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Reveal what really works for weight loss.

Dodge Weekend Weight Gain

Dodge Weekend Weight Gain

Reveal What Really Works for Weight Loss

Intrinsic truth: the weekend seems like the perfect opportunity to live out all of our healthy aspirations.

I will sleep in, we tell ourselves.

I will have more time to exercise or meal prep for the upcoming week. I will have the chance to kick back and de-stress!

Yet, how often does the reality end up matching the plan? Weekends are actually the toughest times for some of Get Fit members, friends and family.

For many, the problem is the lack of routine. For some, it is the lack of free time because schedules end up even more crammed than work weeks. Others struggle with the predicable pitfalls of weekend socializing. Whatever the reason, surrendering our work week results to the hazards of a Friday evening-Saturday-Sunday backslide!

Research shows eating habits change dramatically over weekends, particularly as we reach for more alcoholic beverages and calorie-dense foods. If this is the case for you it can certainly be very easy to gain weight over time. A study published in the Journal of Obesity reports, statistically significant dietary intake differences occur for different days of the week. Researchers found that 19 to 50 years olds take in 115 calories per day more on the weekend in comparison to weekdays.

While that may seem like a small amount, over the course of a year it could add up to nearly 18,000 extra calories.

The struggle is not necessarily due to lack of motivation or willpower, or extreme food craving. The struggle is related to what you think!  How you encounter meals and the thoughts associated with eating any meal will determine whether you are successful or unsuccessful at maintaining your healthy eating and fit lifestyle.

What you think is vital to your eating behaviors and whether or not you will maintain your weight loss and health goals. Researchers found that people on diets failed because certain foods triggered enjoyable and pleasurable thoughts about the food. People that struggled with self-regulation were less successful at avoiding the temptation, whereas people that were able to evaluate their thoughts were more successful.

Here is how you can win the combat zone of your own mind and stay on track over the weekend:

  • When going for a meal or snack; stop, take a few breaths, and think. 1. Ask yourself if the meal is worth it? 2. Is this really something that you want right now?  3. Is there another choice that sounds good? 4. How will you feel after eating this meal?  5. Is it worth it to feel that way? 
* If you are not sure how eating makes you feel keep a food diary.  This is different than apps like found in your phone. In addition to writing down what you are eating and tracking the number of calories consumed and the number of macronutrients you also write down how eating that meal made you feel physically and emotionally.
  • Avoid boredom eating by keeping the mind focused. Say to yourself, I am in charge. I control my thoughts. Or better yet, go find something else to do.  You have the power to tell yourself what to do and how to do it. In that moment, you are in charge of your behavior.
  • You choose what you put in your mouth. When learning new behaviors, it is a step-by-step process. Take the urge to binge and eat poorly one meal and one step at a time.

Think about your goal and your motivation. You are the most important equation in the formula of your success.

If you overeat,  keep going forward and choose to eat something healthier next time. You can avoid future cheats and binges by applying the thinking above to each meal situation. New habits take time, patience and may be difficult at first, but you will gain confidence as you are successful at each meal. 

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