The six day calorie deficit aka banking calories

Lately I have found myself explaining this more and more irl. I thought it might be worth a thread for anyone interested.

First some things to make perfectly clear:

1) I am not recommending this to anyone. It is a good system for me and it is a good system with or without some variations for some other people.
2) It makes no difference in weight loss. I have done this for over a year and I lose my weight as expected.
3) The benefits are only mental and perhaps educational for anyone who doesn't know it already. As explained the mental benefits will not be a benefit to everyone.
4) Don't you dare call the seventh day a "cheat" day.

The idea is super simple. You lose all the weight you intend to lose in 6 days instead of 7 days and you eat your maintenance calories on the 7th day. To do this you bank the extra calories by eating slightly less for the 6 days.

For each half pound you are trying to lose each week you subtract about 42 calories from your daily calorie goal.

.5lb = 42
1lb = 83
1.5lb = 125
2lb = 167

On the 7th day for each half pound you are trying to lose each week you add 250 calories to that day's calorie goal.

.5lb = 250
1lb = 500
1.5lb = 750
2lb = 1000

I do this because I don't benefit as much from small daily treats as much as having a bigger treat or set of treats 1 day a week. For me that day is Sunday. Since I always have something to look forward to it helps grease the wheels some days (mentally).

For anyone who doesn't know it this will help you understand the difference between your deficit and your maintenance calories as well as managing by weekly calorie goals instead of daily goals. It might also help some people get past the fear of eating above the line.

I will sometimes see a slight bump in the scale on Monday but for me it is almost always gone by Thurs and it is, again, nothing to fear. I have been doing this for over a year and lost a large amount of weight.

This is not the only way to bank calories or spend them. Some people want to bank just enough for bank night or bank a little more so they have extra on Saturday and Sunday. This is my system and feel free to steal it if you think it will help you.



  • vanityy99
    vanityy99 Posts: 2,575 Member
    Sounds like fun.
  • Libby81
    Libby81 Posts: 734 Member
    Its helpful to a lot of people to work on weekly averages as it takes the pressure off a little at times when they have a meal out or social gathering.
    The same is useful for weight due to how much weight can fluctuate from one day to the next
  • pinuplove
    pinuplove Posts: 12,903 Member
    edited March 2019
    Calorie banking/weekly calorie goals were a game-changer for me. I still do it now that I'm more or less in maintenance :smile: (mentally, at least, since I'm a lapsed calorie-counter and food-weigher :wink: )
  • dolliesdaughter
    dolliesdaughter Posts: 545 Member
    Old school Weight Watchers allowed for banking "points". I get it.
  • BattyKnitter
    BattyKnitter Posts: 503 Member
    Yes I'm still at a deficit where I can do this so I try to be a bit under everyday (60-100 cals) so on Saturdays I can have a bigger treat meal. I also only have 2 meals rather than 3 on the Saturdays as I get more enjoyment/feelings of satiety from bigger meals rather than a bunch of smaller ones. I wish I could do this during the week but I am always too hungry for breakfast, I think it's habit more than anything but I do walk for an hour on the treadmill every morning and I need fuel for this.

    Once I'm close to my goal weight I might not be able to do this though as I am short and my daily burn will probably be much lower and it'll be much harder to have a bigger deficit.
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,741 Member
    working to my weekly goal has been the best ting i've done to help with consistent weight loss.
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    Annie_01 wrote: »
    @NovusDies I think your banking formula could be useful for a whole lot of people especially those that are still going out with friends, date and work colleagues. When you look at it the way you have it allows a lot of freedom for weekends. Some people that are really busy and already active just don't have the time to squeeze in more exercise and/or a walk. Also it could be a tool for those that are just not physically able. I also see it being beneficial in maintenance...keep a small deficit during the week to offset any weekend least enough for a bloody mary!

    I can't know for sure obviously but I do suspect I will be doing this even in maintenance because it fits my personality and it is line with my natural eating habits. I care about what I eat more on the weekend than I do during the week.