If you’re like most people, weekends are the most challenging time for your weight loss plan. Throughout the week, you’re busy with work, commuting, various responsibilities, gym time, and meal prep. As you move from one activity to another, it can be easier to stay distracted from cravings.
But when weekends come around, it’s a whole different story. Either you’re relaxing around the house, bored, and feeling tempted to overeat, or you’re attending social events that focus around food. In both scenarios you might find yourself rationalizing some unhealthy food choices, or just straight up deciding to cheat and make it up later.
Of course, most of us never make up for it later! Since this habit can prevent progress toward your goals, try these eight tips to prevent weekend cheating on your weight loss plan.
Find something better to do. If weekend cravings strike due to boredom, schedule more activities that don’t involve food. If parties are the culprit, move away from the refreshments table and engage others in an activity or game of some sort.
Don’t let yourself get too hungry. Remember to eat healthy snacks at regular intervals just as you do during the week. When you get too hungry, cravings can be more difficult to overcome.
Stay hydrated. Yes, you’ve heard it before, but it really is important. Stay well hydrated so that you don’t mistake thirst signals for hunger.
Don’t deprive yourself during the week. Don’t deprive yourself during the week so that you can “save up” calories for the weekend. We often tend to vastly overestimate the calories we “save” by skipping a meal or snack, and then “replace” that meal with far too many calories on cheat day. In fact, cheat days are simply a bad idea for this reason.
Enjoy yourself, but monitor portion sizes. There’s no rule that says someone following a weight loss plan cannot enjoy any of the snacks at a party. Just serve yourself a small portion and then step away from the refreshment area.
Rate your hunger. Before reaching for food, rate your hunger on a scale of 1 to 10. Taking this step can keep you accountable to emotions like boredom or anxiety, so that you don’t eat for the wrong reasons.
Stop before you feel full. We can get distracted during parties or while watching TV, so stop eating before you feel full. Wait ten to twenty minutes and allow your stomach to signal fullness to your brain.
Brainstorm other ways to de-stress. If you tend to self-soothe with food, identify other activities that can combat your stress. Engage in those instead, particularly after a difficult week.
If you’re experiencing a challenge with your weight loss plan, remember that’s why we’re here! Call us to discuss your obstacles, and we can help you devise a plan to overcome them.