How to Stop Weekend Weight Gain

There’s something magical about Mondays in the fitness world. Monday is the day to “get back on plan.” Maybe you spent the weekend eating or drinking too much, skipping workouts and enjoying yourself after a stressful week. You deserve the break, right? You say, “On Monday I’ll get strict and undo the damage.” I struggled with this for so long. I wish I could just learn how to stop weekend weight gain.

Who else has been there?

My Old Life Struggling with Weekend Weight Gain and Binge Eating

One of the things I used to do was keep nutrition strict during the week and have weekends be more “carefree.” By the time Friday came around my resolve was down, I was hungry and plagued with cravings.

Come Friday night all bets were off. No more being mindful, tracking or measuring foods. Sometimes the taste of yummy foods or sugar would have me overeating the whole weekend to get my fill after feeling deprived all week.

In fact, Sunday night was the worst because I knew on Monday I would be “cut off” from delicious foods. Of course, by Monday I felt bloated and yucky, so it was easy to get back “on plan.”

The problem was, although I lost weight the week before, I gained it back over the weekend. I would say, “Wow, my plan must not be working because I gained.”

So, I would set calories and carbs lower that next week (or search for a new diet) in hopes to find the right plan that would work for me.

Guess what that did???  Yep, felt even more deprived come next Friday and was too carefree that following weekend resulting rebound weight gain again.

The worst part? By continuing this cycle I would keep losing weight during the week and gain it back on the weekend. Over and over again. My body never changed, but what did change was the emotional roller coaster I was on living this lifestyle.


You Can Erase 5 Days of Progress in 2 Days (Even in ONE Meal)

It is ABSOLUTELY possible to have a PERFECT week of nutrition, workouts and weight loss erased over the weekend.

Why? Blame science. The only scientifically proven method for losing weight involves burning more calories than are taken in. You burn calories through diet, exercise or (ideally) both combined. This fact, called the “law of thermodynamics,” has been proven time and time again in studies. Yes, carbs, proteins, fats, sugars and “clean eating” makes an impact, but that’s tweaking our nutrition. If you don’t create a deficit with calories first, you will not lose weight. Sorry, this is boring news and not as exciting as a cleanse or Paleo, BUT it works.

If the deficit you create each week is erased by going over calories on the weekend you will gain back the weight you lost because the deficit is no longer there.

Even if your weekends don’t “feel” extreme with binging, just being less mindful by eating or drinking a little more may be erasing the deficit enough to stall weight loss.


How To Stop Weekend Weight Gain

Don’t let a careless weekend undo your hard work. Living in deprivation 24/7 isn’t required either, though. While a little hunger may occur when dropping calories to lose weight, if you are going into the weekend extremely deprived then you must change what you are doing during the week. This will enable you to still be mindful about choices over the weekend.

First step, figure out if you are feeling deprived physically, emotionally or both.


Physical Deprivation

You may have calories or carbs too low. You may not be getting enough lean protein or healthy fats. Maybe fiber is too low or you aren’t drinking enough water. All of these things can lead to feelings of hunger and deprivation. Where do you start? Use trial and error. I usually start by adding more water (up my ounces per day), lean protein (for example chicken breast, Greek yogurt) and veggies (especially greens). Those foods work well to keep us full. If that doesn’t work I increase healthy carbs (like oatmeal and whole grains) or fats (like raw nuts, coconut oil, etc). Accurately measure and track what you try (use a food-tracking app) to make sure you are still reducing calories enough for weight loss. Play around with it until you notice you are feeling satisfied, but still lose weight. Consult a nutrition professional if this is new and you don’t know where to start.


Emotional Deprivation

Experiment with new healthy meals or snacks to get out of your rut and feel more excited about your food. Sometimes that’s all it takes. From an emotional standpoint it may also mean allowing yourself enough healthier little “cheats” so (mentally) you don’t feel deprived. Maybe a couple squares of dark chocolate, or some low-sugar frozen yogurt during the week. Even 2-3 bites of your favorite dessert may be enough to help with a craving. What will satisfy YOU is very individual, so be patient until you find what keeps you satisfied, but won’t derail progress. Will weight loss be slower than if you were ultra strict during the week by doing this? Perhaps, but this is how you lose weight for LIFE and not yo-yo between weight loss and rebound weight gain.


Consistency Trumps Perfection

The most important thing to remember is consistency trumps perfection. Better to be on a plan you can consistently follow daily than to be perfect during the week and lose ground on weekends.

By controlling feelings of deprivation you will no longer have to say, “I will get back on plan this Monday!”

I hope these tips have given you some inspiration and some valuable insight. If you found this article useful, you may also enjoy my most recently published resource guide Beat the Weekend Binge.

Brand Spankin’ New Freebie: BEAT THE WEEKEND BINGE

If you haven’t picked up your free copy of Beat The Weekend Binge yet, you can get it HERE.

I’ve never been more proud of a resource I’ve created for you guys than I am of this one! It comes with a PDF sharing my 3 strategies to stop the weekend (and evening) backslides, and then 5 follow up daily coaching emails to further teach the strategies. Those follow up coaching emails get really raw and personal. Some of it I can’t believe I shared and I was nervous to publish it, but I wanted to do it for those who struggled like I did.

It makes me angry there are not more resources out there to help us with issues like this.

The “perfect diet” doesn’t do us any good if we struggle with the mental/mindset stuff.

Again, this download is FREE for those who are interested.

I’ve put my best tools into it & I’ve been hearing great feedback already.

Some feedback:

“Thank you for this! I feel like you are totally in my head and understand! I’ve already started making progress.”

“This has been tremendously helpful to me. Thank you.”

Again, I’ve created this helpful resource to help you stop nighttime snacking and binging on the weekends. If you haven’t downloaded your free copy of Beat The Weekend Binge yet, you can get it HERE or simply let me know below so I can get it to you ASAP.