The weekend is here, there is plenty of fun to be had, a few social appointments are in the diary and all is set for a good time. But do you really want to hit Monday feeling tired and over-indulged?
Weekend binge eating and enjoying a few drinks is all too easy, but there are ways of preventing this from derailing your health. Here are some strategies you can follow…
Shoot for 80/20 over the course of the week. Give 100% your best for 80% of your meals and for the other 20% enjoy your favorite foods.
There is no need to stress yourself out trying to follow the “perfect” diet. You don’t need to necessarily adhere to strict meal plans, worrying about what if I mess this up Monday through Friday? And then by the time the weekend comes around your willpower runs out. (Read about Willpower here). Then the binge begins. “I haven’t had a beer all week, I think I’ll grab a 12 pack or a bottle of wine and I might as well grab some snacks…and before long it’s Sunday and you’re eating pizza and wings and you have another 6 pack in the fridge”. Boom, just like that, your week of hard work is shot and the cycle continues!
This tends to become a habit that is hard to break. The hard part is, you’ve been great all week and you splurge a little and feel guilty and then think “What the heck, I’ll keep going, I’ve ruined it now”. Whereas, if you can say I’m going to have a burger and a couple beers for lunch Saturday and know it’s not the end of the world. Why? Because it’s part of your 20%.
With this mindset, you’ll be less likely to continue that vicious cycle.
Train on the weekends
One of the biggest issues is that people don’t have a schedule on the weekend. A schedule during the week makes it so much easier to be disciplined. But on the weekend, it’s sleep in, maybe go for a walk if I feel up to it, maybe we’ll cook or maybe we’ll go out for dinner.
I’ve found if I build in a Sunday morning session to train I will be more disciplined on the Saturday night knowing I have a morning session. Once you get your Sunday morning session in, you have a sense of accomplishment versus a sense of guilt. A sense of accomplishment helps us stay focused, whereas guilt immobilizes us and keeps us in the cycle.
Talk to yourself
Tony Robbins gives a good explanation on how to create lasting change. He explains that by associating bad decisions – in this case bad nutritional decisions – with pain, you can begin to make that lasting change. When we do the things, we do on the weekend that sabotage our goals, it is out of habit. To shift this paradigm, we must first look at what we are focused on, what it means to us and what we are going to do about it.
If we are focused on grabbing that 12 pack or bottle of wine on the way home, you must ask what does this mean to me? Most of the time the answer will be, it helps me de-stress or I’ve been good all week or I deserve it, but what we need to ask is what will be the consequences? Associate as much pain with a bad nutritional decision as you can. The guilt, the bloated feeling, lack of energy, lack of motivation, the potential to binge, the work you’ll have to do to undo the poor food, how will I feel Saturday morning (physically and mentally)?
Don’t let your mind make up excuses of why it’s OK to undo all your hard work. You deserve the body you want. Once you’ve associated this pain with bad food choices, then you must ask what am I going to do about it? This sounds very negative, but it works!
You can also do the same things on the opposite end of the spectrum. What pleasure will I get from making the right decision to remain focused on my goal. Then come up with all the positive, pleasure filled thoughts you can that go with that good choice and associate those choices with your goal.
Identify the root
Ask yourself why you feel the need to drink that beer or eat those cookies or eat that next slice of pizza. Is it because you are stressed, bored, is it an addiction etc.? By asking yourself these questions you will eventually identify where the issue is coming from and now you have something to work with.
Now you can begin to find other ways to tackle the issue at hand other than sabotaging your goals time and time again.
We hope this helps
If you have any suggestions, please share or if you have any questions please ask.