Getting lean doesn't mean your weekends have to suck.
Staying on your diet plan is relatively easy during the week.
You're working each day, so there's plenty of structure already built in.
You're also really busy, which means overeating meals or grazing all day is rare. You've got things to do.
This built-in structure creates the perfect scenario for meal planning. You have certain times of day allocated to eating. The rest of the day is allocated to things like grocery shopping, cleaning the house, dishes, feeding your family and generally getting things done like a boss.
It's fairly easy to stay on plan. There's not much time for anything outside of the plan.
Until the weekend hits. Then that all goes out the window.
The sweet, sweet weekend.
No work, next to no structure. You wake up and generally do what you want.
Your first meal comes about 3 hours later than it normally does, and it's usually about 3 times the size of your normal breakfast.
Since this is your day to chill out, naturally Netflix is firing on all cylinders.
#Boom 'Making a Murderer'
#Boom 'Game of Thrones'
#Boom 'House of Cards'
What's a relaxing Netflix session without some snacks, right?
You stayed on your diet all week, you worked hard all week. It's time to deviate from the diet for a few hours. No harm there.
Once dinner time rolls around, and you and your significant other exchange a few dozen "I don't know, where do you want to eat", you decide on Mexican.
Some chips, queso, a margarita, and a platter of flautas later, you've officially obliterated about 2500 calories (or more).
Don't kill the messenger, but this is why you aren't losing fat.
I believe in enjoying the weekend. That's what they're made for. I also believe in you finally losing that extra layer of fat you've been working on.
In order to do that, you need to build in some of that structure that helps you all week into your weekend.
Below are a few strategies you can implement right away which will greatly improve your fat loss progress.
#1 Eliminate Snacking
The boredom that often accompanies the lazy dog-danglin' weekend is what causes a lot of those snacking urges.
You don't snack because you're hungry, or because your body needs it. You snack because you're bored, it's a habit, and it's generally mindless.
In order to lose fat you need to be in a caloric deficit (eating less calories than you burn on a day-to-day basis).
This means you only have so many calories you can consume in a day while still losing fat. If a large portion of those calories come from mindless, habitual snacking (which usually lacks substance, and serves you in no way), then you will feel hungry, deprived, and generally not stay on your plan as the day goes on.
On the other hand, if you save all your calories for your meals, you will be able to eat a considerable amount of food at each meal and still lose fat.
This means you can be full, happy and lean.
Feel free to carry his habit with you into the week as well. Just because it's 10 pm and everyone's taking a break doesn't mean you need a snack.
Allow me to let you in on something. Eliminating snacking is one of the most effective weight loss tools I have seen because it allows you to enjoy such big meals and still lose fat.
#2 Implement Rules
This one takes some self awareness.
Take a moment and reflect on your typical weekend. Where does it usually all go wrong?
Maybe you crack open your first beer at 1 pm while you watch a ball game. This means you end up casually drinking all day, stacking up the calories along the way.
Or maybe you stay on track all day, but once 9 pm hits it's like your body is taken over by a parasite that feeds on sugar.
In both of these scenarios, adding a set of rules will allow you to curb the massive caloric intake while still enjoying the weekend.
In the case of the 1 pm beer, you could set a rule that says 'No alcohol before 5 pm'.
This means you can have a beer or two, just not 8 hours worth of beers.
The same type of rule can apply to the person who devours sugar or snacks after 9 pm.
Implement a rule that says you don't eat past 7:30 pm.
This way your eating window stops before the craving hits.
When it's 9 pm and you have your head shoulders deep in the pantry with no structure in place, anything goes.
It's a lot easier to make the right choice when you build in this structure, and base it on your own behavior.
These are just two examples of how you can control calorie consumption based on certain behaviors. Yours will be unique, but building some rules and structure will keep you focused and in control.
#3 Pre-Plan Your Treats
Some weekends have unavoidable social obligations that can prove to be disastrous for your diet
Brunches, dinners, cocktail parties, holiday parties....
Not only are you faced with some obstacles, you're going to have temptation thrown in your face the whole time.
Here's a little known secret: Intention beats motivation when it comes to you staying on track.
This means that if you declare your intention for the event by planning it out, that will be more powerful and a better indicator of your success than any amount of will power or motivation.
If you're currently tracking your calories and macronutrients, here's a cool trick to help you navigate these social events while still losing fat.
(If you aren't tracking calories and macronutrients, and would like to learn how, just drop a comment or message me in the contact section of this site)
At the beginning of your day, figure out exactly what you intend to have at the event later in the day.
Let's say it's a party with drinks and deserts.
First thing in the morning, enter in what your're going to eat and drink that evening. Let's say it's two glasses of wine and a small piece of cake.
Now, for the remainder of the day you can plan your meals around those foods. This way you are able to enjoy the event, have some cake and drinks, and still hit your calories and macronutrient goals for the day.
This means you will be losing fat, and enjoying yourself socially.
That's called winning.
#4 Do Something
One of the biggest reason why staying on your diet during the week is so much easier than the weekend is because you're busy.
Instead of sitting on the couch watching Futurama and staring at the bag of chips in the pantry all day, get out and do something awesome.
Walks, hikes, concerts, musuems....anything. It doesn't need to be fitness related.
Doing things not only helps you stop staring at the Ben and Jerry's in the freezer, it enriches your life in a way that Futurama can't. Go out and experience, learn, and play.
I'm a big believer in always evolving and always growing. You're dedicated to producing work during the week, but the weekend is your time to dedicate to yourself.
Make yourself better every chance you get. Nothing beats real life experiences for this.
Plus you'll be lean and fit because your diet is on track, which is also pretty cool.
Adding a little structure to your weekend will help you enjoy your weekend to the fullest while also shedding that layer of fat that I know you so badly want to get rid of.
The Jacked Hipster is dedicated to inspiring your personal progress and evolution. We do this through fitness, nutrition and lifestyle changes.
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