Your weekend eating habits could be hindering your progress.

For many of us, the weekend is considered a safe place where we can relax and little and be free of our Monday to Friday diets. What you may not realise though, this could be undoing all your hard work throughout the week.

We’ve talked about the idea of cheat days and meals and the impact that overly restrictive diets can have on you achieving your goals.

Usually, we will be strict with our food from Monday to Friday and then take a hall-pass over the weekend. By allowing our selves to overindulge on the foods we restricted throughout the week. Naturally, the more you limit certain things from your diet, the more you’re going to want them when you have the chance. Therefore, the likelihood of overindulging is even higher.

Can this behaviour have negative results on your long term progress if you do this often? Yes. Let’s take a look.

Someone has a maintenance of 2000 calories per day, and their goal is to lose weight. This person eats in a calorie deficit five days per week and then over indulges two days per week (see graph below).

This person eats 1600 calories a day for five days and then eats 3500 calories a day for two days; this would bring the total weekly average to 2142 calories a day. In this case, it would hurt the person’s overall goal and progress of losing weight.

It is highlighting the risks that come with “clean eating” and labelling foods as “good” or “bad”. We encourage our clients to adopt the 80/20 principle and account for their intake seven days a week without restrictions to stay on track. 

So, why do we adopt this weekend overindulgent behaviour? 

  • Lack of routine and meal preparation on weekends
  • Lack of accountability and support.
  • Lack of knowledge around proper nutrition.
  • Poor strategy.
  • Restrictive diet. 
  • Poor relationship with food.
  • Focusing too much on weight loss.

Fortunately, we can overcome this behaviour and the weekend mindset with the following tips. 

  • Have a flexible approach to nutrition, follow the 80/20 rule. 
  • Don’t restrict foods from your diet.
  • PLAN in advance check the menu the day before and put aside calories to account for your meal out and fill the rest of your day with high protein high fibre foods. 
  • Track your alcohol.
  • Get straight back on track if you do go off route or slip up. Make sure you continue with your next meal as planned don’t adopt the “yolo” mentality and blow the rest of the day or the weekend due to one bad meal.
  • Hire a coach for accountability and support and someone who will educate you on overcoming these obstacles.

You must understand that with dieting comes sacrifice; this means you won’t be able to eat a three-course meal or eat out three times a day and have a bottle of wine and expect to see results. Keep your goals at the front of your mind and stay committed to them.

You shouldn’t restrict your self of the foods you enjoy during the week only to overindulge over the weekend harming your progress. Having a flexible approach to your nutrition means that you can eliminate these restrictive behaviours and replace them to reach your goals.