I've been exercising and dieting diligently for the last 2 weeks and I've lost 1lb and 1 inch off my waist so far.

Today, however, I had a 1.25lbs (560gr) ribeye steak (weighed raw) with about 2 cups of broccoli for lunch. The steak was cooked with 2tbsp of homemade butter, and about 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. I estimate this meal to be around 2,000kcal.

I've been on a 1,600 kcal diet. I haven't worked out yet, but I usually burn anywhere between 300 to 500 kcals working out (workout for 45 mins with an average bpm of 150)

Also, I did not eat the big layers of fat in the steak, just the meat.

How much work have I reversed? I'm a 5'9" (175cm) 29yo male who weighs 253lb (114kg) if that helps.

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    – JohnP
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 14:15

3 Answers 3


First of all. Fat is not bad. It makes you feel full. Proteins have one problem - they makes acid level in your blood higher, so water is kept in the body. So if your diet is based on proteins - be sure to drink more. A specially when your see weight lose plateau.

Think about your diet as long run. If you cheat a bit every day - it accumulates in a wrong way. If you cheat only once - in the long run that is almost nothing.

Some people says that cheat day / cheat meal is needed to trick your body. When you are on diet, then your body sees it as poor days, and takes all from food. Cheat meal helps with it. I think that better option is to keep diet for longer period, and force body to deal with new situation.

How much did you lost? That is wrong question. When you loosing weight - your muscles are also burned to get energy. That is a bit unwanted effect, so simply comparing weight is not good measure. From that perspective, there is good moment to cheat. If you eat after training insulin will move carbs to muscles first.

As a side note. There is diet in which one day you are fasting - by taking around 600 kcals, and other day you can eat as much as you want. It appears that during open-bar day people are not eating that much - so overall intake is less then normal.

  • 1
    Thanks for your answer. Surprisingly, that steak was the only meal I had that day and I was full throughout the entire day. I drank a lot of water and had a small 100 kcal snack. I think I broke even with my daily calories limit, but I recorded my measurements today and I ended up losing an additional 2 inches and 2 pounds, so I guess it wasn't that bad after all. But you're right, I should have controlled myself.
    – ILikeTacos
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 15:45

You didn't mention what else you ate that day, but lets assume you had two 500kcal meals in addition to the steak, for a total of 3000kcal that day. If you stuck to the 1600kcal diet every other day of the week, then its easy to calculate the effect of this one cheat day by averaging your caloric intake over the week.

Calories consumed during the week = 6 * 1600 + 1 * 3000 = 12600

Average daily calories consumed = 12600 / 7 = 1800

So if you had a cheat day like this once per week, it would be like you were actually sticking to a 1800kcal/day diet with no cheat days. If you don't normally take cheat days, then it would be like you were on a strict 1800kcal diet this week, and a 1600kcal diet every other week.

As for how far you set yourself back with that one meal? Not much.

  • That's the only meal I ate that day. I mentioned in another comment, that I ended up not feeling hungry at all for the rest of the day. This morning I took my measurements again, and I ended up dropping 2 additional pounds and 2 inches off my waist.
    – ILikeTacos
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 0:56
  • 1
    In that case, your averaged daily consumption for the week would be 1667kcal, which is even less of a deviation from your planned diet! Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 0:59

The extra 2000 calories is about half a pound of weight loss stopped. (3500 calories is a pound of fat.) My bigger concern is that you are letting other food creep in during the week. May want to think about whether having a cheat day is influencing your behavior rest of the week. And/or if there was more cheating during the day other than the steak drenched in oil (why you need to do that to a steak eludes me by the way). Like any beers?

Looking at a basic calorie calculator, a man of your weight should be maintaining 253# at about 3100 calories. If you were averaging 1600 calories per day, I would expect you to be losing 3+ pounds per week. You've lost one pound in 2 weeks, not 6.

Also, it is normal at the beginning of a diet to have a big woosh (water weight associated with exhausting glycogen and going into fat burning mode). You have not had that water woosh.

  • Not to mention he’s basically starving himself and destroying his metabolism on 1600. Commented Apr 15, 2018 at 20:18
  • 2
    3500 calories is not a pound of fat. It is a myth based on bad data and extrapolation.
    – JohnP
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 3:44
  • @JustSnilloc why am I destroying my metabolism? I don't feel like I'm starving on 1,600 kcal.
    – ILikeTacos
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 0:58

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