There is nothing more frustrating than crushing your week nutrition and training-wise, and then just completely falling off over the weekend.
If your weekends are bad enough, you can ruin weeks of progress.
The worst part is, is that you are working so hard during the week, and then a few days can cancel out that progress. So it makes you wonder why you are even trying so hard during the week.
This is a very common trend among clients, especially when they first begin.
Its almost like we use the weekend as an excuse. However, if you can manage your weekends, you will set yourself apart from most people and set yourself up for years of progress.
I get it though, the weekends are still busy. There is always something going on. So here are some nutrition tips to manage a busy weekend so you don’t ruin your hard work during the week.
1. Have a general nutrition plan for the weekend.
Look ahead and figure out what is going on and then go from there. Does the plan have to be perfect? Nope. But some sort of plan is always better than nothing. You will probably go off the plan a bit, but again this is better than nothing.
At the very minimum, plan when you are going to get your protein in.
You can write this down on a piece of paper, put them in the notes in your phone, or plug it into a tracking app like My Fitness Pal.
If you know you are going to some restaurants, you can look over their menu and narrow down some food choices. This helps because if you don’t have a plan when going out to eat, you are more likely to base your decision on how you are feeling in the moment, and let’s be honest we are usually hungry, and this is when we make poor food choices.
2. Set minimums
For online clients we work on setting minimums like:
- 3-5 palm sized lean protein servings per day.
- 1-3 fist sized servings of veggies per day.
- 2 alcoholic drinks at dinner or the party you are going to.
Again, by setting these minimums you are more likely to stick to them, and these are better than just doing whatever. Some structure is better than none.
So maybe you normally track everything throughout the week. But during the weekend you take a step back and just focus on these minimums.
3. Bring lean protein sources with you.
Things like beef jerky, protein bars, protein powder, greek yogurt, deli meat. These are easy to bring options. That way if you are out and about and havent hit your protein minimum for the day you can just eat one of these options real quick.
OR if you have a meal out and it was low in protein, you can add one of these to the meals.
Protein is important because it helps build/maintain your muscle mass, helps with recovery, and does a GREAT job at keeping you feeling full.
4. Slow down when eating.
If you decide to eat a certain food at a party or when out to a restaurant, slow the F down and just enjoy it at that point.
One thing I see happen way too often with clients is when someone eats something less nutritious and then instead of enjoying they just worry about how “bad” it is, and how they are “messing up”.
The crazy thing is, is this makes us want it more.
Less nutritious foods like processed foods tend to be eaten much quicker than whole foods. So just slow down when eating these foods. And ENJOY.
Slowing down when eating is a great thing to practice in general. One of the most common eating habits I see is eating too quickly. It takes your brain some time to realize whats going, so by slowing down you allow your brain to tell your body to stop eating.
5. Skip breakfast.
Usually, breakfast is a boring meal, so by skipping breakfast you can “save” calories for later meals.
In saying that, it may be a good idea to have a low-calorie protein shake in the morning, especially if you are training that day. The good news is that this also crosses off one of the protein minimums we discussed earlier.
One other thing here, if you find yourself over indulging later because you skipped breakfast, then maybe this isnt the best option for you.
With online clients, I have found that this is VERY individual.
6. Eat meals/avoid grazing.
Avoid grabbing snacks throughout the day. This will only increase your hunger and add calories without filling you up. Save your calories for the meals.
But again, if you decide to snack instead of eating a regular meal, then slow down and ENJOY it.
7. Set a step goal
Not only do we tend to eat more during the weekend, but we also tend to move less overall.
So with online clients we have them focus on a step goal to hit. That way you can see where you are at, and if you are low then you know you need to get up and move.
Not to mention, studies show that when we are less active we are worse at regulating our hunger levels. Ever laid around all day and been super hungry? I think part of it is that some of us tend to confuse boredom with being hungry.
So the best thing you can do is MOVE.
It’s funny we complain about our lack of sleep during the week, but when the weekend rolls around we stay up later than normal and end up getting poor sleep all weekend as well.
Don’t neglect your sleep over the weekend.
As I discussed in my blog last week, when we get poor sleep studies have shown that we are more likely to eat more and move less the following day. Oh and we are more likely to make poorer decisions in general.
The good news? One good night of sleep and you should be back to normal.
Drink your damn water! Have a big glass first thing in the morning (you should be doing this all the time) and then having a big glass of water before each meal can help you eat less during the meal.
Probably because this fills up your stomach.
I hope this helps you manage your weekends much better! It doesn’t have to be complicated. Over time you will get better and better at this.
Start with one thing, practice it, and then get better over time.
Again, something is always better than nothing. By managing your weekends you will set yourself up for years of success and you will separate yourself from 99% of people.
If you need more guidance on how to improve your nutrition for your goals then apply here for nutrition coaching and lets get to work.