Weekend OvereatingAug 03, 2022
By: HMC Dietitian Team
The weekend is the time to take it slower, relax, and enjoy time off work. Are you also taking the weekend as a ‘break’ from your health journey?
What if we told you that your weekend makes up 2.5 days of your week (yes-we are counting Friday afternoon!), that is 36% of your success!
As Dietitians, a common mistake we see our clients making in their health journey, is not planning their eating for the weekend, or having an unrealistic food plan that does not take into consideration their weekend schedule! A lack of realistic food planning for the weekend leads to in the moment food drama, and impulsive food choices, both of which most likely will result to overeating and overdrinking!
I know what you’re thinking... “I don’t want to plan my weekend, I want it to be spontaneous, and relaxing, I have to plan everything in my life all week long!”. We hear you, but we want to offer you a mindset shift. What if we told you planning your weekend eating will allow more food freedom, as you will have to make very little food choices on the weekend, and you will avoid the scenarios of having to think about what the “best choice is”.
We have provided below a 5-step method to plan for a weekend of eating that will be aligned with your health goals! Remember, planning your weekend eating is not about restricting or depriving yourself of food, it is about building a balanced and realistic plan that will allow you to enter you Monday refreshed, and confident!
Step #1. Reflect on your ‘why’. To plan for success on the weekend, the first step is to find your inner momentum, your, ‘why’. When you have a clear vision behind taking this action of planning, doing the next 4 steps will become that much easier! Ask yourself the following prompting questions:
"What are the consequences of my lack of planning around the weekend?"
"How do I want to feel at the end of the weekend?"
"How would the best version of myself go through the weekend?"
Step #2. Catch your distorted beliefs that you are holding onto. We hold onto many beliefs about the weekend that create a lot of over desire for overeating. Dig deep to uncover what beliefs you are holding onto about the weekend and eating. Examples of beliefs include:
“I shouldn’t have to think about planning my food on the weekend”
“It is the weekend, I want to relax and having fun”
“I want the weekend to be free flowing”
Step #3: Re-frame the belief. Start questioning If these beliefs are in line with your values and goals. If they are not, the good news is you get to choose your beliefs! We challenge you to re-frame the beliefs you identified in step #2. You want to make this new belief feel true to you. Why are your beliefs about the weekend so important? Your beliefs drive your thoughts, and your thoughts drive your actions. Therefore, setting up your mindset first will be essential. Examples of empowering weekend beliefs:
“The weekend is time to reflect, recharge, and energize myself for the week ahead”
“The weekend is my opportunity to connect with my loved ones”
“Planning in advance for the weekend will actually free up head space and reduce mental food chatter on the weekend!”
Step #4. Make a weekend food plan. On a Friday night make a 48-hour food plan for the weekend. Write down everything you plan to eat and drink. We recommend sticking to a consistent eating schedule. Simply use the same framework as your workdays. Regular meal timing is essential to prevent over hunger. Remember to make your plan realistic for YOUR weekend. Write down any social eating out events, or different eating scenarios you may encounter. Honour your schedule, prove it to yourself that you can follow through. You should feel at least 80% confident that you can follow this plan, if not, adjust it!
Step #5. Re-frame your mindset about the weekend to, “the weekend is an opportunity for weight loss”. The goal of this mindset shift is not to have the expectation that the scale will move at the end of the weekend. This expectation may lead to disappointment, and feelings of failure; remember, fat loss is a slow and gradual process. The goal of this mindset shift is to open your brain to possible action steps that you can take on the weekend that will push you towards your health goals.
Reflect on the following prompting questions:
"If my goal was weight loss on the weekend, what would I do more of? What I move my body more? Would I cook from home more?"
"What would I do less of? Would I order out less? Would I do less mindless eating?"
At the end of the weekend, instead of focusing on the scale, notice how these actions felt. Did you feel more energized going into Monday? Did you sleep better?
Now that you have this 5-step method, consider applying it for the weekend coming up! Remember, planning your weekend eating is not about restricting or depriving yourself of food, it is about building a balanced and realistic plan that will allow you to enter you Monday refreshed, and confident!