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Will Your Diet Survive The Weekend

By Helen Hussey, RD LD

What is it about the weekend that makes us throw even our best-laid diet plans out the window? Even when we have made steady progress towards our weight loss goals all week, the weekend can be a whole different story. Maybe it’s because we feel tired and overworked all week and the weekend is our only chance to rest and relax. We feel like we’ve earned the right to put our diet plans on pause for a few days. Of course, we all want to kick up our heels a little on the weekends, but if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you’ve got to stick to your diet plans Monday through Sunday.


However, even the most iron-willed person can have their resolve bent sometimes on the weekend. Preventing life from happening is impossible, but how you deal with overindulgence after it has happened makes a difference. Here are a few suggestions to help you recover from splurging:


Relax and Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself: One dessert or one high calorie meal is not going to sabotage your diet past the point of no return. Most people get into trouble when they feel so guilty about “cheating” on their diet that they continue to indulge in the wrong foods. Before they know it things are completely out of control.


You can’t change the past, but you can minimize the damage. Learn to stop yourself after one splurge and get back on your routine immediately! You can recover a lot easier from indulging in a single 200 calorie cookie than 2000 calories from consuming the entire box of cookies. Remember, there are ways to reward yourself on the weekend that are not related to food, like getting a massage or seeing a movie.


Eat Sensibly: Eat only when you are hungry, not because you are bored or the food is simply there. Remember to eat your protein first and then fill up on vegetables. Use fruit as your dessert. Consuming empty carbohydrates will leave you feeling hungry, causing you to snack more. Remember not to drink your calories. One 6 oz glass of wine per day will give you 1600 calories in one week. Fill your life with non-food related activities to keep your mind off of eating. Build on these activities to shift your focus away from food.


Tip: Don’t weigh yourself after a weekend of overdoing it!  Weigh-in on a Friday morning after you have returned to your healthy eating and exercise habits. Set a calorie goal and start keeping a food journal. There are many free online calorie counting websites to choose from that will allow you to track your exercise as well.  You got this and you can do it.  It just takes a little pre-planning and the stick to it attitude.