How To Use Calorie Cycling For Weight Loss

This article is going to teach you exactly how to use calorie cycling for weight loss in your diet.

I will tell you how you can eat more on some days and still lose weight.

I will lay out exactly how you should set your diet up to eat more calories on the weekend or on days you workout and still see weight loss progress.

Whatever reason you have for wanting to use calorie cycling for weight loss the one thing I can assure you is it works.

Just be sure to keep a close eye on the strategies I am going to lay out below so you get the best information and see the best results.

Ready to jump in?

Does Calorie Cycling For Weight Loss Really Work?

I am almost certain you are here because you want to try out calorie cycling for weight loss.

With that being said you are also probably wondering does it really even work? Can you really eat more some days and still lose weight?

Let me tell you a story about my online coaching client Alison from Virginia.

Calorie cycling for weight loss
calorie cycling for weight loss

Alison came to me wanting to drop some pounds, mainly in her stomach area, but also find a diet that works around her lifestyle. She wanted to learn more about how her body responded to certain foods and certain calorie amounts.

Being a mom who works full time and raises 3 kids her schedule was crazy to say the least.

We found that on days she worked out she always tended to be bit hungrier than on days she didn’t. Therefore we implemented calorie cycling for weight loss.

We did higher calorie days on the days she worked out and lower calorie days on the days she did not.

We did this religiously for 3 months. It fit into her busy schedule and the biggest part was she was able to adhere to it sustainably.

She enjoyed having more calories on the days she worked out so she was able to stick to the plan better leading to the clear amazing results you see above ( though I think she has better abs than me! ).

Why am I telling you this? I am telling you to make it very clear that calorie cycling can work for weight loss if done correctly.

Why does it work though? How come she can eat more calories some days and still get abs?

Keep reading young Padawan I will explain.

How Does Calorie Cycling For Weight Loss Work?

calorie cycling for weight loss

The reason you can eat more food on some days and still lose weight is simple math actually.

For you to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit. This just means you need to eat less calories than your body burns on a daily or weekly basis.

I have an in depth podcast I recorded on what actually needs to happen for you to lose weight head HERE if you want to check it out.

This by the way is the only way you can lose weight.

Not through detox teas, not from cutting carbs, not from sweat belts or fat burning pills.

All that needs to happen is you are in a calorie deficit. So please save your money at Gnc and keep carbs in your life so you don’t kill your loved ones.


Notice the weekly* there. This is where calorie cycling for weight loss comes into play.

Let’s say to be in a calorie deficit you need to eat 1800 calories a day.

1800 calories x 7 days a week comes out to 12,600 calories for the week.

How you get to that number is completely 100% up to you.

Remember this number as we will be referencing it as the article continues on.

You can eat 1800 calories everyday and that will work amazing.

You can also split it up throughout the week and work this number around your schedule a bit better.

Furthermore meaning you can have some days that allow yourself to have higher calories and some days where you eat lower calories, aka calorie cycling.

All while still working towards that same weekly number of calories consumed to ensure you are in a calorie deficit to lose weight.

If you want to find out how many calories you in particular actually need to lose weight head HERE.

Let’s dive into a few of the different ways you could potentially set up your calorie cycling for weight loss diet.

#1 Workout Days

calorie cycling for weight loss

Like my online coaching client above Alison, you may notice that on days you workout you are substantially more hungry.

By more hungry I mean you could eat enough for a small village and leave your family with none.

Trust me I’ve been there one too many times.

If you don’t take this into account when coming up with your plan you can easily over eat taking yourself out of that calorie deficit you need to lose weight.

Yet if you can use calorie cycling effectively it could be a game changer for you.

Let’s say you workout 4 days a week right now and do not workout 3 days a week.

Let’s stick with our 1800 calories a day necessary to be in a calorie deficit that we labeled out above.

What you can do is “borrow” from those calories. What do I mean?

On days you workout if you know you are hungrier you can increase your calories by 300 each day.

So the 4 days a week you workout you can eat 2100 calories.

That is adds up to 1200 calories extra on those 4 days.

Subsequently to even things out and still hit your weekly calorie limit, the days you do not workout you eat 400 less calories.


Because you have 1200 calories you have to make up for over a span of 3 days. 1200 calories / 3 days = 400 calories each day you subtract from your original 1800.

This means 3 days a week you eat 1400 calories.

Let’s do math class!

2100 calories x 4 days a week = 8400 calories.

1400 calories x 3 days a week = 4200 calories.

8400 calories + 4200 calories = 12,600 calories.

If you remember from earlier in the article 1800 calories a day for 7 days straight equalled 12,600 calories.

Now with our new calorie cycling we were still able to hit that 12,600 calorie mark by having some days of higher calories some days of lower calories.

So now you don’t have to raid your pantry and hide food from your family after you get done working out! You can thank me later.

#2 Weekends

Weekends, woo!!

There are usually two camps here.

The first are those of you who are very strict Monday – Friday, and over restrict yourself to the point where Friday night rolls around you just want a cookie.

Though it is not just one cookie it ends up being 10 cookies.

With some drinks.

And a burger and fries for good measure.

Effectively putting all of your hard work Monday – Friday to waste.

This then leads you to say “well screw it I messed up I’ll just keep going and get back on track Monday”.

Then this happens in perpetuity for months or years. Sound familiar at all?

The second group is maybe weekends are just harder.

You have kids activities, date nights and are overall in a different routine.

Though just because this may be the case does not mean you cannot plan your diet around this.

Both scenarios can be great instances where calorie cycling for weight loss can be used.

Let’s keep the same 1800 calories a day needed for weight loss meaning 12,600 calories for the whole week.

Monday – Friday you do 1500 calories adding up to 7500 calories.

Saturday and Sunday you do 2550 calories adding up to 5100 calories.

7500 calories + 5100 calories would get you the 12,600 calories needed for that week to still lose weight.

Make sense?


If you are wanting to lose weight you are probably weighing yourself.

Know that from having more food in your stomach from the weekend you may weigh in heavier on Monday.

Yet that is just it you have more food in your stomach. You probably had more carbs than usual.

Point being you are not gaining fat as long as you are in a calorie deficit. Track your weight over a long period of time and see if you are trending in the right direction.

This is something I do a ton with my online coaching clients. Feel free to shoot me an email at if you want some extra help there.

#3 Planning For An Event

Anytime a party or event comes up this is a great opportunity to use calorie cycling for weight loss.

They are usually the bane of any dieters existence but through reading this article you will be able to still enjoy yourself at these events while still seeing weight loss progress.

Let’s say Thursday you know you have a work party.

The only food that is going to be served is pizza and a veggie platter. Yes you can own that veggie platter but you also need to eat real food before you hurt someone.

You also may want to have a drink or two.

You can still do this while still sticking to your plan and effectively still losing weight.

We will yet again use the 1800 calories a day needed to lose weight example.

What we can do here is once more simply borrow calories from other days.

If you know Thursday is going to be a higher calorie day you can eat a bit less during the other days to plan for it.

So say the other 6 days you eat just 100 calories less, 1700 calories a day.

This leaves you with 600 extra calories you can work with for Thursdays party meaning you can have a calorie limit of 2400 calories.

1700 calories x 6 days = 10,200 calories.

10,200 calories + 2400 calories brings us to our same 12,600 for the week total.

Magic right? I am on my Criss Angle kick.

#4 Longer Days

I know your schedule is insane.

Some days you got kids activities, other days you have to go into the office, other days you work from home.

Perhaps you travel for work and on the days you travel you really find it harder to stick to your allotted calories rather than days you are stationary.

Maybe you are a shift worker and on the days you work your shifts you obviously are up longer than other days.

All of these can be perfect opportunities to use, you guessed it, calorie cycling for weight loss.

Truthfully this will really depend on your schedule and you as an individual to set up your days / calories.

Yet the same principles still apply. “Borrow” calories from other days, have some lower days some higher days, and be sure that by the end of the week your calories add up what your total for the week should be.

What Calorie Cycling For Weight Loss Is Not

Thus far I have given you multiple examples where you can use calorie cycling for weight loss and just exactly what it is.

Similarly I want to talk about what is not.

Calorie cycling for weight loss is NOT an excuse to eat whatever you want whenever you want in however much quantity you want.

Just because there is some days where you have higher calories this does mean it is a free for all.

You should still be conscious of your food. You should track if you are counting calories.

Your food choices should still emphasize protein and nutrient dense whole foods.

This isn’t a have Twinkies and Popeyes day!

I can promise you that will not work and it will start you down a not so good path.

Use the higher calorie days not as free for alls but rather as a way to still keep yourself in check.

One thing I love doing for my online coaching clients is simply increasing their portion sizes. If you normally have 1/4 cup of rice increase to 1/2 or 3/4.

If you normally try to limit yourself to 2 snacks you can have a third.

Simple things like that can go a long way in the form of having higher calories.

Calorie Cycling For Weight Loss Is Also Not..

This one is important so lean in and listen.

This is not an excuse for you to over restrict yourself during the week so you can go and binge on the weekends.

Yes doing some lower calorie days throughout the week can lead you to have some more calories on the weekend.

This does not mean you should be eating 800 calories during the week so you can eat 4000 on Friday and Saturday night.

I promise you in my hearts of hearts that will never work because you will never be able to sustain that.

The number one question I tell anyone and everyone about diets is “How long can you sustain it?”.

If that answer is 3 weeks, 3 months or 3 years it is not going to work.

This calorie cycling can be a great tool but just like the alcohol commercials say please use it responsibly.

So How Are You Going To Use Calorie Cycling For Weight Loss?

You now have all of the tools at your disposal to take calorie cycling for weight loss and make it into your own.

Remember there is no one right way to structure it.

There isn’t even a more optimal way.

Rather only an optimal way that is going to work for you because the more you tailor it for you the longer you can stick to it.

The longer you stick to it the more results you will not only obtain but sustain.

If you want someone guiding you along your weight loss journey for any and all the questions you may have head to the link HERE to see if we could possibly be a good fit together.

If you just have a question feel free to drop them below or shoot me an email at .

Look forward to hearing from you.