Do you stick to your diet on weekdays and sometimes overindulge on the weekends? Well, you’re not alone! Most people let go of their healthy lifestyles on the weekends and overindulge in food and alcohol. In fact, this study shows that people lose weight on weekdays and gain on weekends.
If overeating on the weekends has been sabotaging your weight loss, here are six tips for how to stop it:
1. Be flexible with your diet during the week.
In most cases, folks who overeat on weekends follow strict diets on weekdays. So when the weekend comes, they feel the need to reward themselves by overindulging in foods they couldn’t eat during the week.
Follow flexible eating habits during the week to avoid this trap. Allow yourself to eat some of the foods you crave during the week—if you feel like eating pasta and meatballs for dinner on Tuesday, eat that. Being flexible will eliminate the feeling of deprivation and the need to reward yourself.
2. Don’t have cheat days.
Cheat days may work for some people, but they hinder weight loss for others. If cheat days help you lose weight and maintain sanity, continue having them. But if you always overeat and have feelings of guilt after cheat days, it's time to give them up.
Chances are, if you have a cheat day on Friday, you’ll overeat on Saturday. I’ve seen this numerous times with clients. One cheat day leads to a two- or three-day spree of bingeing.
3. Get rid of rigid rules.
Restrictions on foods you should and shouldn’t eat usually lead to overeating and bingeing. Some dieters even start craving foods they don’t like simply because they’re not allowed to eat them. Instead, allow a few indulgences throughout the week, and you won't overindulge on the weekends.
4. Find the real reason you’re overeating.
There will always be justifiable reasons to overeat—I was with friends, I was lonely, I was at a party,` and so on.
If you get used to such excuses it’ll be very easy to overeat. And frankly, all these situations can’t be the reason you eat too much. Find out the real reason why you overeat. It could be stress, anxiety, sadness, loneliness, and so on. Keep a record of the habits that make you overeat, and eventually you’ll come up with an underlying reason.
5. Stay busy on the weekends.
Stay busy and find ways to keep your mind off food. Read a book, go for a walk, clean the house—keep your legs moving in some way. You’re more likely to overeat if you sit around the house doing nothing.
6. Don’t overindulge in alcohol.
Not only is alcohol high in calories, it can lead to poor dietary choices. So avoid getting drunk or make sure you’re full before you start drinking.
Applying these strategies will definitely reduce your chances of overeating on the weekend. But remember that there’s no single approach for everyone. Find what works for you and stick to it.