How to Stick to a Diet on the Weekend: the Real Secret to Fat Loss
If you struggle to stick to a diet on the weekend and your fat loss is stalling, read through our life-changing tips and live a lean life in no time.
Throughout the week you’re the perfect example of health and wellness. You control your calories and you’re hitting the gym on the regular.
But as soon as that weekend kicks in it’s like you’re a different person. Whether it’s too much alcohol or one too many cakes and deserts whispering sweet temptations in your ear; a weekend can make or break a diet.
If you want to make your eating plan ‘weekend proof’, give these hints and tips a read and speed up fat loss today…
Why sticking to a diet at the weekend is key for fat loss
“I do so well during the week, but when the weekend comes I struggle to keep on plan”.
Does this sound like you?
If it does, you’re among the many other women who struggle to keep their diet consistent from Monday right through to Sunday.
No matter how hard you try during the week, a weekend of binge eating and over-enjoyment can destroy your progress faster than you’d like to think.
Whether that’s a temptation from alcohol, eating and socializing with friends, or the feeling that you just ‘deserve’ to break from your diet at the weekend. It can all take it’s toll on fat loss.
But why can just two days of diet break ruin your progress?
It all comes down to those little creatures that live in your food called calories…
The basics of fat loss: calorie balance
In order to lose fat you have to be in a calorie deficit.
This is where you consume fewer calories than you burn off each day, triggering the release of excess fat to make up the difference.
No deficit, no fat loss
Where many women go wrong in their dieting is that they achieve a deficit Monday to Friday, working hard to be active and make intelligent decisions about what they eat.
But as soon as Friday ushers in, the plan goes out the window.
Take a look at the chart below.
You can see from the example that our dieting woman will lose fat as long as she takes in less than 2,300 calories per day.
She does this Monday to Thursday no problem.
And at 1,750 per day that’s enough to drop weight and excess body fat reasonable quickly (a 550 calorie deficit).
From Monday to Thursday, our female creates a deficit of 2,200 calories (550 multiplied by 4 days).
But when the weekend comes, things change altogether.
Our dieter falls into a calorie surplus of 3,500 between Friday and Sunday (a total of 1,200 per day), effectively cancelling out the 2,200 deficit from the previous few days.
You can see when all of the calories are added up across the 7 days, our unfortunate woman falls into a small surplus. This makes it impossible to lose fat as she just wont trigger fat cell energy release.
Even though she tried hard during the week, she’ll gain weight, not lose fat.
How to Stick to a Diet on the Weekend: Keeping on Track
Everyone has a reason why they struggle to keep the diet going when the weekend comes along.
And those individual reasons will to some degree effect the tools you use to stay on track.
But there are a few general rules you integrate into your diet to boost the chances of success, no matter what your own demons are.
These are the real secrets of fat loss.
#1. Prepare your meals in advance
This may seem like an obvious one, but many women don’t ‘meal prep’ for the weekend – only mid-week.
Preparing healthy, calorie-controlled meals isn’t just a Monday-to-Friday job. You’re not only preparing meals to see you through your working week.
It’s about planning what's happening at the weekend too.
If you take the time to organize your weekend meals, you’re much more likely to stay on plan. Even with temptation, healthy meals can form the bulk of your daily calorie intake.
Think of meal prep as damage control.
Even with the odd little treat over the weekend, you can still achieve a deficit. But if you’ve nothing prepared and temptation gets the better of you, you’re much more likely to make bad food decisions.
#2. Control your mindset and make dieting sustainable
The issue with week-long calorie control is that you might think there’s no ‘end point’. That you’ll need to restrict food intake for ever and ever.
That’s not exactly motivating is it?
But think of it like this.
A week-long deficit is a huge stimulus for fat loss. And a month-long deficit is such a long time frame that the fat will just fall off you.
To begin with, aim for a 2-week deficit with one binge day. See how that works. Then try a 3-week deficit. And then 4.
Aim to build a slow and sustainable approach and control your mindset, rather than letting feelings of guilt creep in once you do decide to have a surplus day.
#3. Try a flexible approach to eating
If the thought of a life without pizza, alcohol or sweet treats seems unbearable, make it part of your diet.
Junk food on a fat loss diet?
Flexible dieters tend to be more successful when it comes to reaching their target weight. And the reason for this is because they allow themselves occasional high- calorie snacks which boosts adherence and motivation.
Employ the 80-20 rule on a daily basis.
80% of the calories you consume should come from healthy foods such as lean meat, vegetables and grains.
But if you’ve got calories to spare, let the remaining 20% come from chocolate, sugary snacks, burgers or fries.
Just make sure you don’t go over your daily calorie count and you’ll still lose fat!
#4. Try and avoid eating out so often
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with eating out. After all, what’s the point in being lean if you never show off your body in public.
But if you eat out too often you might be taking in too many calories without even knowing it.
It’s pretty much impossible to know the whole list of ingredients in your restaurant meals – and therefore the total calorie count.
Sticking to homemade meals allows you to note calorie intake without guessing.
And that makes your deficit so much easier to stick to.
#5. Make smart decisions if you do eat out
But what about when you do actually eat out?
Well, it’s all about food choices.
Opting for lean meats is a good start. Limit dressings and cream sauces, and instead opt for tomato-based sauces in your food.
Make vegetables a big part of each meal too as they give you the most food bulk in the fewest calories – and contain massive amounts of nutrients too.
You’re the boss of your own lifestyle.
If fat loss has stalled, it’s only you that can take control and get back on track.
When it comes to the real secrets of fat loss, sticking to a diet on the weekend can make or break a successful weight cut.
If you struggle to stay on plan Friday through Sunday, try these hints and tips, and take your fat loss and fitness to the next level.