Thank God Its Friday! Our most favorite line of the week.
A very recent study has shown that when it comes to weight loss, a lot of people take 2 steps forward during the week and 1 step or even 2 steps back during the weekend. It seems that people are very diligent with their diets and exercise the entire week but completely let loose on the weekends. And this it seems is negating all the effort being put in the entire week.
The study is entitled “Influence of Weekend Lifestyle Patterns on Body Weight” in the Journal Obesity.
The conclusion of the study was , “Alterations in lifestyle behaviors on weekends contribute to weight gain or cessation of weight loss on weekends. These results provide one explanation for the relatively slow rates of weight loss observed in many studies, and the difficulty with maintaining significant weight loss.”
This proves a hunch that I have had all along. I have seen clients who want to lose weight putting their heart and soul into their weight loss efforts from Monday morning to Friday evening. After that they seem to feel that they have earned the right to reward themselves. I have always believed that you should reward yourself if you have put in the effort but within certain rules. You should have a good cheat meal on the weekend. This is a meal where you can reward yourself for being diligent for the preceding week. But that does not give you the license to have a CHEAT WEEKEND!
Imagine if I had a magic wand and that I could wave the wand and make you lose 1 pound of weight if you can give me 400 dollars on Sunday. The catch here is that you have to work for 40 hours during the week and you get paid 10 dollar for every hour of work. Come Sunday, you give me 400 dollars and I take 1 pound of your weight. Simple. But if you are in debt on Sunday, I will proportionally add the pounds to your weight.
You work diligently and have earned 400 dollars by Friday evening. But what happens if you decide to blow 10o dollars on a Friday night out with your friends. Then its a nice big dinner on Saturday night that costs another 100 dollars. Not to forget the shopping that you did on Saturday afternoon that cost you 150 dollars. And now you are left with 50 dollars on Sunday night. You give me 50 dollars and I reduce your weight by 0.125 pounds. (Do the Math as that’s what you would get). What if you outdid yourself and overspent and had to borrow 150 dollars from your credit card to have lunch and dinner on Sunday. Now I will come on Sunday, wave my wand and add 0.25 pounds to your weight. Is this analogy clear? Are you doing this to your weight?
From my experience dealing with clients, I have realized that most people don’t remember more than 2 weeks in the past. That means if they have not been diligent for the last 2 weeks, they will remember it. Anything beyond the 2 weeks will be remembered positively! Some clients come and say things like “But I have been so diligent with my exercise and so strict with my diet!
I am not joking when I say some people have such a monstrous cheat weekend that the food consumed could end the famine on the African continent.
What can you do to overcome this? Well for one, you should realize by now that our lives need some form of order even on the weekends. We need some semblance of order that our working life enforces on us on the weekdays. Some of the tips I can give you is;
- Try not to have your breakfast too late on weekends.
- NEVER miss breakfast on weekends
- Try to have your lunch/dinner at about the same time that you would have it on workdays
- If you have messed up on one meal, be aware and try to get back on track for the next meal. If you have overspent 100 dollars on friday night, does that mean you should go out and blow another 300 dollars just because you messed up?
- It may be wise to add some form of physical exercise on the weekends. Exercise seems to subconsciously alert us to be on track.
- Keep a vigilant eye on the amount of alcohol consumed. Have a tally by Sunday of the number of glasses of wine or beer or other liquor that you have drank. Getting drunk and losing track is not a solution. If one is getting drunk over the weekend, don’t complain about weight gain. You can’t be borrowing from your credit card and expect to get rich!