We have all done it. It’s Friyay! and we decide to go out and celebrate the weekend by eating all the foods we didn’t eat during the week (or we may have still eaten it then too…) Maybe it consists of Mexican food with endless baskets of chips and salsa and margaritas, or cheeseburgers and a heaping plate of fries and an ice-cold brewski. Then after Friday, we continue the weekend celebrating to Sunday.
While we may think this balances out if we have more control of our eating during the week, but this pattern can wreak havoc on our training and weight loss goals. If you think about it, you will eat roughly 21 meals a week (3/day), not including snacks. Starting on a Friday night (could be more if you pregame with Friday lunch) to Sunday that is seven meals aka 30% of your meals in a week…this adds up. To help with this, here are some suggestions to take back control of your weekend eating.
5 Steps to Stop Overeating and Binging on the Weekends:
1. Find ways to celebrate and relax that does not involve food or drinking
While we all have to eat, our celebratory and relaxation activities should not ALWAYS include food. If your answer to “what should we do today?” usually consists of “let’s go eat ____” you may want to reevaluate this. Can you go for a walk? Look up what activities are going on around nearby (its ATL people, there is always something going on), play games with friends/family, be creative with your dates (one of my personal favorites was a jiu-jitsu lesson).
2. Aim for a little better; it doesn’t have to be perfect
While the weekends may be more relaxed with not as many meals cooked at home that doesn’t mean you completely stop thinking about what you are eating. If you are going out, think about ” what is one thing I can do to make this meal a little bit better?” Maybe you are going for pizza, can you also order a side salad, so you are getting in vegetables too? If you’re going for tacos can you ask them not to bring out the endless chip basket? Your meal does not have to be perfect, but you can make a few small choices to make it decent.
3. Eat slowly and to 80% full
To stop yourself from thinking, hmm.. Where did all the food that was sitting in front of me, go?…take your time while eating. Enjoy the company you are with and have a good conversation between your bites. Try to stay off your phone/TV to minimize distractions that can lead to mindless eating. Take 15-20 minutes to eat your meal and eat until you are 80% full aka stop before you feel stuffed. If you stop before this, then you will likely feel very satisfied within 10-20 minutes after your meal. Which can help you to enjoy those “indulgent” foods still but prevent you from overindulging.
4. Make a conscious choice
It’s time to get realz with yo’ self. If you are going to eat that tub of ice cream, make sure you make the conscious choice BEFORE you eat it. Know if you are choosing to do so what you may be compromising (I know this will make me have a food hangover tomorrow, I won’t have energy, I will be bloated, this does not lead me closer to my weight loss goal but instead takes me further away…etc.). If you are willing to accept that and move forward, then take ownership of your choice. Then make the conscious choice on your next meal to aim for something that does not make you feel that way. Bottom line OWN YOUR STUFF…you cannot blame your food choices on anyone else.
5. Get vegetables in at every meal
Try to continue to get veggies in as much as possible. Think about adding these to your meal rather than having to subtract anything. So if you are going to have that bacon cheeseburger what side can you add to get in a vegetable to go with it? A salad, roasted Brussel sprouts, broccoli…most restaurants will have some veggie to choose from, again going back to point #2 aim for a little better.
This weekend I challenge you to pick ONE of these to focus on and then slowly add on the other habits so that you can break away from the weekend overeating cycle!