We all enjoy relaxing and unwinding at the weekend after a hard week at work. However, could the weekends be ruining your hard work during the week with your diet and training? Generally, people are very much in a routine Monday – Friday and find it easy following a diet which is in line with their goals. But when the weekend comes, this is when people tend to undo all their hard work.
No matter which type of diet you follow, the principle is you have to be in a calorie deficit in order to lose weight. What this means is that you need to burn more calories than you consume through food and drinks. So lets say your maintenance calories are 2300kcal (this means the amount of calories you consume match the amount you expend) and you want to lose weight so you plan your daily eating to 1900kcal. You stick to the plan Monday – Thursday, all is going well.
Friday evening – your partner is having a glass of wine with dinner, you decide that one won’t hurt and join them. One turns in to two, two turns into three and…well you might aswell finish the bottle. This is paired with nibbling on your favourite crisps and snacks as you enjoy that bottle of wine.
Saturday – you wake up determined to make up for last night and decide to eat less throughout the day to make up for last night. It’s now 5pm, you’ve barely ate and your son wants to get a takeaway…you give in because you’re starving (but you’ll have something healthy from the Chinese). Your idea of a healthy option from the Chinese contained over 1000kcal. You finish the night off with another glass or two of your favourite wine and the rest of the crisps from the night before, it is Saturday night after all.
Sunday – Your diet has been terrible all weekend, but you’ll start afresh tomorrow, so might as well enjoy today.
So with 4 days of on plan eating (1900kcal x 4) + 3 days off plan (average 3300kcal x 3) = 17500kcal for that week which actually puts you in a calorie surplus, instead of what should have been 13,300kcal.
The problem is likely a combination of a few things:
- The f**k it attitude – you had the one glass of wine, since that wasn’t in the plan you’ve now went off plan and might as well go all out.
- Your diet during the week was too restrictive – you never included the foods you enjoy, so when the opportunity comes up you jump at it.
- You never planned ahead – if you know you have a meal out, or a heavy weekend coming up you can prepare for it in order to limit the damage.
So what can we do to avoid this happening?
Higher cal/lower calorie days – if you enjoy eating more at the weekend why not restrict your calories during the week and have slightly higher calories at the weekend to include more of the foods you enjoy? For example if your daily calories were 1900kcal as above you could split them as:
- 5 days x 1520kcal
- 2 days x 2850kcal
When you know you have a meal out or event – you could bank calories for the occasion. Using the same example again this would look like:
- 6 days x 1550kcal
- 1 day x 4000kcal
To create lasting change, we need some sort of balance. With these options in mind, it would be easier to include that glass of wine you enjoy, or your favourite crisps into your diet. You do need to include a bit of planning ahead and be disciplined enough to stick to the lower calorie days by the book. This is an approach I’ve had great results with for my clients, so it can and will work for you too. Give this a try in your own diet and let me know how you get on. As always, if you need any guidance on how to implement this advice then feel free to contact me through any of my socials.