We all know the drill – you’ve been eating with monk-like discipline all week, so when Friday rolls around you decide to reward yourself with a tasty treat.
Next thing you know, it’s Sunday night and you’re reflecting on yet another debaucherous weekend of continuous, delicious junk food.
If you’ve felt yourself in this cycle more times than you care to admit, we sat down with Nutritionist Rick Hay to get some tips on how to stop the weekend derailing your diet – without sucking all the fun from your weekend meals.
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If I eat healthy all week and then eat badly on the weekends, will this hinder weight loss?
Rick emphasises that yes, a weekend of totally carefree eating will inhibit weight loss. “There is also the possibility that if the diet is too strict that you may well blow out on the weekend and give into temptation and undo all of that good work. Sometimes it only takes a couple of minutes to eat half a packet of biscuits.”
However, it turns out your body enjoys a bit of variety now and then. “The body likes variety so this style of eating may well have beneficial weight loss outcomes.” If all you’ve been eating is steamed greens and chicken, your body might be craving some variation.
Do you believe in ‘cheat meals’?
Variety is the spice of life, so don’t feel like you can never eat a ‘naughty’ meal again if you want to achieve your goals. Ricks approach is “being relaxed around eating but sticking to your goals. You should be able to reward yourself and your body, as I said, does like some variety so the occasional cheat meal good end up actually helping with weight loss goals.”
Does being too strict during the week lead to more eating on the weekends?
There’s no point in limiting yourself Monday-Thursday if you have a big blow out on the weekends, with Rick telling us moderation is key. “It [being too strict] can cause you to rebel or to crave if the diet is too strict. If you really love one food but it’s unhealthy just have it once or twice a week in small portions or small portion size.”
What are some tips to stay on track with weight loss goals on the weekends?
Rick’s top tips for healthy eating on the weekends are:
- Eat a good healthy plant based breakfast and lunch as these types of meals have high fibre levels which can help to balance blood sugar levels and reduce cravings.
- Have a soup or vege stir fry for dinner to keep it healthy.
- Teas like dandelion help to reduce bloating and help with digestive function which is important to help with weight loss.
Main image credit: @thenaughtyfork