During the week, you care for your nutrition like a boss. Your fridge and pantry are stocked with good food choices and because you lead a busy life you have food prepared. You eat when you’re hungry and might even be keeping an eye on portion sizes. You’re motivated to care about your health and performance, and eating well feeds positively into that loop. It’s “easy.”

From Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, you overeat like a boss. It starts with takeaways on Friday night—the gateway to the weekend—and continues with too much bad food until Sunday afternoon arrives. And you don’t stop on Sunday afternoon because it’s time to get ready for Monday, you stop because you feel horrible!

The cycle begins again on Monday, though, and as a result your body composition isn’t changing (or you’re putting on excess weight) and your fitness is stuck. How do you stop the yo-yo?

Here are three strategies to help.

Most of the time, cheats, excuses

Stop having cheats

A cheat gives you the feeling of doing something wrong. Because you’re allowing yourself the ‘cheat meal’ or ‘cheat day,’ you’re telling yourself that you won’t be able to have it again for a while—all week in this case. You therefore end up having too much of it.

If you allow yourself to eat what you want when you want, you may end up having some dessert in the week. And if you accept that as a choice you made it won’t be a cheat. You also won’t feel the need to make the most of it on the weekend.

Stop making excuses

We had a kids’ birthday party.

I didn’t eat enough at breakfast.

I didn’t have a treat all week.

There were no decent food options.

Excuses are merely you trying to justify your choices. It was your choice, no one forced the ice-cream down your throat! Accept and own the decisions you make by asking yourself why you’re doing it.

Are you overeating on the weekend because you’re hungry, stressed, or upset? When you understand why you’re doing something, it’s easier to manage your behaviour.

Eat well MOST of the time

By being so perfect during the week you are setting yourself up to binge over the weekend. All week you’ll be thinking “keep it strict because you’ll be able to have whatever you want on Friday night.” You’ll be like a kid in a candy store on Friday!

Eat well most of the time from Monday to Sunday. Have whatever else your heart desires SOME of the time.

Yes, none of these are magic ways to hack your dietary habits. They’re all based on changes to your mind set. Only you can change that.

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