You know the drill. All week you diligently plan your nutritious dinners, pack your healthy lunches to bring to work and pass on the afternoon cupcakes in the breakroom, but come 5:00 on Friday, all bets are off. Weekends were made for indulgence, right? It’s two and a half days to let loose and reward yourself with all your favorite foodie vices. But come Monday, all your left with is regret, guilt, bloating and maybe a couple of extra pounds.
Instead of hitting the reset button again and again each week, understanding the reasons why these behaviors exist may help curb your need to overindulge Friday-Sunday.
Ditch the rules!
That’s right. If you deprive yourself all week, you are more likely to fall into the trap of overindulgence when you give yourself an inch. If you place heavy restrictions on the food you should and should not eat, this can eventually lead to overeating and binging. It can even get to the point where you start craving foods you don’t even like simply because they are blacklisted from your life. If you allow yourself the occasional indulgence through the week, you won’t have to “reward” yourself with unhealthy food and drinks on the weekends.
Use the 80/20 rule. If you are good 80 percent of the time, you can allow yourself your little indulgences 20 percent, no matter what day of the week. If you strive for good instead of perfect, you are less likely to give up when you have the occasional slip.
Be aware of your triggers
Get to the bottom of why you are overeating (or drinking). Excuses can run the gamut from “I was at a party” to “I was lonely”. Keep a record of the habits that are causing your overindulgence. Are you feeling especially stressed? Lonely? Sad? Keeping tabs on how you are feeling on these days may reveal a pattern. Many of us turn to food or alcohol to make us feel better. Instead of reaching for the wine, try going for a walk or a bike ride. Physical activity will help you clear your head and reduce those cravings.
If you are out running errands, cleaning house or attending a Bootique Fitness class, you will be less likely to overeat than if you are sitting at home doing nothing. Boredom is emotional purgatory and in order to stimulate ourselves, we reach for the fridge. Keeping busy can help reduce the desire to mindlessly eat because you have nothing else to do.
One trick you can do is adding your weekend food and drinks to a calorie counter before the weekend starts. There are many free trackers on the web and by entering your meal info beforehand, you are making a promise to yourself about what you will enjoy, which can help keep yourself accountable.