I have a friend who, having just turned 50, gave herself six weeks of personal training for her birthday. She is training at 6 a.m. three mornings a week and has been very dedicated.
At first glance she is still in relatively good shape, having retained most of her physique and all of her personality from her high school cheerleader days. Her goal is to lose 14 pounds in two months, a very realistic goal. Like many women in her (our) age demographic, she is not very overweight, but with one or two pounds per year creeping up, she was heavy enough to have a strained relationship with her waistband and to feel like a C- grade body-wise.
After three weeks passed and several thousand additional calories had been burned in her predawn workouts, I was stumped because the scale had only budged one measly pound. I encouraged her to keep a food diary to chart her eating. Last Monday, she let me see her food diary and in one glance, my heart sunk.
She was a Weight Watchers poster child Monday through Thursday, and then she blew all of her hard dieting work over the weekend by eating and drinking just enough to get her back to square one on Monday morning. I knew she was suffering from the dreaded chronic disease that is sweeping the country. This syndrome alone is responsible for keeping millions of folks stuck at a higher than desirable weight. It's called "Blow It on the Weekend Binge" syndrome.
If this sound like a familiar pattern that happens in your life, and if weekends are why you are not losing weight try these tips.
Think of them as your Weekend Beat the Binge Survival Guide
1. Exercise. Do something active each day. The earlier the better.
2. Plan all your meals ahead. It's a pain, but weekends jeopardize your long term goals. If you want to weigh less (or at least not weigh more) on Monday, you need to know what food is on your menu for the day.
2a. Tell a someone in the house what your food plan is. This makes you accountable.
3. Don't engage in all-or-nothing thinking. If you eat something off your plan, get right back on your regimen at the next meal.
4. Stay motivated. Do this by giving yourself a non-food treat, like a manicure or a massage or a matinee.
5. If at all possible, have sex. After all it is the weekend.
6. Lay off the liquor. Only if you want to lose weight, sleep well at night and/or feel good in the morning. Otherwise, have some.
7. Order first in a restaurant. If any one thinks you are rude for jumping in, maybe they're not good enough friends to be spending your weekends with.
8. Weigh yourself on both weekend mornings. Just so you are not in denial or delay-the-truth mode.
When was the last time you woke up on Monday feeling terrific and energized? If it's been a while, give this Survival Guide a try.
If you can start to manage your weekend eating, your Monday mornings will be something you might actually look forward to. And, you may also lose a pound or two.