Are you a Weekday Dieter?

“Diet Starts Monday”

We have all said it at one point, or at least have known someone to say it, right? Many of us have no problem sticking to our diet Monday through Friday, drinking our gallon every day, and putting in the work in the gym. Then the weekend hits and your diet goes out the window, a treat meal turns into a treat day (or treat weekend), and Monday you’re right back at square one feeling guilty and lacking progress. If this sounds like you and your situation, it may be time to reflect and reassess your strategy.

You may be a “weekday dieter”. 

While going hard on the weekdays and allowing yourself more freedom on the weekends may seem like a good plan to keep yourself on track in the long run, in reality, it could be stunting your progress tremendously. Especially if on the weekends you completely go off the rails, which is what many people do. Weekly average matters much more than hitting daily numbers, and if you eat 1800 calories every day but spend two days consuming 3500 calories, you will end up pulling your body out of deficit and sabotaging your own results.

Let’s say two and a half days a week are spent eating whatever you want (assuming the free for all begins Friday night). That’s ten days a month, one hundred and twenty days a year, which equals four months. That means for a third of the year, you’re taking a break from your diet.

We all know that most great things in life are earned through hard work, and although social media may portray getting in the best shape of your life as easy or simple, it’s really not. If you’re truly serious about your fitness goals and making progress, it takes 100% dedication, grit, discipline, consistency, and some sacrifices (like your weekend donuts).

To add to this, often times the culprit for failed consistency and sustainability is over restricting. If you’re having one treat meal a week, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s when the treat meal turns into a treat day or spirals into a binge-fest and losing control. This is usually caused by restricting yourself so often and so much, that you feel the need to eat everything as if it’s not going to be there tomorrow, or eating it all at once because you start your diet again tomorrow.

When restriction becomes too much of a focus, people tend to look at things in terms of black and white. Certain food is either good or bad. You either succeeded in eating healthy or you blew it. You are going to follow your diet strictly, or completely eat whatever you want. This is often accompanied by attaching ethical value to food.       

One solution to this problem is to allow for flexibility and not be overly restrictive on a daily basis. You can try to fit reasonable portions of your favorite foods into your daily macronutrient intake. 

At the end of the day, if you’re trying to make serious progress on your health and fitness journey, it takes more than being good 66% of the time. If you can put in the work and consistency 80% of the time, and allow yourself 20% for treats and flexibility, overtime you will get there. Don’t spend a third of your year making food choices that continue to set you back. Make a plan, set realistic goals, and learn to control your treat meals.