The Weekend Binge Pitfalls!

If only I had read more about this topic in my younger days then perhaps I wouldn’t have spent so many years wondering why my results were so limited! During my 20’s I pretty much spent most Saturday evenings out on the beer after playing rugby then most of Sunday slumped on the couch eating rubbish food. At that time of my life I believed that as my Monday – Friday diet was half decent, then I could pretty much each and drink what I wanted the entire weekend and still achieve beach body results. Safe to say I failed!

So, what are the pitfalls of weekend binging when applied to your health & fitness goals?

1) Apart from the massive hangovers that I suffered from each Sunday, my weekend antics also had an adverse reaction on a Monday. The combination of spiking blood sugar levels, dehydration and severe tiredness affected my mental focus at work as well as my energy levels at the gym that evening  

2) leading on from this point there is the danger of creating a resistance to insulin as a result of regular sugar and alcohol binges. Insulin is an important hormone used by the body to remove sugar from the blood stream and transfer it into our cells for energy. The danger is that the more regular the binges, the more insulin is then required to perform its tasks (a bit like long term regular coffee drinkers say that the caffeine does not affect them as much now compared to when they first started to drink coffee). In short, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes. 

3) Financially I would hate to think how much money I spent on drink and food binges over the years. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I wish that I had never drunk or eaten fast food, however back then if I were more aware of how much I was spending on binging then I would have certainly made some changes

4) In relation to a fat loss regime, a strategy of clean eating Monday- Friday and weekend binging will limit, if not, prevent positive results occurring. Fat loss regimes generally involve following a daily calorie deficit.

In this case meet John who follows a daily calorie deficit of 500 calories aiming to consume 1800 calories a day. By Friday, John has stuck to his 500 calorie deficit and has built up a 2,500 deficit for the week so far.

 Saturday comes and he’s out for the day starting off with a supersized english breakfast (2 sausage, 2 egg, 2 bacon, 2 hash browns, beans, mushrooms and a fried slice!). At lunch John meets up with mates for a pizza in town to watch the footy accompanied with a cheeky pint of lager to wash it down. Early evening he has a quick small meal (Sandwich & bag of crisps) before heading out on the town with the lads, sinking 4 pints of lager , 3 vodka cokes and 3 jaeger bombs. Finally on the way home he stops off at the kebab shop on the way home for a portion of chips and a can of fizzy pop.

Sunday morning John wakes up with a bit of a hangover so fancies some sugary cereal and toast in the morning. He then has some mid morning sugary snacks to keep him going. He then tucks into a nice hangover special Sunday roast with all the trimmings before a nice desert after. If he’s up to it he may have a cheeky glass or 2 of wine to go with it. Late evening he may have some more chocolate (as it’s the weekend!).

So, as a result of this weekend, John has easily eaten and drunk over his daily required calories let alone his deficit target, John’s weekly deficit no longer sits at 2500, he is now back to square one if not over his weekly calorie requirements, which means NO RESULTS!

5) Its important to consider the mental connotations of weekend binges including feelings of guilt for the following week. I often hear people say “right thats it!No more chocolate!” 

We generally associate weekend binging with cheat meals or cheat days. We assume that the foods and drinks that are categorised as cheat meals should only be eaten as a treat or after prolonged periods of dieting. The fact of the matter is that you can actually include the foods and drinks you enjoy into your weekly regime within reason and still see results. I’m a big believer in educating yourself and understanding what your body needs no matter what your health and fitness goals are. 
I personally combine various dieting techniques in my weekly regime including calorie counting, macro balancing, intuitive eating and sometimes intermittent fasting. I find a combination of these work for me but I have learned from mistakes along the way. I really believe that once you’re able to understand basic nutrition then the tools are in your hands to succeed long term rather than getting stuck in a yo yo cycle of poor dieting habits.

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