By Jessie Funchion, MS, RD, LDN
Ever feel like you are “so good” during the week, only to “blow it” on the weekend? Weekend eating accounts for 30% of our meals (Friday night to Sunday Night – 7/21 meals), and can really make or break someone’s progress with weight loss. Here are a few tips for improving weekend eating:
1) Stay consistent.
Make your weekend eating look like your weekday eating (for at least two out of meals). If Monday through Friday you’re eating oatmeal for breakfast, a soup/salad combo for lunch, and a home cooked dinner, try to make your weekend look as similar to that as possible, at least for two of those meals. Then if you have a little fun for that third meal, at least the rest of your day looks good.
2) Stay Accountable.
· Weigh yourself on Friday morning and again on Monday morning
· Continue food journaling throughout the weekend
· Use the buddy system. Find a friend or family member to engage in some healthy behavior with you – maybe going for a job on Saturday or meal prepping together on Sunday afternoon.
3) Watch the clock.
Hopefully you get to sleep in a bit on the weekends, so chances are you won’t be having breakfast at 7:00am like you might during the work-week. That’s OK! But, whenever you do have your first meal, check the time, and then plan on eating 3-4 hours after that. If you’re going more “Netflix & Chill” with your weekend, this applies to you too! Follow the 3-4 hour rule to prevent yourself from endless grazing.
4) Plan ahead.
If you’re eating every 3-4 hours, you may need to pack some snacks for those busy weekends when you’re out and about. KIND bars, trail mix packets and fresh fruit like apples and pears travel well and are easy to store in the car or your bag, so you don’t find yourself skipping meals and overeating later.
5) Imbibe wisely.
Dry wine, light beer or mixed drinks with seltzer tend to be the lowest-cal options. Enjoy your drink, but if you’ll be out for awhile try alternating an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink (water, seltzer, unsweetened tea, diet soda). Make sure you eat before heading out! If you have a full belly before the night gets started, you’ll be less likely to snack on bar snacks later.
6) Sweat it out.
If you do find yourself eating (or drinking) a bit more than usual on the weekend, try to compensate by working out a bit harder than usual on those days. Add extra time at the gym, or increase the intensity of your workouts to help burn some additional calories on those days.