The glorious time between Friday-Monday what we all know as the weekend brings us excitement and joy right!? You know what it also brings? Dietary corruption that’s killing your fat loss efforts.
This is a common scenario I hear all the time.
CLIENT: “I did great all week, but I fell off the wagon this weekend.” This leads to Monday after Monday of client wondering why their weight isn’t budging and a continuous scratching their head scenario about how things got so out of hand in only a few short days! Why does this happen!? I have a few scientific theories…
Let’s face it, dieting sucks…But knowing towards the end of the week if you can just make it one more day to the weekend, then by Friday you EARN IT right? I get it and totally understand. Here’s the problem, the brain turns on a switch and thinks “Weekend HELL YES! Eat ALL the food and DRINK all the drinks!” Our brains seem to think the calories on the weekend shouldn’t count because well, dammit you ate broccoli and chicken all week and damn near starved yourself so you could do whatever the hell you wanted on the weekend, and you’re not taking in THAT many calories right!? WRONG.
We’re going to learn some math and make this simple for you to see. Let’s use Sally for example. Sally’s maintenance calories are 1900 (this means for Sally to maintain her weight, her daily average is 1900). Sally wants to lose weight so during the week her calories look like this:
Sally’s doing great at this point with an average of 1525 so far for the week. At this rate she’s going to drop 1-2 lbs. BUT then Friday comes around and Sally’s co-workers want to go for happy hour. She’s done well this week so fu*k it a few drinks isn’t going to kill progress. A few drinks turns into 3 Margaritas, chips, guac, and 1600 calories later putting her at 2600 for the day. Saturday hits and it’s pizza night with her boyfriend. 3 slices later and a few glasses of wine=1300 calories. But don’t forget the 1000 she ate earlier in the day putting her at 2300 calories total. Sunday Funday rolls around and she goes to the pool with some girlfriends, one thing leads to another, drinks, burgers, and desserts come out of the woodwork. 2700 calories.
Average for the week =1985 (Above Sally’s maintenance calories) In 3 short days Sally took herself out of a deficit and since a deficit is required for Sally to lose weight, her weight is actually up after a week. See what happened?
So how do you stop the overeating on the weekends?!
- Stop restricting yourself during the week. If you’re severely limiting your choices during the week, once Friday hits the mental switch in your brain says “Ok I made it! Time to PARTY!” Have the things you enjoy during the week in moderation then you’ll less likely be tempted once Friday at 5:00 comes around.
- Cycle calories. If you know you’re going to be going out over the weekend or have some type of event then plan for that with calorie cycling. If your preference is to eat more on the weekends then decrease calories a bit during the week (don’t starve yourself just cut them a little) allowing you to eat more on the weekends. As long as you’re averaging a deficit at the end of the week, that’s what matters.
- Stick to a workout routine on the weekends. This doesn’t mean you have to go kill yourself in the gym on the weekend, but at least remain active. Sometimes staying into some sort of active routine on the weekends shifts your brain back into a “weekday” routine mode making it easier to not overindulge.
- Try fasting. This may not work for everyone but cut your meals down on the weekends allowing you to eat more. Eat 1-2 meals on the weekend days especially if you have an event or party to attend. If you know you’re going out with friends Saturday night, eat 1 meal of lean protein/veggies and save your calories for the evening. Obviously if you have suffered from eating disorders or are going to be so hungry that you’ll binge eat I highly recommend you do not try this method.
Most important, there’s not ONE thing that will work for everyone, try different methods and find what works for you:)