4 steps to avoid ruining your progress over the weekend
written by Philip Stefanov | APRIL 12, 2022
Weekends make it challenging to stay on track with our fitness goals. You might be focused, committed, and on a mission from Monday to Friday. But, come Saturday, it feels like a switch flips inside your head, permitting you to do what you want, even at the expense of your weekly progress.
The question is, what can we do about it? Four things. Let’s discuss.
1. Make it so you don’t need a ‘break’ from your diet
Apart from losing weight, which can be sucky regardless of what you do, your nutrition should be enjoyable. It should allow you enough freedom to eat some of your favorite foods in moderation. That way, you won’t feel like you’re on a diet or need a break over the weekend. Instead, Saturday and Sunday will become just two other days of the week where you eat as you usually do.
The above is precisely why I recommend flexible dieting. It provides you enough freedom while supplying your body with the nutrients it needs and helping you control your calorie intake for your goals.
2. Track your averages and adjust from there
A practical solution to your desire to eat more food during the weekend is to calculate your average intake and leave extra calories for Saturday and Sunday. For example, let’s say that you’re eating 2,600 calories per day (18,200 calories per week). You can set a slightly higher intake of 3,000 calories for Saturday and Sunday, leaving the remaining calories for Monday to Friday.
Here is how it might look:
18,200 - 6,000 = 12,200
12,200 / 5 = 2,440 calories
Still, you have to be careful with such tactics because they can turn from a simple tool that lets you eat slightly more food over the weekend into full-blown binge-purge cycles.
3. Stop justifying your decisions
I wrote about the art of owning your choices a few weeks back, and the following is an idea from that newsletter.
What you may not know is that we tend to make decisions based on emotion and justify them through logic. For example, you might want to lease the newest BMW 5-series for logical reasons such as good fuel economy, affordability, or safety. But, the true reasons behind your desire to buy the car are often based on emotions. In other words, looking at the vehicle stirs emotions that push you to walk into the dealership.
So, what does that mean?
Well, it means that we don’t always make the best decisions, but you can be sure that you’ll try to justify everything. Doing so might make you feel good, but it isn’t always productive. In the case of overeating, you might come up with all sorts of reasons why doing so isn’t bad:
- “All these carbs are going to help me train harder next week.”
- “I deserve this diet break because of my efforts these past few days.”
- “I’m in no hurry to lose this fat, anyway.”
There might be some truth to all of them, but a much better approach is being honest with yourself. Instead of coming up with a reason why you should demolish that box of donuts, be honest, “I want to eat this because it makes me feel good.” Doing so is vital for becoming more objective and seeing your behaviors for what they truly are. Once you’ve reached that point, you can start making better choices and rid yourself of harmful behaviors.
4. Look deeper for the cause of behaviors
We all focus on our behaviors, but few people ever dig deeper to uncover the causes of our choices. For example, let’s say that you often eat a whole box of cookies on Sunday. Sure, the behavior itself can have adverse effects, but do you ever think about what drives you to do that? Might it be that there are always cookies available and tempting you?
We all struggle with unique issues, and one of the best things we can do to improve our behaviors is to understand what drives us. In the case of eating much junk food when you’re at home, the practical solution would be to throw these foods away and instead fill your kitchen with fruits, veggies, and other nutritious alternatives.
Thank you for taking the time. Until next week,
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