We have all been guilty of this at one point or another: eat really well Monday morning through Friday at lunch, and then throw caution to the wind Friday night through Sunday. Before you know it, your caloric deficit from the week has been wiped out in a day or two. The following ideas are meant to help guide weekend eating, and can be applied to everyday life. Stick to these principles and receive the benefits of consistency.
1. Let go of perfect- the idea of being perfect is great in principle, but it can place anxiety and stress on you. If you break your perfect diet, you may say screw it - and eat like crap. If you can let go of perfect and shoot for “above average” this will serve you for the long run and not just the short term.
2. Change your food “rules” into guidelines. Example of a rule: I will never eat bread - but then you are at a pizza party and it is game over. Before you know it you are 5 slices deep. If your guideline is “I want to opt for fruits and vegetables whenever available”, it frees you up to limit your intake of the not ideal foods once you remove the constraints of the “forbidden”. We always want what we can’t have. If you take that away moderation comes into play.
3. Stop making deals with yourself. “I am going to skip this burger today, but come Saturday I am going to eat 2 cheese steaks on cheat day”. This usually won’t work in the long run. If you want the burger today, be honest with yourself. “I am going to eat the burger today, and I am going to be lethargic and sleepy at work. I am ok with that”. If we own our choices and work through them with our logical minds, it can be a guide when you sit down to eat.
4. Stop justifying and be honest with yourself. There are SO many “explanations” for why you ate the way you did on the weekend. “I had nothing going on...I was out at a party...You were too busy to stop and think etc.” These instances don’t cause overeating or poor food choices. They are the justifications we tell ourselves. Instead ask yourself over and over again at each instance why am I eating like this. You will notice a pattern of boredom, stressed, sad, and happy. When you notice a pattern you can then work towards other outlets to satisfy the underlying reason for the poor eating.
5. Ditch the cheat day idea. For some people this works really well, but for a lot of us it means every other day of eating is pure misery and you only look forward to the cheat day. If you switch your mindset to “eat whatever you want when you want” this brings into play the idea of abundance. Quick example outside the realm of food:
Being in and around the business world for a long time, it is remarkable that vacation days are an interesting phenomenon. If a worker has a limited amount of vacation days they are almost guaranteed to take every single hour. When a worker has unlimited or a great abundance of vacation days they end up taking less time off than the workers who have a limited amount. This is the idea of “I only have a few I had better use them up” or in food terms “I only have Saturday, I had better get in everything I want”. If you free yourself from focusing on scarcity and bring about the feeling of abundance after a while you would eat less junk over the course of a week than you would on one day.
If you are getting frustrated with weekend eating or not achieving your desired body composition, then the weekend is a great place to look first. By relaxing our standards over a 7 day period, we can actually achieve better results than a 5 day perfect 2 day terrible diet plan.
Remember, like everything, reaching a difficult to achieve goal takes time and effort. We are here to help and assist you in any way possible. If you would like to talk about these principles or any other health topics please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.