We have ALL been there. You kick butt and nail your “diet” all week long. By the time Friday rolls around you are already salivating just thinking about that cheat meal. Pizza. Wine. Chips. It’s just one meal, right?
You deserve it. You had a rough week, work was stressful. Your commute was way too long. Right???
Until Friday becomes Saturday and Saturday becomes Sunday.
Saturday morning is breakfast with your parents and well, everyone else is getting the pumpkin waffles with cream cheese icing. It’s just breakfast
And then it’s 2:00 and you’re not getting dinner until 6 so you pop through the drive thru for something small.
And then its dinner with friends. I’ll just have a few of those nachos. Oops…half the app later.
And then Sunday it’s dinner at your in laws. You can’t possibly say “well I can’t eat that.” Screw it. The weekend is a wash anyway. Might as well throw in dessert. Why not…
And then. And then. And then…..you literally just undid all of your progress from the week.
It’s so easy to think but I ate good the rest of the week, it’s just the weekend. Except the weekend becomes almost HALF of your weekly meals. Nine times out of ten when I have a nutrition client who is not making progress…it likely shoots back to the weekend.
So how do you break the cycle???
Here are 5 Tips I give my nutrition clients to help them break this bad habit for good!
During the week, shoot for “better,” rather than “perfect.”
Back to nailing that diet. You're crushing it. You haven’t eaten anything but lettuce, a little bit of chicken and fat free dressing all week long. You’re eating steamed veggies at night along side 4 bites of chicken. (I was kidding when I said crushing it, this is what I see more often than night.)
By the weekend, all of that restriction has taken its toll and your willpower is SHOT!
Instead of shooting for “perfect” during the week, why not shoot for “better”?
Maybe that means you drop the drive thru and pick up a rotisserie chicken instead. You ditch the soft drink for a diet soft drink. Maybe a flavored drink enhancer. Yes, I know. Chemicals. But again, better. Do able. Instead of totally cutting out carbs, opt for half a baked potato with your chicken and veggies.
2. Let go of “food rules” (Within reason) Before the “screw it” approach takes over…
First, let's talk about what is a food rule?
Food rules tell you what, how, when and how much of a certain food you can have. Sounds quite restricting and well, a little harsh, am I right?
For example, no potatoes with your omelette, don’t you even dare thinking about touching that toast. Croutons on your salad? No, no, no!
The next thing you know, it’s Friday night and you’re out with friends. Everyones having pizza, wings and beer. Initially you hold out but after being so restricted all week you say screw it, and give in. Next thing you know you think screw it, you’ve blown your diet so you might as well keep eating. Cue “the binge.”
The fix? Ditch rules and let REAL hunger be your guide. Tune into your own hunger cues and fullness cues. Try eating until satisfied instead of stuffed.
3. Cheat days…
If you eat to satisfied, not stuffed and plan your indulgences, you can avoid the eventual “screw it” mindset that cheat days put into effect.
4. Own your choices.
If you plan an indulgence and plan to eat accordingly around that indulgence…own that choice. Follow through. And if you fall off the wagon, get back on. Make it right with the next bite.
5. Stop rationalizing.
This one is pretty simple. Quit making excuses. Ask yourself, why are you really over eating? Are you bored? Stressed? Sad? Happy?
Once you get in tune with this thought process you’ll start seeing a pattern. This is your opportunity to work on this behavior and find another outlet for your emotions.
Hopefully those five tips were helpful, but most importantly…remember this:
If you mess up, apply a clean slate approach. Don’t go on a restrictive diet for the next five days and just end up repeating the cycle. Start over. Work on trying to do just a little bit better. You got this!
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