5 tips to ensure you don’t wreck your diet at the weekend
You’ve “been good” all week. You’ve stuck to your diet meticulously, exercised regularly and on the whole you’re feeling pretty good with how things are going. Then the weekend sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug and throws everything into disarray.
So, what do you do? Avoid social situations all together? Become a recluse? Lock yourself in the house with basic rations?
In this article, I’m going to tell you how you can deal with social situations and avoid binge eating your good work away, so that you can enjoy a glass of wine and still lose weight.
The big dieting issue
The problem for most women is that you want two things that seemingly don’t go hand-in-hand.
You want to lose weight and look and feel good about yourself, but you also want to socialise with your friends. You want to be able to go out for brunch without being worried of weight gain. You want to have few cheeky cocktails and not wake up full of regret and self-loathing.
I think most of you realise that if your weekends last four days and resemble a continuous all you can eat buffet, then it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to stay on track with your diet. But surely you can enjoy the odd night out and still make progress?
Of course you can!
Here’s my top tips for staying on track with your diet when you have social situations to deal with.
Have a lighter breakfast and/or lunch
If you know calories are going to be higher with the evening meal, then offset it slightly with the other two meals of the day.
If for instance you are aiming to eat 1500 calories a day, you have a couple of options:
With option B, you can save on some calories earlier in the day by having a lighter breakfast and lunch, so that you have more to play with later on.
If you go with option B then you’ll need to make smart choices with your earlier meals to ensure you get a load of volume in your food and fill yourself up.
Picking calorie dense options such as avocado, peanut butter and oily fish wouldn’t be the best bet here.
Instead you could have a protein smoothie for breakfast with whey/vegan protein powder, berries and greens.
For lunch go for low fat meats such as chicken and turkey with loads of salad and veg. This means you can get a fairly big plate of food for minimal calories.
Leaving you to enjoy your larger meal later on in the day.
Eat slightly fewer calories for a day or two after/before
Another option is to consume more calories on the day you go out, but then slightly less in the days surrounding it.
As you can see, the total calories consumed over five days is exactly the same, but you’ve allowed yourself some extra for your champagne brunch out on Saturday!
If you’re adjusting your calories this way, then make sure you don’t starve yourself after the weekend, which is a common error.
Eating a few hundred calories less here and there can help, but if you go too low on Monday and Tuesday, you’re much more likely to binge midweek or the following weekend as you’ll feel hungry and deprived.
This in turn will mean weekly calories will be too high and you’ll struggle to make progress.
Drink zero calorie/low calorie drinks
Lattes and cans of coke will bump up your calories without filling you up, so aim to drink tea, black coffee and water during the day, saving the booze for the evening meal!
A venti Starbucks latte with whole milk has 300 calories, whilst a can of coke has 139 calories. Swap these for a black coffee and a coke zero and you’ve saved yourself 439 calories, enough for 3 and a half small glasses of white wine!
Make smart choices
There’s no need to avoid social situations like BBQs, you can easily make smarter choice whilst there and take less of a calorie hit.
For instance, white meats tend to be lower in calories compared to the red meats, so chicken, turkey and white fish over pork, beef and salmon.
Honestly though I think even if you eat typical BBQ food it’s hard to eat too much, it’s basically just meat a bit of bread and salad, so don’t stress.
I’d say the bigger issue for most people at BBQs is going back for more…. and more…. and more.
You end up over eating and becoming uncomfortably full.
A good tactic to avoid this, is to stick to the one plate rule. Load up with whatever you want, but only eat one plateful of food, then give yourself 30-40 minutes after to allow your food to go down and digest. You’ll probably find you don’t really want to eat more.
This tactic alone has helped so many of my clients. Being aware of the difference between real hunger and boredom eating.
It’s one brunch, one night out, or one weekend.
A few meals aren’t going to send you massively off track, so relax and enjoy your time socialising, then get right back on track.
If it’s a special occasion or your first night out in ages, then just throw caution to the wind and eat and drink as you please.
Food and drink and there to be enjoyed, so enjoy it and move on.
Remember you can always get right back on track with the next bite.