Those Weekends Used to Get Me Every Time

I often hear people sharing their frustration over weekend weight gain.  I used to love the weekends.  I looked forward to them all week, not only because we usually didn’t have to work, but also because I knew there would be plenty of fabulous opportunities for eating.

Saturday morning trips to the donut store were a regular event for me.  After all, the kids loved donuts didn’t they?  What I never told my husband was that although I came home with six donuts – I bought twelve donuts!  That’s right, on the way home from the donut shop I would eat one donut after another until there were only six left. I couldn’t seem to help myself, as those donuts were just so fluffy, sugary, and soft. I wonder now if the store employee thought it was strange I didn’t want the donuts in one big box, but rather in two bags.

Saturday afternoons brought the possibility for birthday cake or a run through the drive thru restaurant after an exhausting trip to the grocery store or mall.  Pizza was often on the menu for Saturday night, and I could eat an entire pizza, one slice at a time.  Sundays weren’t much better with a pantry full of newly purchased food, an unplanned lunch date with friends after church, and the weekly Sunday night “Let’s eat up because we are going to start dieting tomorrow” food fest.

I know I’m not the only one who feels that weekends can be fraught with temptations.  I wanted to share with you some strategies to help you avoid the tendency to give up on your diet on the weekend.  Some of these suggestions came from my Fit to the Finish Facebook page, where I asked for suggestions on this very issue.

These are some of the strategies I used when I lost all my weight years ago, and what I still do today.  After all, weekends keep coming around rather you are dieting or not!

  • Knowledge
  • Planning
  • Choosing

Knowledge – You know what activities the upcoming weekend holds.  Write down what you hope to get accomplished over the weekend or what places you will be visiting. You probably also know what food temptations you may be faced with during each event or activity.

Planning– As you review your list and think about what food will be involved, plan for success.  If you are taking one of your kids to a birthday party, plan on eating something healthy before you go, so you won’t be tempted to have a huge piece of cake, some candy from the bowl, and half your child’s goody bag in the car on the way home.  (Not that I ever did that of course)

If you know you will be running errands all afternoon, grab a few healthy snacks like apples, a few nuts and maybe a protein bar to remind you that you have other choices than Chick-Fil-A or Cinnabon.  If going to dinner at a friend’s house, offer to bring some healthy food.

Choosing – Every opportunity you have to choose the right food is an opportunity to move your weight management quest along in the right direction. If you choose unhealthy, high fat foods all weekend, then instead of taking a step forward towards your goals, you may have taken a step back.

It all boils down to choice.  It’s not always easy or fun to make the right choice, but in the long run it is worth it

Remember, just because you make one poor choice doesn’t mean the whole weekend is a loss.  Get right back on your game!  So as you start your weekend, begin with the commitment to make good, healthy choices.

What is your best tip for healthy weekend eating? Diane

27 thoughts on “Those Weekends Used to Get Me Every Time

  1. Diandra says:

    Weekends… stupid weekends. DUring the week, everything is rather easy: Breakfast planned, office lunches planned, dinner meal plan ready – and not really much time to fantasize about food, since I am usually busy exercising, doing housework and writing (when I am not at the office, of course). On Saturdays we go grocery shopping, and trouble starts Saturday night when we are home with the TV and the next week’s food supply… and Sundays, with all that lazy time (which I could spend baking, woohoo!) and the food… doesn’t help that the BF likes to eat, either. ^^

    Well, in the end no one is stuffing food down my throat, so I guess I should stop whining and start doing something about it.

  2. Miz says:

    it’s funny
    I can get more derailed during the week because worktime = ALONE TIME and me time in a way.
    the weekends? about everyone else so I find it’s not hard to stay on track because they dont feel decadent at all.
    my challenge are the week days!

  3. Taryl says:

    Very wise, as always! I definitely have had to get used to enacting your tips over the past two years to forestall weekend gaining. A little planning and not giving myself permission to eat without consequence has gone a long way.

  4. Jill says:

    I actually do better on the weekends. I think that I feel so strongly about being a good role model for my daughter and husband keeps me strong when they are around. When I am alone… it is harder. I wish I loved me as much as I love them. Don’t get me wrong- I do care about myself- just not as much as them. I suppose I need to work on that?!

  5. E. Jane says:

    Weekends can be my undoing if there is a lot of eating out to deal with. I just have to do my best to make good choices no matter where I’m eating and what I’m doing. You are living proof that it can be done and weight can be lost or maintained. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Holly says:

    Weekends are harder around my house house because all the kids are home from school. They have a tendency to ask me for junk food in rapid fire during the weekend. They are still adjusting to the fact that I don’t buy a lot of things I used to buy. Sometimes I get weak and splurge on things for ‘them’ but I have to be careful that I don’t indulge in any of it. Of course now I’m starting to question why I would buy it for them in the first place. If it’s not good for me, it’s not good for them . So I really need to focus more on alternatives and getting them used to not eating all the junk!

  7. Emergefit says:

    The first sentence of the last paragraph is the biggest part of weekend success! One slip isn’t a license to binge. Slip with a donut? There’s still time and opportunitry to do well the rest of the weekend!

  8. Julie Lost and Found says:

    I am a very weird person in generally, at home, I simply hate weekends. My home is chaotic, my son, who thrives on routine, gets all out of whack,…it’s just chaotic. Weekdays are just more better.

    When chaos happens, eating meals and snacks get chaotic. For me, the very most important thing to having a successful weekend is planning. Choosing is a close second. Starting on Thursday, I’ll look ahead to the weekend, any plans set in stone, any penciled in plans, etc. I try to have an idea of what we’re eating for meals, where we’re going etc. If I say “oh what the hay..it’s the weekend…I’ll wing it” I’m getting myself in trouble. However, it is true..one slip up doesn’t have to be the demise of the weekend. I read a book many years ago “YOU on a diet”..and the author talked about making a “you turn” if you got off course. I’ve thought of it often.

  9. Renee says:

    I workout Sunday-Thursday, I take Friday & Saturday off. I weigh in first thing Saturday morning.
    If I’m going to eat things I don’t eat during the week, it is normally on Saturday evening.
    We might order pizza , go to Culver’s for dessert etc. I refuse to blow my whole weekend eating extra calories. If I’m going to be bad it is normally for just one meal not the whole day. I keep telling myself I wakeup to early and workout to hard, I get to the gym at 5:30 a.m. during the week. I try to be good must of the time. Sometimes on Saturday evenings I might not have a desire to eat junk, my body feels awesome when I’m eating healthy.

  10. Amy says:

    I agree with you, the weekends are hard! Especially if there are special events or outings planned, it can be much more difficult to stick to healthy eating than during the week, when things are more in a routine.

    The weekends I do the best on are the ones where I have planned the meals well in advance and I have all the foods in the house, so that there is no temptation to make last minute changes and eat some unhealthy and fattening thing instead.

    The other thing that made a big difference for me was making a priority of getting my long run in on Sunday morning. It has become such a habit now that I don’t even really do that mental argument with myself about whether or not to do it – I just do.

  11. Kristi McMurry says:

    Planning is definitely important! I usually have a date night with my boyfriend on Fridays, so I try to steer us in the direction of cooking at home when I can. Sometimes we do go out to eat though, so I just try to be smart about what I eat. I don’t beat myself up if I splurge a little though. That’s when things go downhill…if I eat a hamburger and let myself feel guilty about it, my whole attitude becomes negative, and I’m more likely to stumble again and again.

    I guess I’m saying that my strategy is to plan my meals on track, but if I do happen to splurge, don’t beat myself up about it 🙂 I actually use my weekends to get extra workouts in too!

    • Renee says:

      When you splurge, which we all do from time to time. You have to get up dust yourself off and get back on track. It drives me crazy when it Tuesday or Wednesday and someone says i’ll get back on track Monday, get back on track today. Don’t have regrets when you splurge, just make a few changes with your next few meals.

  12. Marie@feedingfive says:

    I definitely agree with the ‘planning’ aspect. Your kitchen has to be filled with healthy options. Also for me a strict mindset helps. I’ve certainly had times where I’ve eaten too much and made myself sick, but I’ve learned that if you really love and respect yourself you don’t do that to your body.

  13. Lisa says:

    I still count my calories and do the normal things I do during the week. I do eat a little MORE on weekends because those are also my long workouts. It all evens out.

    Weekend bingeing isn’t a good thing. I think a lot of people do it and then try to “make up” for it on Mondays by going to the gym. That’s why the gym is always so packed on Mondays! (And that’s why I avoid Mondays!). 🙂

  14. LovesCatsinCA says:

    I like what Lisa Lillien, “Hungry Girl” has to say (and she conveniently said it in today’s newsletter!)

    “Think of eating smart as a lifestyle adjustment, and go into it knowing that celebrations and indulgences are part of life. So give yourself some wiggle room. If you eat sensibly 80 percent of the time and less sensibly the other 20 percent, you’ll still be on the right track.”

    I actually eat a little BETTER on weekends because I don’t have work stress then.

  15. Jody - Fit at 54 says:

    You got it Diane – planning, choices – it is all about that.. people know what they are doing although some don’t know that they can eradicate a whole week’s worth of healthy eating & weight loss over a weekend. You can’t out train too much eating so make choices work for you! I plan for my treat cookies & know how they fit into my weekend….

  16. Siobhan says:

    I’m another one who eats less on the week-ends. The only thing I am trying to change is to incorporate more exercise over the weekend.

  17. Roz@weightingfor50 says:

    Weekends can be really tough. It’s a fine balance between socializing, more time on our hands, and making healthy choices. Planning ahead really does help. Great advice Diane. Hope you have a good weekend.

  18. Chris says:

    I work the 80/20 rule while following WW. I eat healthy Sunday through Friday lunch. Friday night dinner, Saturday brunch and dinner are all mine to eat what I like. It’s what keeps me on track the rest of the week. I can be healthy the rest of the week because I know Friday night I can have whatever I want. Saturday are donuts, AFTER a run. Then whatever for dinner. It works for me. I’ve lost 60 pounds over the last 10 years (when I deviate from this plan, I gain it back). I’ve got 15 more pounds to go and will keep this up since I finally found what works for me.

  19. Elizabeth says:

    I do usually cheat on Saturday with something like a big meal at a restaurant. However, I never go hog wild not even on my “cheat” day anymore. Really, cheat day doesn’t even feel good anymore because the guilt is still there if I make too many bad choices. Weekdays are easy because I do five salads on Sunday night for the work week.

  20. Kaitie says:

    Keeping busy and making sure my weekends are more than “Do-Nothing” days help me keep my body fueled with good food. If I do splurge (on the weekend OR during the week), I try to keep in mind the idea that there isn’t a real “first day” and “last day” of the week, but instead think of my weeks as a circle with no end … meaning if I splurge on a Wednesday, I don’t have to wait to the next Monday to get back on track. I can get back in the circle right then and there!

  21. Jane at Keeping the Pounds off says:

    Diane,
    It took me a couple of years into losing the weight to get it though my head and stomach that I should eat the same way on any day of the week that ends in d-a-y. The only thing I do different on weekends is the dishes. My husband sometimes cooks on the weekend and when he does, I get the dishes. (okay, honestly, he still does the dishes, even when he cooks – but I feel guilty that I let him do them).

  22. blackhuff says:

    I love this post, as there are so many people out there, who do struggle with their healthy eating ways over weekends. I love how you have put down a strategy plan for those people. I am going to share this with everyone who ask / complain about this problem over weekends.

  23. cookie says:

    I am actually quite good with the eating on weekends. Which is mostly because I spent waaaaaay more time in bed than on usual days, so there is simply not enough time to eat that much but still enough to cook properly. I am more inclined to cook a decent meal on a weekend.

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