7 Ways to Stop Eating So Much on the WeekendsArticle posted in: Nutrition
Weekends can be a tough time for our waistlines. From happy hour drinks on Friday to takeout on Saturday to Sunday brunch, the weekend provides endless opportunities to indulge. After a long and stressful week, many of us find it easy to unwind and seek comfort in excessive eating and drinking. Without a schedule to uphold, we are left to our own devices to make good or bad diet decisions… which often leads to us asking ourselves how to stop eating so much on the weekend.
According to a study published in Wiley Online Library, changes in our weekend lifestyles compared to the weekday are what allow us to binge and increase our dietary intake. So, with a block of free time and a week’s worth of stress and emotions to unload, the weekend becomes a wasteland for binge eating and drinking—which we think we can forget about on Monday. Unfortunately, the study also proves that people who overeat on the weekends have trouble maintaining their weight in the long-term.
So, how do we hold ourselves accountable on the weekend and stop acting like these three days don’t count towards the scales?
Find out how to maintain consistency with your eating habits and how to stop eating so much every. single. weekend. with these seven simple tips:
1. Try yoga to treat binge eating.
If you can’t seem to figure out how to stop eating so much every single weekend—we may have an answer for you. Someone who tries to “be good” all week only to let loose and binge on the weekends, you’re going to continually sabotage your hard work. Whether it be with food or drink, binging is unhealthy and can halt your weight loss success and hinder your ability to maintain your weight in the long run. Instead of using this time to think about food, use the weekend as a great opportunity to get active. A study in Complementary Therapies in Medicine found that weekly formal at-home yoga sessions were effective in treating women of all ages with binge eating disorders. The yoga sessions even helped participants reduce their BMIs as well as hip and waist measurements.
2. Don’t stress over diet perfection
Many people stress over their diets during the week only to completely throw caution to the wind on the weekends. Instead of depriving yourself all week, Mayo Clinic suggests you allow yourself a few treats during these days and to take setbacks in stride. If you hold yourself to rigid, crazy standards all week long, you’re more likely to unleash on the weekend, indulging in everything you banned during the week. It’s okay to have a little slip-up every now and then, but it’s harder to come back from a whole weekend of binging. So, learn to give your diet a little leeway during the week, so you’re less interested in overdoing it on the weekends.
3. Be mindful of your eating habits.
One of the best tips for those wondering how to stop eating so much on the weekend—mindful eating. Eating mindfully is the best way to overcome overeating on the weekends. Being mindful means paying attention to all the sensations we feel while eating so that ideally, we can determine if there’s an underlying issue causing us to binge. If we think about the reason behind binging, whether it be stress, emotions or anxiety, we can stop ourselves from mindlessly reaching into a bag of potato chips over and over again. According to research published in the Journal of Obesity, mindfulness can be an effective strategy to stop stress-eating and improve eating patterns, so you have more consistency from the week to the weekends. If you learn to be mindful and pay attention to your eating episodes, you can learn self-control so that you only eat due to hunger rather than emotions or stress.
4. Seek support in friends not food.
Emotions run high during the week and can cause us to seek comfort with fatty foods and sugary drinks and snacks on weekends. Instead of drowning your sorrows in takeout or a bottle of wine, use the weekend as a time to catch up with close friends. A study published in the journal Psychiatry states that social support from friends can help us overcome emotional eating. Being with friends makes it easier to open up and talk about the issues bothering you so you can fuel your good feelings with comradery rather than food.
5. Maintain a meal plan with five small meals a day.
During the week, you have a routine of waking up early, going to work and working out, which means the weekend can be a chaotic, lawless time for your diet if you don’t adhere to some semblance of a schedule. It’s best to stick to your normal eating routine if you want to maintain your weight and healthy eating habits. Research published in Eating Behaviors showed that planning to eat three balanced meals and two to three small snacks a day reduced binge eating episodes on a weekly basis. Maintaining a solid, healthy eating schedule could help you overcome the urge to cheat on the weekends and won’t leave you yet again wondering how to stop eating so much.
6. Stock your kitchen with the right stuff!
Eating more meals at home is associated with a healthier diet, as shown by a study published in Cambridge University Press. After a long week, we are just as likely to dine out as we are to hole up at home with tons of snacks. You need to make sure your kitchen is stocked right to support your healthy habits. Keep only smart, nutritious options on-hand to ensure that if you do binge, it’s with fibrous fruits and veggies as well as healthy fats and proteins. And if you go out to a restaurant, you can easily stay on track with the help of our Dining Out Guide >
7. Catch up on ZZZs.
Sure, the weekend might seem like the right time to stay out all night, skip sleep and indulge in boozy benders. While you do deserve some fun on the weekend, make sure to use this time to replenish your body and mind with sleep. Getting eight hours of sleep each night is known to support a healthier, more active lifestyle as well as better moods and lower BMIs. A study published in European Eating Disorders Review found a close relationship between binge eating and a lack of sleep. If you’re already burnt out from a long work week, give yourself a chance to catch up on sleep—so you turn to your pillow for comfort instead of food. And best of all—you won’t be left wondering, yet again, how to stop eating so much after a weekend of binging.