychologically and physiologically for the next phase.
Let me be very clear: If you take this attitude towards your diet then sooner or later you are destined to fail. Though most don’t realise (or want to believe) it, at some point in the pursuit of your fitness or physique goals you will* have to take one step backwards to take two steps forwards. In this article you’ll find diet break guidelines, a quick run down of the reasons for, and my own FAQ I’ve developed from client questions that’ll probably make you laugh.
The skinny kid that wants to cut to reveal a six-pack Mike Chang promised him but he doesn’t have, cause he missed that he needs to build a muscular base first. The wannabe MMA warrior, that decides they’re going to add HIIT, metabolic conditioning and strength training to their martial arts classes – missing simple point that all these things will improve dramatically if they dropped 50lbs with minimal training and diet efforts first. Remember, the goal is to stay eating as much as possible, for as long as possible, so that you can get leaner than you ever have, in the most comfortable way you ever have, so that you are able to sustain it. This is not only about making diet adjustments at the right time, but knowing when to take diet breaks also. Psychological reasons: Physiological reasons aside, taking periodical diet breaks is a good idea for the psychological benefits also. This is by far my most common recommendation – a break from counting food intake entirely. If these instructions seem too easy, you’re probably just overthinking the diet break.
There are certain populations that can benefit from a more structured diet break – competitors who are close to their stage condition, and so close to the ragged edge that if they are instructed to eat ad-lib then things could really go pear-shaped (excuse the pun). For someone who has been hitting protein carbs and fat within 5 g for months, with low macro targets, giving them an extra 500 kcals, cutting cardio in half, and saying just hit your calories + or – 100 can be very liberating, comparatively, but it can also prevent folks going off the rails.
Remove the macro target, just hit your new calorie target to an accuracy of + or – 100 each day.

Above are my own recommendations on diet break frequency, adapted from Lyle McDonald’s original recommendations after gaining experience.
Some water will be gained under the skin, and there will be a little fat gain, but nothing extreme (unless you purposefully binge eat the entire diet break – which is a very rare exception if everything else has been set up well thus far).
FOR COACHES: Talk to your prospective client about the subject of diet breaks before taking the client on.
Following your hunger, generally speaking, will be somewhat around your natural maintenance. For the most part, though if there are certain foods that you have been avoiding then now is a time you can indulge. Browse the other diet adjustment guides using the menu at the top, or get access to my full book on the topic of how I adjust the diets of my clients to take them to shreds and how you can do that too, here. After seeing one too many people get ripped off by supplement and training industry lies I decided to try and do something about it. When I'm not helping clients you'll likely find me crashing down a mountain on a snowboard, riding a motorbike, or staring at watches I can't afford.
When coming off of a diet break whether due to a plateau or another reason..when we go back to the diet should we resume from the calories we were dieting on before or adjust lower based on our lower body weight?
DIET COKE2 - This campaign reversed years of market share losses and rejuvenated the brand. DIET COKE3 - This campaign reversed years of market share losses and rejuvenated the brand. All of the above, except that now the mood swings andA negative emotionsA becomes much stronger. It takes ironclad willpower to fight through since the desire to quit is so strong (and the effects on your emotions becomes stronger and stronger).
It seems I instinctively follow a lot of good advice and certainly was in need of a diet break.
With the exception of stage competitors within 8 weeks of their stage debut, this is what I have recommended to everyone thus far. More care can be needed at these times as that’s where the suffering tends to really start. Unfortunately some hormones simply take longer to recover to normal levels than others, so there is no cutting a diet break short. I can pile in a huge amount of food, if I do the full break, are you telling me to binge eat?
It's had a lot of love poured into it, and I hope you find the guides to the diet and training methods I use on this site useful. I know we have to adjust as we lose fat and weight so just wondering if coming off a diet break would be an ideal time to do it. They are formed from the teachings of the best science-based guys in the industry, then refined and developed through my work online with clients.

Nothing I write should be construed as medical advice, nor is it meant to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease.
The "Diet Coke Break" commercial, presented in the pitch to win the business, received over 100 million dollars of free media attention. Your body goes in serious conserve calories mode and metabolic slowing (and potentially significant muscle loss) can be expected. I haven’t had the cravings or food fantasies but my mood is definitely off and my cycle has gone from 28 to 60 days.
Over the past month I’ve lost only 3 pounds when, mathematically, it should work out to a bit over 5 pounds. So, if that’s not you then this is the choice I recommend you make even if it freaks you out to do so. I base frequency of diet breaks on how a client is doing mentally (mood, cravings, stress), as well as physically (energy, sleep, recovery). When bulking we have to consciously eat beyond what hunger signals would usually dictate that we eat.
I may give suggestions for you to try out, but I won't pretend to know everything about your specific circumstances. Taking planned breaks is one of the best moves you can make for your long term diet success.
If you fancy having breakfast then feel free to do so on a few days – not a big deal. A diet break will naturally bring your intake down to maintenance or slightly above, and there won’t be any significant fat gain. So in this case I’d keep the macros as they were and wait to see if there was a whoosh of weight loss in the two weeks following the diet break, taking them to a weight lower than their previous level prior to starting it. Hunger increases from beingA a short lived annoyance around when you normally eat to being fairly constant between meals, and you start to think about eating and hunger all the time.A  ButA hunger is still easily dispatched with a little snack. The prize will be couriered to the winner overnight within two working days of the winner claiming the prize. Snacking starts to lose its appeal as snack food really would solve nothing.A  Your hunger starts to reach a ravenous level.
In the unlikely event of circumstances beyond its control, the promoter reserves the right to replace the prize with alternatives of equal or greater value.

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