How many people do you know overeat and/or overdrink over the weekend? It’s what we do right?
I’m just as much to blame as the next person. I mean, I’m guilty of drinking too much alcohol on a Friday night and overeating on a Saturday. The setbacks are limitless. From poor sleep to excessive calories the great British public have this all so wrong for so many reasons!
But when does the weekend start? Are you already getting lax with your eating habits come Thursday lunchtime? Is Thursday night always drinks with colleagues? And then there is the weekend! If we count from Friday night through to Sunday evening, we have five meals maybe even seven if you include breakfast where one could break their healthy eating cycle.
I see it regularly with clients where their weight is at a lowest on a Friday and heaviest come Monday or Tuesday morning. You then spend the entire week trying to play catch up so you can break even from the previous Friday.
So what needs to change with the psychology of the weekend?
Below are my four best tips to not overeat/drink over the weekend so you don’t undo all your hard work midweek.
Don’t Let Friday set the bench mark for the Weekend.
You have been really disciplined and focused all week and stuck to your daily calorie allowance. Then Friday night comes around and you hit that allowance in one serving! Your head then kicks into overdrive. You rationalise with yourself “that was a bad meal, what’s the point staying on track for the rest of the weekend?” You make deal with yourself that you will start a fresh on Monday.
This is a dangerous game. That’s why I believe it’s important not to eliminate food groups completely or go on low calorie diets during the week. Your body craves energy and sure enough once it hits day 5 or 6 you crash. Aka Friday night! Eat carbohydrates during the week and stay away from 500kcal style diets midweek!! Why not break the routine occasionally and see if you can hold off and maybe have that special meal Saturday lunch time or Sunday brunch!
Binge Eating is a Dangerous Game
To have a cheat meal or a treat is totally reasonable and I encourage this with my clients. But losing the fundamentals of nutrition is taking a step back and progress will be difficult. What am I saying here? I’m saying that if portion control has led to your success during the week why would you eat an entire pizza and all 8 slices and 1700kcals in one hit? Wouldn’t 3 slices still be considered a treat and better still 1000kcals less than the whole pie?
Stop Justifying “it’s my Lifestyle”
Yes, you may not have the routine that the week provides but looking for excuses is only going to keep the problem persisting. Acknowledge that the weekends are busy with car rotas, sporting games, family meals etc.
Once you have done this plan for quick wins! Whether it’s making a smoothie in the morning because you’re rushed for time or packing a healthy snack to have while stuck out on the football pitch with the kids on a Sunday. And as for Friday night. Have a small snack before you sit down to a big meal. If I hadn’t eaten for six hours I would eat in excess too.
Aim For 80:20
Don’t aim for perfection with your nutrition. It doesn’t exist (even elite Athletes live off a 90:10 rule, not 100% always being perfect).
Trying to be perfect 100% of the time is chasing something that is unattainable. You don’t want or need to live with guilt for having a piece of cake or a bottle of beer.
Aim for being consistent day in day out! Look at your week as a 80:20 rule. 80% of the time you are sticking to healthy choice, good quality protein, keeping the calories under control, having the correct portion sizes etc. 20% of the time, have your snacks, treats etc.
Just remember not everyone is black and white and not everything needs to be so regimented. If you feel like a chocolate bar on a Wednesday night, have it. Once you have it recalibrate and start again!
Trying to be perfect 100% in my opinion only sets you up for a big crash. And that crash normally comes Friday night when you’re tired, fatigued and burnt out from the week!!
If the name of the game is weight loss, then ultimately a few factors need to happen. Being consistent and accountable are probably the two words that come to mind first when I think about client success.
Enjoy your weekends! Just don’t let it become a 72 hour blowout.