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6 Tips To End Weekend Sabotage

PICTURE IT (channeling my best Sophia Petrillo impression):

It’s Monday morning, the alarm goes off and there you are: lying in bed and feeling like crud after a weekend of eating and drinking ALL the things. 

You swear off ever doing this again.…..until the next weekend rolls around. It’s now become a vicious cycle, and you can’t stop the weekend sabotage.

As a nutrition coach, this is a VERY common struggle for most and one I help many overcome in our 1:1 coaching program knowing balance and results do not have to be mutually exclusive.

If your weekend splurges and over-indulgences are holding you back from hitting your fat loss goals, keep reading to learn my 6 tips for ending the weekend sabotage once and for all.


Have you ever caught yourself saying “But I eat healthy during the week!” ?

When it comes to fat loss, what you choose to eat and drink on the weekends will make or break your progress.  Yes, you’re human and it’s important to enjoy downtime and favorite foods occasionally but consistently making poor food / drink choices will absolutely sabotage your fat loss goals. 

To lose body fat, a calorie deficit is 100% necessary. A calorie deficit simply means eating fewer calories than you are burning each day and for most, is easier to maintain Monday-Friday because weekdays are more structured and routine based.

Weekends, on the other hand, look much different: there is less structure and you are removed from your normal day-to-day routine.

Let’s look at an example of how a calorie deficit Mon-Fri can quickly go to waste once the weekend hits:

  • Monday-Friday: You maintain a 500-calorie deficit daily; which is a great starting point for long-term, sustainable fat loss 

  • Total Deficit achieved by Friday = 2,500 calories

  • Enter the weekend sabotage:

    • Super-sized Portions: Restaurant meals are nearly double the portion sizes needed for a well-balanced meal and this = 2x-3x the number of calories compared to a similar dish prepared at home.

    • “Healthy” options aren’t healthy: What you assume is a “healthy” menu item can be the oppsosite, with salads being the worst offenders! Restaurant salads add up to 1,000+ calories; nearly ⅔ of what most people need to consume in ONE day just to maintain their current weight.

    • 3,000 Calories in Splurges + Alcohol: Anytime you “treat” yourself, calories add up quick: several drinks, a few appetizers, a big ‘ol juicy burger and dessert = approximately 3,000 calories (if not more).

    • Say goodbye to that 2,500 deficit: Add those 3,000 calories to your 1,000+ calorie salad + your breakfast and that’s approximately 5,000 calories in just ONE DAY with Sunday still to go!

In less than 24-hours, that calorie deficit you worked hard to maintain Monday-Friday is gone and you are literally back to square on. 

This is not meant to make you feel ashamed or bad about what you do on the weekends. This is to bring awareness to how your habits and choices in 1-2 days can have a profoundly negative impact IF you are trying to lose body fat.

Time to switch gears and learn my 6 tips so that you can stop weekend sabotage, create balance and hit your body fat goals!


TIP #1: PLAN AHEAD, BE PREPARED!

Just like planning/scheduling your kids’ activities, dinners with friends, vacations, or workouts, planning is crucial for eating healthy.  Otherwise, healthy options won’t be available leading to eating out / grabbing snacks on the go.

Don’t think as planning as this time-consuming process. Keep it simple:

  • Get started by planning meals you have the least amount of time to prepare in real time. For some, mornings are total chaos and breakfast is a scramble. For others, afternoons/evenings are impossible with kids’ activities or work obligations. 

  • Next, create a grocery list filled with real foods (foods as close to their natural state as possible). Real foods are key for your health and goals; providing the vitamins, minerals, and energy you need!  

  • Grocery shop! Focus and stick to the perimeter of your grocery store where all those real foods are stocked. Aisles are socked with highly processed “trigger” foods (i.e. cookies, crackers, chips, candy, soda) as these items don’t keep you satisfied and are easily over-consumed.  

  • Stick to your list: it’s easy to get distracted so stick to your list so that you are in and outta the store!

**Pro-tip: When short on time, go for my Rule of #3! Hit the grocery store and shop for 3 sources of the following macronutrients for quick, effortless and well-balanced meals:

  • Lean protein: chicken, fish, eggs, beef, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt

  • Smart carbs: sweet /regular potatoes, brown / wild rice, oats, beans, lentils, whole-grains

  • Heart healthy Fats: nuts, seeds, nut butter, avocado, flax or chia seed, olive oil, coconut oil

  • Fresh or frozen fruits: apples, bananas, berries, grapes, kiwi, oranges, cherries

  • Fresh or frozen vegetables: leafy greens, peppers, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower

TIP #2: KEEP A ROUTINE!

  • Meals: While tempting to sleep in on and skip breakfast on the weekends, sticking to your Monday-Friday routine prevents overeating later in the day. If you typically eat breakfast within an hour of waking, do the same on the weekends while keeping all other meal and snack times consistent. A consistent meal schedule keeps you fueled throughout the day, reduces splurges/over-indulges at social outings, stops excess hunger (a.k.a the “hangries”), and keeps blood sugar levels balanced. 

  • Sleep: A poor sleep schedule on the weekend affects hunger and appetite hormones which increase cravings for sweets and snacky foods. Likewise, staying up late often leads to snacking. PLUS, straying from your Monday-Friday sleep routine makes it extremely difficult to go to bed come Sunday leading to a not so fun Monday. Don’t start your week off tired and dragging!

TIP #3: PRACTICE PORTION CONTROL!

Time to ditch the clean plate club mentality! It’s easy to overeat on the weekends so practice portion control by using smaller plates, sharing meals or taking home leftovers. Another tip to practice portion control is eating slowly, setting your fork down between bites and paying close attention to fullness cues. Aim to make meals last at least 20 minutes: the time it takes your belly and brain to communicate and signal to you that you are getting full.

To properly portion meals, use the “hand method” outlined below. It’s portable and always on hand (pun intended!) when needed:

  • Proteins: Ladies = 1 palm + Gents = 2 palms

  • Veggies: Ladies + Gents = 1-2 fists 

  • Smart Carbs: Ladies = 1/2 cupped handful + Gents = ½ – 1 cupped handful

  • Heart Heathy Fats:  Ladies = 1 thumb + Gents = 2 thumbs

*Note: Restaurants tend to use high amounts of cooking oils and butters so do not find it necessary to seek out a fat source for meals eaten out.

TIP #4: DRINK WATER, STAY HYDRATED 

Drinking enough water is essential for overall health by keeping your joints lubed, regulating body temperature, delivering nutrients to cells, keeping organs functioning, and satisfying appetite (mild dehydration can feel like hunger). Being hydrated also helps the digestion process and things moving after a heavy meal / eating food outside of your typical diet. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of PLAIN water per day and if able, up to as much as half of your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, aim for 75 ounces of water/day. If this is waaaaay more than you typically drink in a day, start with small increases over time.

 

TIP #5: STAY ACTIVE!

Stay active and continue moving your body over the weekends! This includes exercising PLUS walking and other activities like exploring a new city, playing your favorite sport, running a local 5k, or, one of my favorites, hitting the trampoline park with my kids. In addition to your regular exercise routine, extra activity adds up and while you cannot out-train a poor diet, staying active will help increase your chances of maintaining fat loss. Along with that, staying active improves your mental health and reduces stress levels.

TIP #6: PRACTICE MODERATION

It’s important to enjoy treats in moderation by following the 80/20 rule; otherwise eliminating these foods all together can lead to binging / overeating.

The 80/20 rule means 80% of the foods you eat are nutritious, REAL foods and the other 20% is reserved for treats and indulgences such as cookies, ice cream, cake, crackers, chips….too many good ones to choose from! Personally, I am saving my 20% each week for Mitchell’s ice cream! 

  • To break the 80/20 rule down further, the average adult consumes about 21 meals per week with a few snacks sprinkled in. 

  • Of those 21 meals, the majority should contain real foods eaten in proper portions (follow hand guide portions above).

  • The other 20% will include 1-2 meals outside of those guidelines with a few treat foods (1-2 per week) sprinkled in.

  • Meals/snacks eaten outside the 80% guideline should still be portioned appropriately, eaten mindfully, and chewed slowly.

  • Once satisfied, that’s your cue to stop eating.


To sum it all up, consistently healthy eating Monday-Friday PLUS on the weekends is essential for achieving your fat loss goals. By planning ahead, sticking to your routine, opting for real foods, practicing portion control, staying hydrated, keeping your body moving, and allowing for treats in moderation, you can still enjoy downtime, make progress and hit our fat loss goals! All it takes is a little mindfulness and planning on your part. As always, YOU GOT THIS!

(if you have questions, need help ending your weekdn sabotage, click the button below and schedule time to talk to our coaches for FREE!)

 


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