At War with the Weekend

As the weather gets nicer and I’m spending more time outside, I’m also spending more time socializing. With alcohol. And food. And while I am basically a hermit during the week, weekends are completely different. I am currently at war with the weekend.

Since going away for my college reunion in April, I’ve spent my weekends drinking margaritas and eating delicious (and unhealthy) food with friends. While I haven’t actually gained much weight, I haven’t lost any either. I’ve been yo-yoing around that 50lb milestone that I’ve been dying to get past. Okay, maybe not dying… but you know what I mean.

I’m still doing Noom and like with any diet my motivation has had its ups and downs. My sister is also doing Noom. And our strong desire to drink on outdoor patios must be inherited (thanks Mother) because it seems we’re fighting the same battle.

Weekdays are three steps forward, and weekends are two steps back.

We’ve both talked to our Noom coaches and it seems that our portion control in the presence of peers (yes I did all those P words on Purpose) goes completely out the window! Exhibit A: Last weekend, thanks to my social setting and being severely intoxicated, four slices of pizza at 11:00 pm seemed like the best choice. Of course, that lead to next day rationalization of cake, a burger, chips, and a donut, followed by giving into fried chicken cravings. Obviously I felt like crap Sunday night and could only go to bed after chugging pepto bismol. I was not talking body that night.

I know that this is the reason my weight has yo-yoed. And I know it’s something I need to work on – especially if I want to reach my goal weight. And this is why I’m at war with the weekend.

So I’ve done some searching around the interwebs, and here’s what I learned…

1. It’s a Habit

The first article I found was How I quit weekend overeating by Krista Scott-Dixon of Precision Nutrition. It’s obviously a thought leadership piece for the company and ends a bit more self promotional that I had hoped, but she raises a few good points. Straight from the start she says:

In my world, weekend overeating (and over-boozing) was ‘just what people did.’

Something I can totally relate to. I’ve mentioned before how I never used to think about what I was consuming, especially in college where everyone was just eating and drinking whatever. While the winter may have put that behavior on pause, social situations bring about the exact mindless, go with the flow, “when in Rome” behavior that inspires me to make food and drink decisions that I might not have made alone or in a different environment.

Krista goes on to discuss five strategies that worked for her to break the habit. But my biggest take away was that this behavior is a habit. I’m used to having more than one or two drinks when I go out. I’m used to late night snacks when I get the munchies. But I just because I’m used to something doesn’t mean it’s good. Somehow my internal clock recognizes that it’s the weekend and time to break all the rules. Luckily habits can be broken! And habits that leave you feeling uncomfortable, bloated, and guilty should be broken.

2. It’s NOT Healthy

I was looking for another resource backed by research, and I found How Much Damage Can I Do At The Weekend After Being Healthy All Week? on MoveBlog (which I think is Move Great Britain, but couldn’t quite figure it out). Of course what first caught my eye was the universal truth of…

…it’s pretty hard to think about our goals when a G&T dangles before us!

Can I get an Amen?!

I’ve never quite understood how a dozen oysters could turn into an order of truffle fries and a trip to Tasty Burger after three gin and tonics…

So the author, Laura, explains that cheat days and weekend carbs can be beneficial to overall fat loss because it prevents your body’s leptin levels from falling too low. Leptin is a hormone that “regulates energy balance by inhibiting hunger” (Noom recently taught me about the different hormones that have an impact on hunger and cravings, etc.). BUT she explains that this benefit doesn’t exist when alcohol becomes involved because it has the opposite effect – making you hungry.

But almost more alarming, a “repeated cycle of eating healthily in the week and bingeing on junk food every weekend” can damage your gut health. And due to complexities around cells, your gut plays a role in metabolism. Between you and me, I’m in no place in my weight loss journey to risk screwing up my already slow metabolism! I better stock up on Kombucha stat!

3. Chances are… It’s Water Weight

Looking for some tips, I stumbled upon Weekends are Killing Your Diet, 5 Steps to Fix it in Ask Fitness Coach. While it’s probably not a site I’d seek out normally, in addition to some steps to end the war, the author presented some cold, hard facts. That I found more enlightening than the steps…

The body stores about 2-3 grams of water per gram of glycogen.

Nice! No wonder I’m 5lbs lighter by Tuesday!

Basically glycogen is carb storage. So the more carbs you eat, the more water the body stores. Yay water weight! Easy to lose. Except maybe I’m alone here, but despite what I tell myself about the hydrating properties of vodka sodas, the amount of water I drink on the weekends is nothing compared to the two or three giant water bottles I consume everyday during the week. So that crampy, chapped lips, swollen hands feeling is just my body storing water to deal with the four pieces of pizza I ate! Lovely. I’m bloated AND severely dehydrated #thanksalcohol #thankscarbs

So if you’re struggling with weekend weight loss, I’m right there with you. And so is my sister (she’s probably going to be mad at me for writing about her lol). I’ve decided this weekend (I’m writing this Saturday morning) I’ll be more mindful, and make food and drink decisions that help me progress. Pepto bismol is no longer an option.

Feel free to comment and share weekend war stories or offer some of your own insights or advice!

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