Well, you made it through another stressful week of work, kids, running errands, all the while sticking faithfully to your weight loss plan. Suddenly it’s Friday night, and you celebrate with a nice big glass of wine! And then another. And you’ve been so good and so virtuous all week, you think, “Hell! I’m just gonna finish off this bottle!” Then it’s time for dinner, and you decide that a second helping is Fine! Why not? Later as you’re enjoying the evening, you find yourself mindlessly eating your kids’ ice cream in front of the TV. At this point, you know you’re off the deep end. But you tell yourself that it’s OK. You still have the rest of the weekend to pull yourself together.
But when you wake up on Saturday, you’re too tired to get on the Peloton. You think to yourself, “I can take a lazy Saturday off from my exercise routine. I deserve it!” So, instead, you whip up your favorite breakfast with cheese, with bacon, with the extra piece of toast- all the “withs” you would normally be happy to go without. And so, and so on throughout the day. Before you know it, it’s Sunday night, and you’re tucking into Chinese takeout, wondering how you let this happen. Again! You promise yourself to be extra “good” starting tomorrow. But inside, you know better. This pattern is what is preventing you from seeing the results you otherwise work so hard to achieve.
Why We Rebel on Weekends
If you are a weekend rebel, you are most likely restricting too much throughout the week. You need to stop thinking that a sane weight loss plan is the same thing as “dieting.” Just the word “diet” implies restriction. Predictably, that pendulum will swing back at some point- usually the weekends- and the resulting binge is unavoidable. This is self-sabotage. Believe it or not,if we allow ourselves more indulgences during the week, we actually eat less in the long run.
For habitual weekend rebels, remember that no food is ever off-limits, whether it’s a Tuesday afternoon or Sunday brunch. If you approach every day of the week with that in mind, you will never feel deprived and transform from Weekend Rebel to Warrior.
We Can Still Be Badasses — Without Fat Asses
People who have had significant weight loss and kept it off have something in common: they don’t have “cheat days” or “weekend binges.” They don’t need them! Why? Because the way they eat normally doesn’t feel restrictive. They have figured out that they can indulge whenever they choose. They also know how to weigh those choices against their weight loss goals and still see results. By making some subtle lifestyle changes and shifting your perspective, you will begin to understand how that is possible.
The Secrets of the Weekend Weight Loss Warrior
Stop restrictive dieting. When we remove all weekday restrictions, fewer calories get consumed overall. We can have a glass of wine with friends or go for an ice cream with the kids and still lose weight.
Find “moments” that are truly worth it. Instead of asking ourselves, “Do I want this?” we should ask, “How will I feel after I have this, or if I don’t?” The kids’ cold pizza in the fridge? Not worth the calories. Your best friend serves her famous cheesecake? Well…OK! Live a little! A good barometer for testing the value of the moment is to ask yourself- if you will regret Not trying something you resisted. That’s how we trigger our deprivation sensor.
PLAN. If we’re planning to have a couple of drinks tonight, fine. Good enough reason for a moment. But you also might consider what you will eat for dinner to help reduce your calorie intake? Or perhaps tomorrow morning, plan to have a healthy breakfast. By staying on top of your social calendar, having a good idea about when and where you will be eating, and keeping the healthy food on hand, you need to get through a week- you can choose your moments for indulgence with confidence.
Food journaling.If you are trying to break bad eating habits or build new ones, simply tracking your behavior will help you do better – that’s just a fact. Keeping track of your meals and snacks in a food journal provides an excellent record of your eating habits. Good habits thrive on routine, but weekends typically don’t have the same structure we have during the week. Tracking will help you identify the weekend behaviors that are sabotaging your weight loss goals, such as skipping meals, grabbing meals on the go, and not getting enough sleep. That is some empowering information!
Stop using food as a reward. You are not a dog! Practically all of us were either raised or socialized to reward ourselves with food. Finish your dinner? Dessert. Meet your deadline? Wine. Deal with a difficult client? Potato chips. But these are not “moments.” These are just habits. What if, instead, you rewarded yourself with a little yoga, a brisk walk, a quick catch-up with a friend, or just a mindful cup of tea? Any of these will serve as better nourishment to soothe the soul. It will take consistent training to learn to love this new reward as much as food, but the more it’s repeated, the more ingrained it becomes!
Set yourself up for success. Willpower does NOT work. Environment controls our behavior more than anything. We’re better off keeping temptation out of the house entirely – even if it means throwing out mom’s Christmas dinner leftovers in the trash and telling her we loved them or being the good Samaritan who gifts half the cookies we’ve baked with the kids. Keep the garbage out of the house.
Weekends are Key to Weight Loss
How we handle weekends is honestly the make-or-break opportunity for those who really want to lose and see measurable progress week after week. Awareness of these ideas is just the first step toward achieving your goals. At the Real Deal, we take a deep dive into these concepts until they become second nature. Are you ready to break that weight loss wheel you’ve been spinning and get serious? Register today.