What sort of results would you expect to enjoy if you put in a good effort 48% of the time?
With business? With child raising? In your relationship?
Oh, AND of course with your nutrition – for a 48% focus – your results would be…
Fairly average right?
Now I’ve never been great at math however I know that a weekend of reckless eating is a guaranteed way to eradicate any progress you made during the week.
A normal weekend may start Friday night and last Saturday and Sunday.
(at 3 meals a day that’s 7/21 or ONE THIRD of your meals sacrificed to reckless weekend mode)
=> If you skip a meal that is NOT a good thing. It absolutely does NOT ‘cancel out’ the burger and fries you had after that skipped meal! My math counts 1 skipped meal + 1 crap-o-la meal = 2 crap-o-la fuel for your body meals. Because I see meals as a chance to Give your body great fuel.
However, a LOVELY LONG WEEKEND (as we just celebrated here in the land of Aus) can account for 10/21 meals in reckless weekend mode. That equates to a MASSIVE 48% of meals at the mercy of your weekend guidelines.
What are your weekend guidelines?
It’s Ok, I’m not insisting that you enforce UNfun rules and restrictions on yourself.
There is way to much joy to be had from great food and sharing great food with awesome company. However setting yourself some guidelines to HELP you consistently make the choices that do not derail all the effort you made during the week is super useful.
Here’s a taste of my weekend guidelines:
(If Monday to Friday is all about the best quality fat blasting, muscle supporting, energy giving fuel… then the weekend is my time for a little ‘relaxing’ rather than an all out revolt)
=> Zero refined carbs Monday to Friday relaxes to my fav refined carbs on the weekend.
For me that’s BREAD…. glorious bread. For you it may be pasta or chocolate or whatever you most LOVE.
=> Zero dairy Monday to Friday used to relax to *cheese on the weekend.
Not a whole block of brie or a tub of ice-cream just some ricotta and mozzarella here and there. If I felt like yogurt instead I’d enjoy it – however not a dairy-fest at every single weekend meal.
*that was when I was vego, now I eat 100% plant based I might eat vegan cheese occasionally on the weekend – you get the idea though!
=> One fairly massive treat/cheat meal.
It’s generally Sunday breakfast into Sunday morning tea. Any more than that, with my huge appetite and potential to demolish vast quantities in a single sitting is really going to undo some of the progress I’ve made during the week. It also messes with my head.
This is individual, you may not give yourself grief for eating non-ideal food all day or All Weekend however I do and it’s not worth the hassle to me. I’d prefer to enjoy – guilt free – and then cruise back into my relaxed weekend guidelines before powering onwards with my best quality fuel first thing Monday.
Here I cover: How To Make Cheat Days Work For You
Have you noticed you crave what you eat?
I used to be a carb-Queen. I loved carbs and I loved carbs in conjunction with fatty, salty (engineered to be as ADDICTIVE AS POSSIBLE) foods. I guess I would still love carbs if I ate them 6+ times a day as I used to however the funny (and awesome) thing is now I crave lean protein and Yes even green veg because that’s what I eat the most of.
To make healthy weekend guidelines as easy as possible on yourself here are 3 keys:
=> Acknowledge that a bad habit is easier to create than a good habit. So if it’s not something you want to continue then don’t do it more than once. The soy latte one day instead of a long black is an enjoyable little once off… however as soon as I get it again the following day it magically becomes about a million times harder to resist the third day… can your relate? If only throwing in some interval training after my weights was equally as easy a habit to build or 20minutes of video practice a day OR whatever it may be for you.
The fact is bad habits are easy to make and hard (on your health) to keep so fight for those hard to make and easy to keep good habits.
=> Beware of the right-off effect. That’s when you have a big demolish session of feasting that leaves you thinking “this day-Weekend-WEEK is a right-off anyway now so I’ll just start again tomorrow-next week-next month-at a better time.” That is absolute rubbish. You’re lying to yourself… and falling victim to excuse-i-tis.
Today is always the best time to ensure your very next meal or very next work-out is propelling you towards your health goal.
=> Ensure your home is a lethal left-overs free zone. Those leftovers are telepathic. They will talk to you from the fridge or pantry. They are insistent and near impossible to deny. The only solution is to ensure lethal leftovers are not allowed to live at your house. Buy the perfect portions or send them home with your guests or even throw them out… if you’re stronger than me perhaps you can freeze your lethal leftovers so they’re not quite so easy to grab.
If it’s in your home, you will eat it – perhaps not now – however it is always a temptation, waiting for that time when you’re tired/stressed/sad/procrastinating or your Daily Discipline Quota is all used up.
Your weekend is the perfect opportunity to prepare for an ideal fat burning week to come.
How frustrating is it to start the week feeling like you’re playing catch-up? A weekend of poor quality food, too little sleep, too much alcohol, a sad looking fridge/pantry and not much inclination to face your Monday morning eating and exercising schedule. That’s something I really like to avoid. In contrast, it only takes 2-3 hours to plan and prepare your week to come and power into it focused and energised.
How to plan your ideal fat burning week:
=> Have a solid general idea of the meals you will be consuming and do a big shop for the primarily one ingredient foods you’ll need… and ALSO a big cook up of freezable meal bases like frittata, baked veg or veggie patties/burgers/casserole etc.
Here I wrote about: How To Avoid Supermarket Sabotage.
It really does not take that much time/effort once you have regular go2meals that are quick and easy to prepare.
Taking the time now to come up with your own go2meals will save you time, money, and frustration in the future by ensuring you don’t find yourself resorting to the unplanned-convenient-yet-crap-o-la food option.
Some of my old vego go2dinners:
1. 150gm of snapper or barramundi cooked with olive oil, chilli, sea salt and coriander served with kale/brussel crisps and zucchini+mushrooms stir-fried with pesto.
2. A big leafy salad, topped with avocado, then steamed cruciferous veg (like cauliflower or broccoli), then baked veg. Followed by an egg white and protein powder omelette. Recipes here:
3. A hearty frittata/omelette.
Some of my current plant based go2dinners:
=> Commit to the set days, times and type of training you’re doing. Include a fall back plan if your first choice is weather dependant or relies on another person.
I recommend doing something (even if it’s just a 30 minute walk) 6 days a week.
That means you have one scheduled ‘rest day’ and you remove the potential for any “will I, won’t I?” self negotiation on every other day.
=> Get to bed at least 7 hours before your ideal time to get up (not that “I’m rushing and can’t eat breakfast” time!). Sleep is the most important set up for your best week. If you wake up rested and refreshed it’s that much easier to give your body the great fuel and exercise it deserves. In turn you get to start your day and your week feeling positive that you just made a good decision for your body. It’s a reference point for success to focus and build on.
The recency rule states that it’ll also be that much easier tomorrow to: get to bed on time => get up on time => eat well => and exercise… rather than the reverse.
If you’ve been noticing your weekends are the catalyst for a down-ward spiral in focus and in results then I hope theses guidelines are useful. As with everything health and weight loss it’s important to move at your own pace. I’m sharing what works well for me and for my goal, however that doesn’t mean it’ll all be the perfect fit for you.
The important thing is a genuine commitment to always make that next little refinement.
To improving each day – not to compete with anyone else – purely to discover what works best for you and your body.