Weekend overeating is a bitch. Let’s face it.
Here are 5 strategies, by Pn’s Krista Scott-Dixon,
to help you ditch the bingeing, guilt, and extra weight.
“If perfectionism is the Wicked Witch of overeating, then food rules are the flying monkeys” – KSD
If you find yourself “perfect” during the week and overeating on weekends, this is just the article for you. Learn how to let go of weekday food rules and break the cycle. Drop the guilt, improve your health, and lose weight.
Here’s how, either with or without a coach.
Speaking of coaching, we offer nutrition coaching at CrossFit Hud’s Lotta Nutrition program. This isn’t your run of the mill coaching, i.e. “here’s your meal plan, this worked for me so it should work for you” crap.
No, no. The coaches at Lotta Nutrition understand excellent principles of client-centered coaching and this includes collaboration. We offer two programs, a macros program and a progressive habit based program.
What’s superb about the habit program is that it not only allows us to educate you on nutrition but it gives you and allows you to put it into action under the watchful coach.
This program benefits users through excellent coaching and accountability while setting up the client for success through positive habit building.
The Lotta Nutrition Macro Program is a highly individualized coached program for those wishing to dial in their nutrition for performance and weight goals. What if you could achieve both? Using weekly determined calories and macro counts for each individual, this program provides accountability and guidance for those clients to help achieve success.
Monday through Friday…
You are a boss. You are eating vegetables, protein, and smart carbs. You are working out and feeling great. Then the end of the work week arrives and you can visualize your coach red wine, pizza and a movie. It can be your way of unwinding and coping with the hell that comes with work.
The weekend becomes a time where “normal rules” don’t apply.
This can easily be your ritual. If this is you, this may be just a habit. After a while though, the weekend indulgence comes with consequences and you can feel physically and mentally crappy.
- Physical: bloated and feeling sick
- Mental: feeling guilty, regretful, and maybe even angry
This article isn’t about finding that “one weird trick” or the latest and craziest “life-hack”. It’s about learning how to develop a healthier relationship with food.
Strategy 1: Aim for “good enough” instead of “perfect”
This one is really difficult for people. This is because everyone that is on a “diet” wants to adhere to said diet. They want to work hard towards their goals and they believe that means being strict and they HAVE to be perfect. Well, I’m here to tell you as a coach, I’ve seen it plenty of times and I’m here to tell you – you don’t need to be perfect to get the results you desire.
Unfortunately though, these people end up worrying the whole week that they might screw things up. They may even try and adhere to strict meal plans but by the end of the week, their willpower is gives out and they are tired of restrictive eating.
This person might find themselves out to dinner with their family and the restaurant they find themselves out doesn’t have “perfect pre-portioned kale salad,” so instead maybe they decide to get some crap.
Kristen Scott-Dixon (KSD) mentions, “If you take ‘perfect’ off the table, things change, You feel empowered because there are no other options. Instead of kale salad vs. five servings of fries, there’s: ‘I’m actually in the mood for a sald with my burger because I had fries at that work lunch on Thursday.'”
The solution: Always aim for “good enough”
Through the work week and the weekend, start considering your health and fitness goals, your mood, and what food is available to come up with a solid definition of what’s “good enough” and aim for that.
KSD, “Remember: That decent method you follow is better than the “perfect” one you quit.”
Strategy 2: Let go of your food rules
“If perfectionism is the Wicked Witch of overeating, then food rules are the flying monkeys”
Food rules are the ones that tell you how to live your life:
- What you can and can’t eat,
- When you can have or can’t eat,
- How you can or can’t eat it,
- How much you can or can’t have.
These rules make up a very popular effect that is found throughout the nutrition and dieting industry. We may have all been there. These rules will lead the very popular “Fuck It Effect”.
Let’s say one of your rules is to not eat any carbs. You don’t eat grains, you don’t drink beer, and you sure as hell don’t eat pizza. But, this weekend you find yourself at your friends paint party and they are having pizza and beer. You may hold out for a bit BUT you eventually give in and at this point you say, “fuck it, I’ve already gone this far” and blown it, so you might as well enjoy yourself.
Solution: ditch the rules and let hunger guide you
Most people that aren’t “dieting” eat when they’re physically hungry and stop when they’re full. This happens for them on Monday AND the Saturday. Unless you’re eating for performance, or you’re an athlete, start paying attention to your physical hunger cues. Let go of the rules that hold you back.
Strategy 3: Give up “Cheat Days”
This is the one day of the week where you can go crazy and let loose. What this creates is a food “purgatory” all other six days of the week. This day of the week gives you the opportunity to eat anything and everything you want. The problem with this cheat day is you are likely going to overeat when you realize that tomorrow you have to get “back to reality” and compliance.
Solution: quit the Cheat Day routine, and give yourself permission to *choose* what you want all week long.
Like the “fuck it effect”, Cheat Day depends on scarcity. “Scarcity makes us feel anxious, needy, and greedy.” The opposite of scarcity is abundance. When you give yourself permission to choose what to eat, you can decide to have dessert or not. Maybe you’re full? Maybe you’re in the mood for dessert? This may sound counter-intuitive, BUT when you don’t allow yourself dessert 6 days a week, the one day you can have it – you may go HAM and overdo it.
Strategy 4: Own your choices
If you have ever created trade-offs with yourself, consider dumping this method after you realize you’re an adult and the choices you make are the ones you live with! Maybe you find that you’re saying to yourself, “I’m going to skip that office brownie today, but this weekend I’m going to crush a dozen doughnuts” – this mindset is a lot of mental work that rarely pays off.
Solution: Start owning your choices, and let your adult values guide you when you eat.
Start making food choices by acknowledging the outcomes you might expect. For example: “I’m in the mood to eat 5 servings of ice cream tonight. I know I’ll probably feel sick to my stomach afterwards but in this instance, I’m OK with it.”
Don’t moralize your choices! You are free to eat and drink anything you want, just remember that different choices have different outcomes. Set your expectations accordingly.
Strategy 5: Stop rationalizing
When it comes to the weekend, you will find yourself in many very comfortable situations where you will rationalize that it’s OK to overeat.
These look like:
- Being busy or bored
- You had to work
- Family/social events
These circumstances don’t inherently cause overeating. It’s in these situations where we decide to rationalize our eating habits by aligning a convenient script with the circumstnace.
Solution: Stop rationalizing and ask yourself why you are really overeating.
KSD points out, that sometimes you’ll eat like crap, likely too much of it, and that it’s normal. But instead of falling back on the victimless rationalization of your circumstances, create an awareness of what is really going on by asking yourself, “why am I really overeating right now?”
Are you, bored? Stressed? Sad? Happy? Celebrating?
When you ask yourself this consistently you may see a pattern. Once you recognize this pattern, that is your opportunity to change your behavior.
What to do next:
Here are some tips from our friends at Precision Nutrition.
There is no “perfect time” to eat better. Not tomorrow or Monday. There is no should or should, only what is.
Start with Today. What can you do today to help you tomorrow? Maybe all that includes is just becoming more aware.
If you find yourself constantly starting and stopping when it comes to exercise and nutrition, check out article on The Pause Button Mentality
Ask yourself: How’s that working out for you? (weekend overeating)
If you’re loving “Cheat Day” and you’re happy with the results, keep doing that.
If you’re conflicted, it may be time to investigate and implement these strategies.
- What does weekend overeating do for you?
- What path is it leading towards?
- What does it enable you to feel?
- How does it solve a problem?
- What purpose does it serve for you?
- Aim for “good enough” instead of “perfect”
- Let go of food rules
- give up Cheat Days
- Own your choices
- Quit rationalizing
Below is a video on the curriculum we offer and bit on how we coach at Lotta Nutrition.
The world’s leading Nutrition Coaching education program, Precision Nutrition, has provided us the use of their curriculum through ProCoach (an online software). This program is a 9-month commitment. PN’s ProCoach curriculum is a 52-week habit forming approach that offers the user daily lessons and activities with bi-weekly habits.
This program takes into account the goals you want: build muscle, lose weight… etc, and provides all your nutrition needs surrounding powerful and attainable habits you create.
ProCoach promotional video from Precision Nutrition on Vimeo.
Original article here