You’ve spent all week diligently logging your food, counting your calories (or macros), and putting in work at the gym, so you decide to let loose on the weekends: a couple cocktails here, a slice or two of pizza there, dinners out, ordering in, and a trip to the frozen yogurt shop. It all may seem in the vein of “moderation” since you were so strict during the week, but these weekend treats and cheats can really hinder your weight-loss goals.
As personal trainer Max Weber (@maxweberfit) showed on an Instagram post, a couple days of indulging on the weekends can actually cause you to gain weight, even if you eat at a calorie deficit all week. In his post, he showed that if your body needs 2,200 calories a day to maintain weight, eating below that threshold (at about 1,700 calories a day) should lead to weight loss. However, if you spend three days going over by a thousand or so calories — Friday, Saturday, and Sunday — that puts you over your weekly average, which can cause weight gain.
Fortunately, you can combat the weekend distractions. “The first step is to be self-aware and PLAN AHEAD!!” Max wrote in his caption. He recommends fitting in extra cardio or a tough workout, controlling the portions of your favorite cheat foods, or eat even lower calorie during the week to compensate for the weekend’s extra calories. And since alcohol can lead to ingesting hundreds of empty calories and lower your inhibitions (i.e. ordering late-night pizza when you get home), he recommends limiting your alcohol intake.
These tips from Max make a lot of sense if you’re trying to lose weight. But that doesn’t mean you need to avoid all of your favorite foods and drinks altogether. If you follow the 80/20 rule, in which you eat clean, good-for-you whole foods 80 percent of the time and indulge in cheats and treats the other 20 percent, you can have flexibility and still lose weight. It’s a rule followed by Miranda Kerr and Jessica Alba.
“You can’t be 100 percent all of the time, but you can be 80 percent all of the time,” Yumi Lee, Jessica Alba’s trainer, told POPSUGAR. So be strategic about your indulgences, enjoy yourself, and still be on track with your weight-loss goals!