Can you "cheat eat" on a long weekend and be healthy?

October 17, 2018

Healthy eating can seem a breeze during the week but when the weekend arrives it can feel like the wheels come off.

 

Does this resonate with you?

 

It doesn’t need to feel like this – in fact you can enjoy the foods you love on the weekend as well as be healthy without putting on weight.

 

It is possible to eat the food you like and still make progress over the weekend.

 

Falling off the wagon at the weekend is more common than you realise and so is feeling guilty about it.

 

Being healthy is no longer about being good it is about balance. It is actually very simple too.

 

Healthy eating needs to be simple so its sustainable and you can keep the balance without deprivation.

 

It can be very disheartening when Monday arrives and you feel like you’ve gone up in body weight from an indulgent weekend.  Keep in mind it isn’t body fat that has increased in two days – it is inflammation and fluid retention.

 

Your body does this as a safety mechanism because it is not use to the different types of foods when you may have been eating more health conscious during the week.

 

Your body responds to extremes so when you eat something high in salt, high in sugar or dry it creates inflammation counterbalancing your body to keep it safe.

 

Inflammation sends a message that your body is not comfortable with the change.

 

It then focuses on bringing your body back into balance as you return to healthier options during the week.

 

This process is tiring.

 

If you want to feel progress and lose weight. Good news – instead of your body balancing your inflammation you can eat foods that balance the foods that are less frequent.    

 

The following are a list of foods that can cause your body to bloat over the weekend and how you can balance them:

 

 

DRY CARBOHYDRATES

 

Dry carbohydrates are labelled 'dry' because they are low in water content and they are also made of flour in most cases.  It might be rice flour or gluten free flour however it is still flour and when it is mixed with water - like it does in your digestive system - it turns into a gluey sludge. 

 

This mixture acts like a sticky glue in your digestive system when it is unsupported with other foods that help beat your bloat.

 

Dry carbohydrates will make you feel hungrier than usual because they are digested and absorbed quicker than other foods.  They cause greater spikes in your blood glucose and this can increase the risk of a dip in energy in the afternoon.

 

SALTY FOOD

 

The handful of potato chips, crackers and breads that you like to have while sharing some drinks and a platter can tip the balance causing your body to retain fluid. 

 

Your fluid balance is determined by the balance of sodium and potassium in your body. It is the exchange of these two minerals that allow water to be absorbed into your cells.

 

When you eat foods that are too high in salt the body responds by retaining fluid. This can leave you feeling bloated and puffy.

 

ALCOHOL

 

Alcohol is a diuretic. This means that it causes your body to lose water indirectly by increased visits to the bathroom.

 

As a result your blood volume contains less water so it is harder for your heart to pump it around your body.

 

Your mind will look for instant energy foods to compensate such as dry carbohydrates (see above) and then the cycle continues. You can balance drinking alcohol infrequently so that the effects of it are minimized.

 

Cheat eating on the weekend only creates an imbalance and while it can be an effective way to trick your mind into being ‘good’ all week (so that you can relax in the weekend), it is not a healthy long term approach when you are eating from one extreme to the other.

 

Another way of putting it would be imagine if you were saving for a holiday and every time you had something come up you dipped into your savings account. Then you started saving again for a longer period of time. The total balance of your account will never grow very much because you were always taking it from one extreme to the other. Your body works in the similar way.

 

The best way to balance your eating on the weekend is use the science of satisfaction formula in two meals and then balance your other meal that contains the foods and drinks mentioned above.

 

The weekend consists of six meals (if you count Saturday and Sunday only) and six meals that potentially lack nourishment all in a row. Over time you can be taking five steps ahead during the week and six steps backwards in the weekend so you never feel like you are making progress.

 

During the last ten years I have help my clients find balance in their eating so that they didn’t need to follow a programme, diet or plan to get a result. It takes a little longer than a quick fad diet or shredding programme however your results are permanent. You also never need to yoyo with your eating again because you get best of both worlds and progressive results continuously.

 

The following are my top five tips to surviving the weekend eating:

 

  1. Choose which meal you want to relax with and choose two guilt free recipes for the other two meals.

  2. Minimise your caffeine drinks on a day that you are eating dry carbohydrates and alcohol because it adds to the effect of water loss.  Losing more water than you are absorbing can create sugar cravings and tiredness so the cycle of eating instant energy food continues.

  3. Eat a snack that is balance with protein and water content (I give you this with your personalised eating guide)

  4. Add foods to the platter that will boost your nutrients, fibre and water content such as veggies and fruit with protein dips.

If you are ready to end the battle of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ eating and put balance back into your healthy eating without missing the foods you love. Click here and join the guilt free food school 

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© 2018 The Guilt Free Nutritionist