Do you crush your nutrition & exercise goals Monday through Friday and then unravel by the weekend? If so, you may be stuck in the “Weekend Warrior” trap! As a nutrition coach, this is an all too common barrier keeping us from our goals.
It’s easy to fall into the weekend warrior mindset. We work hard all week and our society views the weekend as a time to unwind, to let our hair down, and to either have a lazy day at home OR fill our days with socialization, birthday parties, and soccer tournaments. Routine gives us a sense of control, and we don’t always have that set schedule like we do during the work week.
If you find this is YOU: doing great during the week and then unraveling Friday night at dinner, I am here to help you. It’s so vital for progress going forward that you stick to the game plan even on the weekends. Every day that you hit your numbers is another day of momentum-building.
(Note: There are plenty of times, such as maintenance, that a consistency of 5/7 days per week is totally acceptable! Read all about maintaining in the summer here.)
What are your barriers?
The only way to become more consistent and make the weekends run as smoothly as the weekdays is to figure out what your barriers are. What’s blocking you? What is about the weekends that makes it hard for you to hit your numbers? Are you going into the weekend with an empty fridge and no prepped food? Are you on the go too much? Do your weekend habits include eating out all the time? Drinks with your spouse? Sleeping in too late and feeling like you’re stuffing food in? Do you know what you are willing to sacrifice to stick to your goals? Change comes from being aware of what we need to do differently. It may be time to analyze what’s getting in your way!
Where is your mindset at? Is it aligned with your goals and who you want to be?
Where is your mindset Friday night? Are you feeling run down and stuck in the loop of always “failing the weekend”? Are you being too restrictive during the week with food choices and coming into Friday feeling deprived? Are you relying on food and alcohol as a means to relax and destress after a long week? Do you believe that you don’t have the discipline to stick to your macros on the weekend? ? Do you not feel confident with estimating macros when out at a restaurant? If any of these ring true to you, it may be a great time for you to work on your mindset and see how it may be affecting your actions. Talk with your coach, your spouse/partner, a friend, or journal your thoughts and feelings.
The weekends: You can’t completely wing it.
I get it, weekends are hard. All I want to do is sleep in and forget all of my parental duties, but my kids won’t let me! Come Friday at lunchtime, having a plan for Friday night through Sunday is a MUST. This does NOT need to be some rigid plan, but you need to ask yourself:
- What food am I going to eat? Do I need to do a quick grocery store order?
- What are our family plans? How does that impact my typical food and exercise schedule?
- What habits can I maintain during the weekend so I am proud of my commitment to my goals come Monday morning?
As Coach Courtney discussed in a previous blog and S.O.S, being selective and not restrictive is needed. This may mean sacrificing drinks and some meals out if you have body composition goals. We can’t eat and drink recklessly every weekend and expect results. This is the reality of wanting something. I often sacrifice sitting on the couch Saturday morning drinking coffee to prepare a few meals for myself to have on hand for the next few days. Some weekends will be a “memories over macros” where you don’t even consider weighing and logging our meals, but for long term success, figuring out how to conquer the weekends is a must.
Failure is part of the process. Not every weekend will be easy. But if you go into the weekend with a PLAN, the right mindset, and a fridge full of food, getting out of the weekend warrior trap is possible.
Better than before
The best part about macros is that we don’t need to strive for perfection to see results. We just need to do a little better than yesterday…and a little better than last week. Maybe that means eating 2 pieces of pizza with the family along with a chicken salad instead of your usual 4 slices. Or estimating your restaurant dinner and being OKAY with that estimation.
My Practical Tips:
- Have a PLAN and talk with your spouse/partner about the weekend
- Schedule in your workouts + walks.
- Have some easy/go to meals ready Friday night for the weekend: Frozen leftovers, precooked chicken sausages, rotisserie chicken, etc.
- Try to stick with the same meal schedule that you follow during the week.
- If you’re on the go a lot, check out this blog for tips to pack a cooler for success
- If going out to a restaurant, preplan as much as you can. Search for the restaurant or a similar chain in MFP and estimate a meal in. Read HERE for more tips on hitting your macros while eating out.
If you are still struggling, please bring this up to your coach during your next check in! We’d love to hear how you handle the weekend – the good and the bad – and if you have any additional tips or areas you’d like support on! We love to keep the communication open!
If you liked this post you might also like Eating out and Macro Counting.