The Weekend vs. The Week Days
If you’re pursuing a weight loss goal but struggling to achieve it, you might have a case of the Weekend vs. Week Day syndrome. Check out this week’s post and see if you can reach your goals faster with a little change in your mentality and habits.
As personal trainers, we educate our clients in how to lead healthier lifestyles. At the same time, our clients teach us a few things, too. We sometimes forget, since our lifestyles are so ingrained, some of the struggles people have when attempting to change their habits.
For instance, we see many of our clients are super strict in some areas, and many times these areas do not make a big difference to the end-goal, and are loosey goosey in areas that do make a big difference. One example of this is what we call the “Weekend vs. Week Day” syndrome.
The Weekend vs. Week Day Syndrome
When working on a weight loss goal, some people cut out all carbs (including the beneficial ones!) and focus on high levels of protein. These people are able to maintain this restriction throughout the week but will totally lose it on the weekend, over-indulging and eating as many carbs as they can get their hands on, including the “bad” ones.
Eating like this severely affects hormone levels (mainly the hormones that help you lose weight!) as well as your metabolism, another weight loss tool in your biological arsenal. It completely sabotages the caloric deficiency that you were able to achieve during the week.
Why do people do this? Usually because they wish to reward themselves after experiencing so much restriction during the week.
But your body doesn’t know the difference between the weekend and week day. It just responds to how you treat it. We recommend consistency and balance. Our diet suggestions include healthy, complex carbs along with lean protein sources. That is, fish and lean meats, eggs and beans, fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds.
The only finite restriction that we do recommend to clients, and we’ve seen great results, is to avoid all cow’s milk products. The theory behind this is that our bodies have not evolved to include the digestive capabilities to process another mammal’s milk.
If you wish to reward yourself for doing so well over the week, indulge in ONE cheat meal per week. Do not make it an all-day or all-weekend reward, and if you do, expect it’ll take you a long time to achieve your weight loss goals.
(Check out our post on Stick-to-itedness Tips and When to Cheat for more on cheat meals.)
Weekend Weight Gain
Something else we notice with clients is an obsession with the scale. Some people are so focused on the end-game that when they weigh themselves on Monday and see they’ve gained a pound or two, they lose motivation and get down on themselves.
The weekend IS different from the week days. We wake up a little later and do different things, like life maintenance and social time. We tend to eat out more often during the weekend, and consume more sodium because of this. The extra salt will affect water retention and will show up as “water weight” on the scale.
Please don’t let one or two pounds deter you from your goals! If you’re eating a well-balanced diet, with maybe one cheat meal per week, and are on par with your workout routine, you WILL achieve your goals.
Be confident that your consistency will pay off sooner than later, and instead of using the scale to see your progress, wait and notice how loose your clothes are fitting compared to before your lifestyle changes!
To sum up, be strict with cutting out junk/processed foods and dairy. Eat a well-balanced diet full of nutritious food, and MAYBE indulge in ONE cheat meal per week. Resist the compulsion to weigh yourself and just focus on leading a healthier lifestyle. One day you will put on your favourite jeans and they’ll fit you better, or maybe even be baggy!
Do you have the weekend vs. week day syndrome? Do you think you can change up your habits so you can be more balanced and consistent?