How to Stop Binge Eating on Weekends
Feeling out of control on the weekends is a really popular concern from people.
One of the biggest things I would see with clients is that they would hold it down during the week… only for things to get really messy, really fast on the weekends. Especially for individuals who love being super active. Most active individual have maintenance calories well beyond ~1800-2100+ calories per day, if not substantially more. If we’re consistently eating below our maintenance calories all week long and/or working out excessively, it makes sense that it might be tough to keep yourself from falling face-first into donuts, tacos, chips/guacamole, and fun foods on the weekends with friends.
If I gave a client example, I had someone who hired me eating 1,500-1,600 cals/day. They were following a competitive CrossFit program + CrossFitting 2+ hours a day, 5 days a week. Every weekend without a fail, they’d end up feeling out of control and bury themselves in pizza and ice cream. Over time, we worked up to ~2,500-2,600 calories a day. And the weekend “binges” magically stopped happening. Why? Because they were finally eating enough food for their activity levels and actually recovering from their workouts (Note: we did also drop their exercise/activity down dramatically. Imagine working out less, eating more food, and looking/feeling better – funny how that works).
A lot of times, I see suggestions from coaches to “pre-plan” // “pre-log” your weekends. And while I appreciate the thought, I’m not sure it’s realistic nor healthy for us to be meticulously tracking everything that goes into our mouth 24/7/365 either.
How to Avoid Binge Eating on Weekends
This goes both ways:
- It might be helpful to have regular untracked meals (or untracked days) each week
- The way we approach nutrition should likely be relatively consistent every day of the week (whether tracking our food or not)
- You should be having food you enjoy regularly, whether it’s a weekday or weekend. The best way of eating is the one we enjoy and can consistently adhere to
- Subscribing to “cheat meals” and “cheat days” is likely surefire to have a terrible relationship with food.
- Want pizza and beer? Have pizza and beer. Just maybe consider drinking water and eating a vegetable, too