How the weekend is destroying your diet (and what to do about it)

Hi guys, today I want to start the blog with ways we ruin our diets without knowing. I get questions from people about why they don't lose weight - even though they have been exercising regularly and eating healthy throughout the week. Today we'll discuss how a weekend binge can completely undo all your hard work and i'll go through simple strategies that you can put into action at the end of the week to have some damage control

Paul and Sandra have both gained a few pounds over the past few months. Sandra has her 40th coming up and has decided to drop down to fit into her dress while Paul has decided to help and try to lose weight with her. Both have decided to completely cut out junk food from their diets and decide to train everyday. All is going well, Sandra feels great and couldn't be more motivated to look sexy in her lovely dress she bought for herself. Paul is looking forward to getting rid of his beer belly he has gained recently. They decide they'll be very good throughout the week and then treat themselves over the weekend to a take away and a few drinks. They'll stay on track during the week with Paul eating 2000 calories and Sandra eating 1500 while looking forward to the weekend. 

Sound familiar? Unfortunately the weekend can be the absolute death and ruination of a diet -  if not controlled. With the average male needing 2500 per day and average female needing 2000. To burn one pound of fat Sandra would need to eat 1500 calories per day or 10,500 for the week while Paul should eat 2000 calories a day or 14,000 for the week.

Theoretically by the end of the week, they should lose one pound each. This sounds straight forward from Monday to Friday where Paul and Sandra stick with the diet well. They cut out sugars and high calorie foods during the week and start eating fruit and vegetable and eat meals that seem tiny when they are starving. But this doesn't deter them. The weekend comes and they have survived.... Thank God! Time to put the feet up, watch t.v, order a take-away and gulp few drinks to unwind after that long week. 

However, what happens when Sandra goes to weigh herself the next few days? - there is NO CHANGE!! She's the exact same weight..! Even worse, Paul has actually gained one pound. All that hard work eating fruit instead of chocolate for nothing. They both become disheartened. Even contemplate that dieting isn't worth it or it doesn't work. However, the simple reason is that the weekend binge has completely undone their vigorous attempts at losing weight.  Most often then not the weekend the time where things can completely derail for dieters. They feel drained at the end of the week and eating a take-away and having a few drinks feels like a reward for their troubles. They may even treat themselves to some chocolate that they have been avoiding in the fridge all week. What's the harm anyway, it's only one day?, one packet?, one square?

When we look deeper we see the true problem..;

Think of the average can of beer or cider. A can would have approximately 250 calories with bottles having approx 150 calories. Very easily Paul could drink 6-10 cans over the course of a night bringing his total from 6 cans to 1250 calories going up to 2500 calories if he has 10 cans or 10 pints!!! So with just the alcohol alone Paul has gone over his calories of 2000 per day. Lets look at Sandra who enjoys a bottle of wine at the the weekend which can have on average 700 calories in just one bottle. The Chinese take away has been ordered and the couple are starving from the drinks, so they order a full dish each. The average Chinese dish has nearly 1500 calories in it (including the rice, meat and chips).

Paul has now consumed 4000 calories - double his daily allowance. Sandra is after consuming 2250 calories - over 700 more than her daily allowance. Straight away the couple are at a disadvantage for weight loss. The next day comes and they are fatigued from the long week of work and the few drinks. This begins the spiral. The couple decide to have a fry the following morning to help with their sore heads from the night previous night antics. Paul doesn't deprive himself and has two sausages, two bacon rashers and two slices of bread with butter. He also throws in an egg for good measure. Sandra on the other hand limits herself to just one sausage and pne rasher on one slice of bread with butter. In this instance the fry for Paul would equate to 700 calories and Sandra's 400 and this is their first meal of the day...

Damage Done

 

Paul:

Total Calories allowed: 2000

Weekend Intake 

Alcohol: 2500

Chinese: 1500

Bar of chocolate: 250

Fry: 700

Total: 4900

Sandra: 

Total Calories allowed: 1500

Alcohol: 800

Chinese: 1500

Crisps: 150

Fry: 550

Total: 3000

 

 

As easy and as unfortunate as it is, that weekend binge can undo your hard work when it comes to fat loss. The following are steps that can be taken keep your diet on track as much as possible, while still enjoying your weekend, with a treat. 

  • If You drink beer or cider, switch to the "light" versions. They may not taste as nice but they have much less calories. Cans of cider for example have 250 calories in a can where as the light versions only have 150 calories. Drinking 6 light cans as opposed to regular would save you 600 calories.
  • On a similar note, drinking spirits such as vodka with diet drinks, rather than wine. A bottle of wine will have 750 calories as opposed to 400 in the small bottle of vodka, saving you 300 calories .
  • Opt for a high fiber, high protein meals for breakfast and lunch. High fiber foods include vegetables (such as broccoli and carrots) and whole grains (such as oats, whole grain bread brown rice and wheatabix). High protein foods include any meats (such as chicken, turkey and fish). These foods will keep you full and satisfied later that day which will prevent the urge to get a large take-away. 
  • Reduce the size of the take away dish. This lends itself with the previous point about high fiber, protein meals which will keep you full and satisfied. Eating a smaller sized take away wont feel tough with your cravings under control. 
  • Be more active around work and the house on the days you plan to treat yourself  - Try to move as much as possible during the weekend knowing that you are going to binge. If you have an office job, take a walk on your lunch or break if possible, walk home from work if you can or squeeze in an extra workout.
  • If the binge occurs, ensure it is contained to a binge meal and not a binge day, or worse a binge weekend!! Get back on track with a healthy diet as soon as possible.

So there you go guys. Remember the weekend still accounts for a large portion of the week and binge eating can seem very easy. Ensure you stay aware of how the weekend can sabotage your hard work and take the steps provided to ensure to don't let it completely derail you and your fat loss plan.