It's easy to stick to a diet Monday through Friday - you wake up, eat breakfast and head to work. The routine carries you through the day and since most people don't plan social gatherings during the week, it's relatively easy to stick to your diet. So it makes sense that once the weekend is here, you can afford to splurge and eat all the things you've been denying yourself, right? Wrong. Not only is this is dangerous thinking, it can undo all the weight loss goals you've set up for yourself.
While 2 out of 7 days may not seem so bad to cheat on your diet, that mentality also allows you to reach for that extra helping of pasta and in the long run is detrimental to your overall diet plans. According to RunnersWorld.com, a study in 2008 showed that dieters who lost weight during the week would plateau due to overeating on the weekends.
Going overboard during the weekend creates a vicious cycle: you may be making great headway with your weight loss during the week but by splurging during the weekend, you've gained back what you lost, if not more. This may lead to despair and loss of motivation to continue with your weight loss plans. Do not be your own weight loss saboteur!
The key to weight loss lies in consistency. RunningWorld.com recommends weighing yourself on Friday and Monday to make sure you're not gaining weight over the weekend - if you are, you know you're consuming too many extra calories. As you well know, dieting means planning well in advance. Make sure you have the right food available during the weekend so you don't reach for pizza delivery. It is also a good idea to continue your routine during the weekend. If you sleep in late, don't forgo your normal breakfast.
It may also be time to reexamine your diet, is it the right one to be on? If your diet is so restrictive that you feel you have to splurge on the weekend, it may be time to switch it up. Instead of designating days to splurge, experts recommend following an 80-20 rule, where you eat 80% on target and allow 20% for small treats and indulgences. By building in your "splurge buffer," you won't feel the need to overindulge on specific days.
The road to weight loss is no easy journey and is fraught with potential setbacks but ultimately, you have control over what you eat and when you eat it. Rewarding yourself for a job well done is definitely a must but be sure not to go overboard!