Weekend Eating

I loved the weekends. Weekend food was fun. Cinnabons in the mall. (Yes, the plural was deliberate) Large buttered popcorn at the movie theatre, chips and cheese after the kids went to bed, special “just because” desserts and fast food restaurants were normal fare for me before I lost 150 pounds. Why is it that even when I was dieting, which quite frankly was often, would I throw all care and concern out the window just because the clock said 5:00 p.m. and the calendar declared “The Weekend Has Begun!”

Weekends throw us off our schedules. Monday thru Fridays are predictable for a lot of us. Weekday by weekday we go through our days knowing what to expect. Predictability helps with weight loss. So when the weekend comes around with its crazy kids schedules, get togethers with family, birthday parties and errand running, our predictable eating schedule is out the window. Unfortunately for me, also out the window would go any semblance of making good choices. I really wouldeat 2 Cinnabons, which I now know have 813 calories a piece, washed down with a diet coke.

I would let the freedom of the weekend schedule be an excuse to “take a break” from my diet and every time I did that, I’d fail to start my diet back on Monday. The freedom of weekend schedules can be wonderful. It’s healthy emotionally to have some days during the week that you are able to catch up with friends and get some things done around the house. But with that freedom comes the pitfall and danger of letting down your guard with regards to your food choices. Year after year went by with me using the day of the calendar as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted. And year after year I got bigger and bigger.

The year I lost weight I realized that weekends were yet another thing I had to worry about.

Previously the different diets I had tried felt restrictive and rule oriented, so when I started losing weight using my own plan, I wanted to lose weight in a way that I could follow always, not just on the weekdays, and not just until I lost weight. I wanted something that really would become a new way of life for me.

So using my three steps, I started losing weight. Weekends which were previously a food free for all became less about the food and more about relaxing and enjoying the family being together. I consciously chose to not overeat, not buy the Cinnabon when we were at the mall, and bring my own snack to the movies. (I know, you’re not supposed to do that, but who is  going to tell?!)

Realizing and acknowledging that weekends were dangerous for me was one more step towards achieving my goals. As you head out for kids ball games, trips to mall, cookouts with family and friends, remind yourself that the weekends are about recharging your emotional batteries, and not about eating as much food as you possibly can! 

Even to this day, all these years into maintenance I am still deliberate about not overeating on the weekends. How do you do on the weekends now as opposed to before you started getting healthier?  Diane

40 thoughts on “Weekend Eating

  1. Deniz says:

    When ‘me’ was buried inside the fat lass, weekends were a free for all. It was treat time, all weekend and there were no limits. Even if I happened to be attempting yet another weight loss diet at the time, no matter, weekends were an excuse to let my hair down with the idea that I could be ‘good’ again on Monday. Very often Monday came and went with no ‘being good’ in sight.

    Now that ‘me’ is the dominant one (although the fat lass is still there, somewhere inside me) the weekends are still a bit more difficult than weekdays but common sense usually prevails. It’s now more like ‘a’ treat at the weekend, not treats galore. And the treats are now smaller, healthier and much more carefully considered.

    I can’t say how glad I am that things have changed.

  2. vickie says:

    I have to be MORE careful on the weekends than through the week – I totally agree. And not being able to reign in the weekends and letting them overflow into Monday and then the whole next week is a really vicious cycle – I agree.
    .-= vickie´s last blog ..Back to my Asthma/Allergist =-.

  3. John says:

    Now as before I started losing weight weekends are the same for me. That is before I would eat crap as any day of the week and Now I treat the weekends as any other day. 2 days is a good percentage of the week and knowing my previous appetite I could do enough damage it would take the other 5 days to recover so I don’t treat the weekends any different.Maybe once I get into maintenance mode but for now nope!

  4. Cathy says:

    Weekends have been an ongoing battle for me. My problems were loading up on the chocolate, fries and a few glasses of wine. I tried dropping everything, but that just seems to depress me. So, now I make a conscious choice to make a new veggie burger every Friday night (tonight was a Cashew and lentil burger) with a handfull of fries on the side. I also buy a small dark chocolate bar and have it at some time during the weekend (usually Saturday night). Not the healthiest habbits really but it’s much better than previously. 🙂
    .-= Cathy´s last blog ..Now, if you promise not to tell… =-.

  5. Diane says:

    Weekends were for breakfasts of pancakes and then mid morning snack of home made cinnabons. You did good at stopping at just 2- I would snack on them between errands and while printing out reams of homeschool lesson materials and consume about a dozen of them. Now weekends mean a mountain of veggie chopping, food prep, a quick trip to the woods before shopping ( weather permitting) and lunch out at either Sweet Tomatoes or in the deli at the grocery store and our weekly treat bought at the bakery. Part of that is portion control, and the other part is I don’t have to make 3 different desserts ( everyone has a different preference) and deal with the leftovers of these three. I love a walnut brownie, the guys prefer something with whipped cream. Dinner is usually a pizza, but instead of it being a white flour crust with pounds of cheese, it is a whole wheat tortilla with roasted veggies and a little bit of cheese.
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..The Behinder I got 🙂 =-.

  6. Bella (Stilettos on the Streetcar) says:

    I used to have binge-fests on the weekend. Family-sized bag of Mini Eggs? More like Bella-sized. I’d eat an entire Deep n’ Delicious cake in one sitting. Really, really bad. Then I wondered why I wasn’t losing weight.

    Now weekends are a chance for me to set up for the week ahead. Saturday is my weigh in day, which keeps me on track during the weekend. I use Saturday to grocery shop, fully stock the cupboards, and clean the veggies. Sunday is prep day. I make meals for the week or prep healthy snacks in advance.

    I do occassionally indulge in Mini Eggs, but now I keep in mind what an actual serving size is.
    .-= Bella (Stilettos on the Streetcar)´s last blog ..A girl’s gotta eat =-.

  7. Brenda says:

    The weekends in our home are much different now that I insist we are healthier! An old weekend would always mean my husband going to the local grocery store and picking out 6 donuts for the 3 of us. And of course he can stop at eating just one (or even 1/2 of one) which means I would look at his second one through the day and end up eating it on Sunday and feeling guilty! Many times we would be on the go and busy (which was a good thing) but after not eating all day we would order 2 large pizzas with all meat toppings and I would eat till I was almost sick, only to eat a couple more pieces before bed and another piece for breakfast the next morning.
    Once again I find myself ending a post on here saying “I’M SO GLAD THOSE DAYS ARE OVER!!”
    (also now, I never find myself giving myself ‘a day off’, everyday is a healthy day for me)
    .-= Brenda´s last blog ..I’m Back!! =-.

  8. kwithme says:

    Weekends are for relaxing for us. I have changed my definition of relaxing. To curb wanting to eat out on the weekend I make sure I have plenty of good things (tasty and good for you) to eat so I am not itching to go out. Usually one meal is fun but homemade, tacos, pizza or something like that. If we go out, I pick a restaurant where healthier choices are easier to make.

    I plan intentional splurges. We have 1 box of Entemenn’s Devil’s food donuts some weekends. I have a family of 4 so we each get two. That’s it. It keeps me from having a pastry if I meet a friend for coffee during the week. Whatever the splurge is, I try to plan it.

    I am trying to eat the way I will for the rest of my life so nothing is completely off limits. We don’t go to the movies often so if we do, then I will have popcorn, but sometimes I don’t really want it. I am trying to listen and I think because I am not really strict, it is easier to say no.

  9. karen@fitnessjourney says:

    When it comes to weekends, it’s all about planning. I try to grocery shop on Thursdays so I’ll have plenty of fresh produce and healthy snacks to choose.I like to prepare the veggies and keep them in containers so I can grab them for
    snacks. Also, I like to make up individual bags of snacks, like my homemade trail mix, so that it’s pre-portioned. I can take these on the go and my kids are more likely to reach for them out of convenience.
    .-= karen@fitnessjourney´s last blog ..The No-Equipment-No-Cost-Do-Anywhere Workout =-.

  10. Jules - Big Girl Bombshell says:

    WOW you were reading over my shoulder this morning…Looking at my weekend as a time of no responsibilities is not okay thinking for me anymore. I am trying to look at it as EXTRA time to put actions behind the responsibilities to myself that often get lost in the shuffle of work, home and school during the week… Thanks for your post today!
    .-= Jules – Big Girl Bombshell´s last blog ..Spring Into Action =-.

  11. MySensei says:

    Weekends get so hectic and it can definitely be a struggle keeping your eating and exercising routine in check. I try to get at least get one day of good solid exercise in and don’t go over board on all the breakfast goodies I normally would eat on the weekends..(oh bacon and pancakes!!) This is a great post, so relatable!!
    .-= MySensei´s last blog ..Gabourey Sidibe’s Weight =-.

  12. sarah says:

    I used to struggle with weekend eating as well. One thing that really helps me is to go to cycling, step or yoga on both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Sweating like crazy first thing in the morning reminds me of how hard I’m working to change my body for the better and makes me a lot less inclined to binge in the evenings. Also, no one wants to work out bloated from last night’s binge!

    This has helped me alot and I hope it will help someone else!

  13. Cynthia (It All Changes) says:

    Giving myself structure for the weekends was huge for my WL.

    And I totally pack my own snacks and water for the movies because I can’t eat anything they have there anyway. Too much salt and sugar for my sensitive stomach.
    .-= Cynthia (It All Changes)´s last blog ..3 Wishes =-.

  14. Sunny says:

    Like you, I realized over-kill on weekends ruined all M-F successes. So weekends now are no different, calorie wise, than M-F. It helps that we generally only eat 2 meals a day on weekends, not 3, so I have a few more calories to throw at each meal. 😉
    .-= Sunny´s last blog ..TGIF! =-.

  15. Jeremy Logsdon says:

    Weekends remain a struggle for me, but they are going better. Still, it isn’t the free-for-all it used to be. It’s honestly more a matter now of, “I am at home and not work, so let’s celebrate!”
    .-= Jeremy Logsdon´s last blog ..Forgiveness =-.

  16. Rapunzel says:

    Great post! Weekends usually mean cocktails-by-the pool and it’s so easy for that one drink to turn into two..or three..and before I knew it I’d be throwing caution to the wind. I’ve got in under better control now but the summer isn’t here yet so we shall see!
    .-= Rapunzel´s last blog ..Fishing Friday? Not! =-.

  17. Leah says:

    I don’t struggle with weekends as much anymore, but I do struggle with late at night. Or Friday or Saturday evenings…they seem to be the times I just want to overeat and “treat” myself to junk. I’m thinking getting to bed earlier would help, or just making some hot tea to sip on instead of eating. Then it will take a while to down and everyone else is done with their snacks when I’m done with my drink.

    Great post!

  18. Taryl says:

    Weekends have always been a struggle for me, between date night with my husband and the refreshments Sunday morning at church I don’t often go WAY overboard, but the temptation is there. So I just try to be conscientious of my food and log it all, as well as eat
    in a way that offsets any more indulgent meals (if I am going out for dinner I aim for a particularly healthy breakfast and lunch) so I don’t undo all the calorie deficit I created during the week!
    .-= Taryl´s last blog ..Weekly check in =-.

  19. Chad says:

    I think I may be the lone man out here, but I don’t really struggle with weekends. I try to treat each day pretty much the same and stick to my diet and exercise plan. If anything, I end up not eating as much on weekends, because I stay on the go and not just at my desk and at home, and I end up exercising more, because I can do it whenever and not just before or after work. I plan splurge meals every now and then, but they’re on weekends and weekdays depending on what’s happening schedule-wise. I think I’m the odd man out in all this, though! 🙂
    .-= Chad´s last blog ..Weighing In After My Night on the Town =-.

  20. julie says:

    I used to buy two croissants at my farmers market every Saturday – one to eat immediately, one to eat later, with a big heavy breakfast. The rest of the weekend was for drinking, partying, meals out. I also exercised a bit. Now I exercise a lot in the mornings, and skip the croissant. I have about 3 croissants a year, and I appreciate them so much more since I rarely eat anything that feels, tastes like that. Sometimes big meals still happen, but now I eat less later or before to compensate, so it balances, more or less.
    .-= julie´s last blog ..A Week away from the Gym =-.

  21. Sagan says:

    Before, I’d go to 7-11 for slurpees and chocolate on Saturdays. I’d have microwave popcorn and a coke on Friday and Saturday nights, and usually a fast food meal on one of those evenings for dinner.

    Now, the boyfriend and I make each other dinner (I cook on Fridays, he cooks on Saturdays). It’s fun to make dinner for someone else! Plus, when I spend much of my day with him on the weekend, that also means that I’m NOT nosing through my pantry. Boredom is what usually leads me to overeat, as well as just BEING AROUND the food, so if I have someone else there I’m not as likely to just start snacking for no good reason.
    .-= Sagan´s last blog ..Living Healthy in Videos =-.

  22. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    Diane, you are right. Weekends can be a real prob for a lot of people.. in fact a huge % per all the studies out there.

    I am not a “take a weekend day & eat anything I want” type of person. I never did that. Again, per studies, you can actually eat enough calories to make up for all your hard work during the week & thus leave all that hard work a useless in the dust over 1 or 2 days.

    I trend to eat healthy meals on the weekend & then plan for my cookie treat. I pick one thing each day I want to have as my treat but all other meals are healthy.

    I know during the weight loss period, most don’t like to use food as a reward & I agree with that in general. For me, I am long into maintenance & since I eat so healthy all week long, these couple treats on the weekend are well deserved!
    .-= Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog ..Healthy Breakfast Cookie =-.

  23. Mia says:

    Weekends are easily the hardest time of the week. Everyone is home and there is little structure. I am stressed…. and so I tend to eat unplanned food. I am a binger and since I started tracking these episodes I have found that 9 out of 10 times is happens either Saturday or Sunday night. (sigh)

    Exercise is definitely helpful. And staying busy myself. Not letting myself get too hungry is another key. I am so much better today than a few years ago. Mostly because I have identified the antecedents and came up with helpful ways to counter them. I’m still far from perfect.

    As for those Cinnabons, the other scary thing about them is the number of fat grams one has. Easily your daily allotment!

  24. Kay-on my own says:

    Any day off is difficult for me, I have every other weekend off. Days that I work are a little easier because I am busy, first with work itself and then I exercise. When I have a day off, I work out in the morning and then have the rest of the day to be tempted by food. I try to snack on low calorie foods such as sugar free popsicles and low fat popcorn without butter of coarse. I also like going out for a late breakfast on the weekends I have off. That is not a problem since I discovered that the IHOP has breakfasts that are 600 calories or less. I have this weekend off. I will be very conscience of what I eat. Good Luck one and all.

  25. Francesca says:

    What a great post to read at the start of my weekend !

    Sometimes I have overeaten at a weekend, for the reasons of – I’m not at work, I can treat myself…

    Other times, I’ve found weekends liberating as I have time to think about whether I’m truly hungry or not, and time to cook properly.

    For this weekend, it’s Saturday morning, and I’m determined to wait to eat until I’m truly hungry.

  26. Amy says:

    Weekends are still the hardest time of the week, but I have found as I get more and more into a routine during the week that my weekends go better, too. And getting at least one run or workout in helps too!

    I also always bring my own snack (usually some nuts and a bit of dark chocolate) to the movies! What they don’t know won’t hurt them, and it’s way better for me!
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Loss and disappointment =-.

  27. michelle says:

    Weekends are actually my easiest time because I can exercise in the morning (and try to get a good dose in) and for some reason, since my husband is home all day, I just am more mellow when it comes to food. (Go figure, I am an emotional eater. Hubby being home to help w/ kids = mommy less stressed and doesn’t reach for nibbles to calm herself down lol).

    I also try to plan my weekly treat meals at the weekend so it’s something to look forward to.

    Have a great weekend Diane!

  28. Jenn@slim-shoppin says:

    I’ve been trying to use weekends to gear up for my healthy week. I go the this fruit market by my house and load up on fruits and veggies, I make meals I can eat during the week, I plan a longer exercise time, so that I am totally aware of staying on track.

    I’ve ramped up my weight loss efforts the last 6 weeks and so far I’ve done great every weekend. I think it just takes practice and not being afraid to say NO! to things that will de-rail you!
    .-= Jenn@slim-shoppin´s last blog ..Frittata =-.

  29. Emergefit says:

    Funny, I’m in the minority here. I’m much more likely to “blow it” during the week when life is hurry/scurry, and I get the “I need food and I need it now” face on.

    The weekends are when my best eating takes place because I have so much more time. The thought of eating poorly actually interferes with my very intentional, planned meals. Weekends there is time for dicing, slicing, curing, seasoning, (in SoCal) picking, preparing, and presenting.

    Tonight will be bison patties on ciabatta bread halves, with fresh mushrooms, broccoli, and a spring salad.
    .-= Emergefit´s last blog ..Short attention-span essay… =-.

  30. Judy says:

    I read this just after a weekend “feeding frenzy”. I really have a hard time with weekends, especially rainy ones like this past one. Eeesshhh!!!

    I will get better at it! I will get better at it!! I will get better at it!!!

  31. Carol says:

    Weekends used to be a big downfall for me. I loved to eat out (still do!) and the running around on weekends always provided me with a nice excuse to eat poorly. When I made a real change over 2 years ago, suddenly the weekends weren’t a problem anymore. I made a commitment to tracking every day and that made the weekends just like every other day in my head. Sometimes, if I know there is a big event coming up on a weekend, then I might save a few extra points for it, but generally I eat the same on weekends that I do during the week.

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