Picture the scene.
Its 5pm. It’s Friday. The sun is shining. Life Is Good.
You’ve eaten well this week. You’ve eaten lots of “clean” foods.
You haven’t eaten massive portions and you have even shared a pudding with the Mr / Mrs when you ate out that one night.
You’ve trained hard with weights and even done a little cardio.
You feel F*cking Fantastic right
But then wait – you jump on the scale Monday morning and the weight still hasn’t budged, your clothes still fit the same and there has been no noticeable change in how you look in the mirror.
“What the f*ck is going on” you ask yourself??
Trust me when I say that the above extra-terrestrial activity is something that happens regularly around the world…..
You see I would hazard a guess that for the most part you eat well, and you are aware of the food you are eating most of the time, especially during the week.
But, there is something that just keeps getting the better of you, and without me telling you, you will know exactly what it is.
It’s the secret progress killer within the fitness industry.
Something you love more then your first child…..
THOSE TWO BEAUTIFUL DAYS.
It’s a disease and I have named it “Weekenditis……..”
You see, the thing is, because you have looked forward to the weekend since the moment you woke up on Monday and you will do everything in your power to make sure you make the most of every hour!
But this attitude and that indulgence can literally screw up your weight loss and fat loss goals completely without you even knowing!
I’m not saying this to scare you and to get in to take the “bro in the gym” approach of never socialising and eating only chicken, broccoli and rice.
I’m just being openly honest with you, because I want you and as many others as possible to succeed.
I know first hand when tying to get lean for my holiday that if I let myself go at the weekend then it can set me back weeks of previous progress.
Indulging massively over the weekend can leave you heavier, more out of shape, weaker and less motivated for the coming wees ahead.
But still people are reluctant to believe me when I say the cheat meals or days they have are doing nothing for them.
Instead I hear remarks like;
- “I’ve earned this kebab this week”
- “I’ve worked hard Monday-Friday and the weekend is for living”
- “It’s the weekend, calories don’t count”
Some of them may be true – apart from the last one, that is never true. Just because it’s the weekend doesn’t mean your body turns in to a fat burning machine rather then a fat storing one.
You are probably sitting there thinking, “oh bore off Lee when are we allowed to live a little then.”
I’ll show you how later, because…..
……Yes you should be able to have a little down time over the weekend. You should most definitely be able to go to the pub for dinner, go to the cinema and enjoy some treats and have a pun lunch with the family.
These are what make getting up to do your job every day worth it right?
But you should be able to do all these things without ruining your weight loss or fat loss progress.
So how can you do this?
You Need To Know Where You Are….
You know me and my calorie calculations.
So lets have a look at some typical consumption through the week.
Lets take someone like me who weighs 90kg’s.
I’m 31 (I know hard to believe right?), I train 4-5 times per week and may do the odd bit of cardio or play tennis through the week with the aim to look leaner for my holiday.
Now, lets focus solely on calories for the purpose of this blog post.
When cutting I’ll probably look to consume 2500 calories per day in order to create a deficit and a decent fat loss environment.
A typical day in the week may look like this…..
Breakfast – Oats, with protein powder and almond milk smoothie.
Lunch – Salmon fillets with mixed salad and low fat dressing and some sweet potato.
Dinner – A duck and egg noodle stir fry with some vegetables.
Snacks would be – fruit, protein bar, some nuts and high protein yoghurt.
Pretty decent right? This could comfortably come to 2500 calories.
Do this for the week and the chances are I would lose at least 1lb per week.
But then the weekend starts and that’s where the trouble begins…….
The Weekend Isn’t 2 Days Long Anymore…….
For most of us we start to indulge in the weekend around Friday lunchtime and that’s when the damage begins.
So lets have a look at what you could consume in a weekend and see if you guys can relate……
- Friday Afternoon – Cakes in office 300cals
- Friday Evening – A couple of pints / glasses of wine after work 450-650
- Saturday AM – Fry up with orange juice and a croissant 1000 cals
- Saturday PM – Lunch out with friends watching the football having a burger 750 cals
- Saturday Pm – Watching the TV order in the an Indian takeaway, with a dessert bring an bag of M&M’s 2000cals
So you can see it’s quite easy to almost double your calorie intake in one day over the weekend. Repeat this in similar fashion on the Sunday and you have consumed nearly 9000 calories – almost your whole Mon-Fri intake in just two days.
Scary right. Now you might think that’s a bit extreme but I bet more people do this then you think.
Therefore if you were to keep this up for a month you would GAIN almost 3 pounds per month even though you may have eaten well during the week.
Now correct me if I’m wrong but that’s a hell of a lot of weight to put on. Carry on at that rate and that’s Over 2 Stone in a year – and that’s based on just having bad weekends, that doesn’t even take in to consideration if you aren’t “good” during the week.
What about they days when you might forget your lunch and just pop to Greggs for a pasty? See how it all adds up very quickly.
So What The Hell Am I Supposed To Do Lee?
Track your calorie and macronutrient intake!
You thought it was going to be something fancy and something that I have never told you before right?
Well guess what – this stuff is simple and if done correctly and consistently, guarantees results. It’s a fact and I swear by it.
The beauty of tracking and being part of the flexible dieting gang is this…..
- You will not have to deprive yourself or restrict yourself of any food or food type, which means there is no need to eat everything in sight at weekends to satisfy your cravings.
- You can plan your weekends so that you eat more without wrecking your progress. This is called a “re-feed” day.
What is a Re-Feed Day I hear you ask?
Well in simple terms think of this as being your “cheat day.” However, rather then being a free for all you are still tracking your intake. However, what we have done here (and I do this for a lot of my clients) is calculate a weekly intake where we may take away a few hundred calories from Mon-Friday and add them to the two days over the weekend allowing you to enjoy yourself.
Sounds to good to be true right? But consider this…..
Over the course of the 7 days you haven’t felt restricted, you can enjoy your weekends to a point and still be in a calorie deficit.
So instead of gaining weight because of your weekend splurge you are actually winning at life and still losing weight and getting leaner if that is your goal.
I like to call this MAGIC!
But unlike the shit you see, read or hear about on the Internet, I know this works!
This method actually allows you to let your hair down at weekends whether that means hitting the pub, drinking at the football, having a meal out with the girls or just wanting that tub of ice cream whilst watching Ant & Dec.
The Wrap Up…….
What you need to start realizing is what you do and what you eat at weekends will have an impact on your progress whether you like it or not.
You can try to tell yourself that what you ate at the weekend is k because you were good for the rest of the week. However, if at the end of that 7 day period you are in a calorie surplus (so you have consumed more calories then you have burned) you body will still take those extra calories and store then as fat regardless of how well you think you have eaten in Mon-Friday.
Need More Help?
As always I am on hand to help you guys out if you need help beating the “weekend belly”
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great week.