T Nation

Blowing It on the Weekend


#1

So I'm trying to lose fat (and preserve muscle of course). I know how to do this, from a dietary stand point. And I do great during the week. But then the weekend rolls around and I blow it. I hang out with friends on Friday and Saturday usually and eat shitty and then by Sunday I say "!@#$ this" and top it off with something like a pizza. Then I start again on Monday.

I know what you're thinking: "don't do that". But I guess I'm looking for some tips or suggestions from people that have found ways to mitigate or avoid this kind of behavior.


#2

You go out drinking ? If so, dont drink, and take GHB

You go out eating? Prepare some protein shakes and almonds, and order a damn salad at the restaurant

You really want to drink? Have gin/soda

You really want to eat shitty? Than fuck off


#3

Ha! I like #4 best. I guess part of the problem is that I get cravings and they're a real struggle to fend off sometimes. Like last night, I really wanted pizza. I ate four hard-boiled eggs, a handful of cashews, and as much vegetables as I could stomach (I was really full), and I still sat there going "damn, pizza sounds so good". I didn't get pizza, so, happy ending, but it doesn't always end so well.

And at 2 in the morning, when my indiscretion is between me and the delivery guy, it's easy to cheat. Gah! I just need to get back in the habit of writing down everything I eat. Nobody likes staring at an itemized list of their dietary disaster.


#4

get a job that consumes your weekend nights (anywhere but a restaurant)


#5

Get better friends.


#6

well, you want to eat in a way that fits your psychological profile... I used to be similar to you. The easiest way to fix your problem is to not be so damn restrictive during the week. Are you eating enough carbs/calories during the week? Having any oats, potatoes, rice, etc? Simply don't deprive yourself so strictly during the week and you won't feel the need to stuff yourself unnecessarily on the weekend. And if you want to have a couple of slices of pizza during the week because someone ordered it for the house or something, then have at it. As you get used to this, you probably will still eat some pizza or whatever on the weekend because that's what normal people do (loosen up), but you won't feel the want or need to go on a weekend-long binge.

Try not to think about food so much and you'll feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulder.


#7

That's good advice, thanks Andy. I just started Paleo a couple of weeks ago. For the most part it's close to how I was already eating, but no quinoa/rice is tough, as is no cheese. Most of my carbs are coming from nuts, vegetables, and fruit. I have rice or potatoes in the PW window. I'll probably add quinoa back in eventually, as I tolerate it well and it's a great food. Not thinking about food is, unfortunately, what made me fat. Of course, obsessing in the other direction isn't great either.

(A typical day, when I'm behaving, is:
8oz chicken breast, 2 cups of veggies, ounce of nuts or half an avocado, piece of fruit
Shake (low-carb Metabolic Drive, banana, cup of strawberries, greens powder)
Workout
8oz beef, stir-fry, half a cup of rice
Shake (or some dried fruit and nuts if I'm not home)
3 eggs, 1-2 cups of veggies, ounce of nuts or half an avocado)

I realized, as I was typing that, that I eat a lot of nuts.


#8

You have to find a balance. Lyle wrote a good book called 'Flexible Dieting.'

Most people on T-Nation are never going to be IFBB pros, or even make any money in this sport. Don't let the pursuit of a dream you'll never reach make you pass up other opportunities or memories in life. Dante (DoggCrap) writes a lot on this subject.


#9

I can relate to your post because I have struggled with this in the past as well. I think the first problem is that you have friends with bad habits. So do I. So their idea of a good time is eating pub grub and drinking beer all night long. In fact, that sounds like a good time to me as well, but unfortunately it doesn't mix too well with a diet.

The biggest problem with alcohol isn't the calories from the alcohol itself, but the bad food decisions that follow it at 2am like you mentioned.

You could try only going out on Saturday nights instead of Friday and Saturday. This limits the damage you can do. And also don't go out to eat with your friends while you're on a diet, just go meet them for drinks after dinner. If you're going to have weekly "refeed" then have it on Saturday so you are plenty full and satisfied before going on drinking.

Also, as PB Andy mentioned, having a diet that is way too strict during the weekdays can be hard from a mental perspective. You get into a viscous circle where you binge on the weekends then feel like you have to overcompensate on your diet during the weekdays. Taking a more modest approach to the diet that gives you a big more flexibility during the week may make you less prone to binge on the weekends.


#10

Or, you reinforce bad habits more consistently so it's easier to keep doing them.

Depends on the mental makeup of the person in question.

I don't see what's so hard about grilling a bunch of food on a Thursday night and eating it on the weekend. Less work to pull something out of the fridge than to order a pizza/go to a fast food joint. If you keep your "cheating" to one dinner on Fri and one dinner on Sat (when you said you're out with friends) that's a big improvement over the current 60 straight hours of eating anything.

Before anyone jumps on me about hating on "cheat meals" my advice is answering OP's specific question, not a general recommendation that no one should ever eat out.


#11

Post of the decade.

I think a lot of people would be well served by following this advice.


#12

calypso15

If you want to preserve your body without completely ruining your social life then a good compromise can be made by:

  1. As others have mentioned you need to cut your partying to one night and not two in a row. Pick saturday night to go out, if you pick friday then you may be tempted to hit the town on saturday aswell.

  2. Leave it as late as possible before you meet your friends and eat a massive healthy meal beforehand.

  3. Drink vodka with diet soda for the whole night. Not nearly as shitty for you as beer and you wont have much of a hangover. If you get grief from your buddies just say you went to an allergist and found out you are highly allergic to beer (or simmilar excuse). Anytime I drink beer I feel like death the next day, never with clear spirits.

  4. Have a small healthy snack ready for when you get home. Lack of preparation is what usually leads to eating crap.

Follow these for minimum negative impact on your physique (and possible bulking effect from all the food!)


#13

Very well said!


#14

These are good tips. Beef jerky is a nice snack for me after a night of boozing. Also, google "the truth about alcohol and fat loss". The first article is a very interesting read.


#15

x2 for truth

i've done this in the past and i completely regret it


#16

why dont you try the anabolic diet?


#17

Great advice, thanks guys. Only going out one night on the weekend seems reasonable and doable. I usually have something (non-party-ish) going on at least one of the days, but during the summer things get all weird.

@ethanwest - I'll try being a little more relaxed during the week and see if that makes me less prone to weekend binges. Also, interesting article.

@supa power - The lack of preparation definitely contributes to the problem. "Failure to prepare is preparing to fail", as they say. I like the jerky idea.

@MAF14 - No reason? I wasn't aware of it, but looking it over it seems reasonable. I'd probably choose some leaner meats than what it's talking about. Is that considered a type of carb-cycling?


#18

I'd deff give the anabolic diet a try. It's just constant progression, start off 1 week clean, re-feed and then try and beat it by any progressive increment whether it be a day, 2 days but preferably a week. I'm 20 years old so I know how it can be, but eventually it's only habit. People will always ask me what diet I'm on and the answers always the same "I'm not on any diet, this is how I eat, 365 days a year. year in, year out" It's a lifestyle. I read a great article on Poliquins' site that talks about the myth of discipline. It talks about how discipline's a load of crap and it's about love and what you want more. You have to decide what you love and want more. Not that I'm that obsessive because I've come to the realization that at the end of the day I'm just a guy at the local gym with. But it deff helps when I'm tempted to eat something crappy or cheat to go "What do I want more crappy food or single digit bf?" You'll quickly make the right choice. As for drinking, the same as diet. Drink once on the weekend, then try and go 2 weeks, then 3 weeks, eventually down to once a month. That's alcohol 12 x a year. I barely ever drink myself, but for college student to drink 12 x a year is pretty good compared to most.


#19

I like your whole progressive increment idea, its a great concept.

For me it's simple, I don't drink soda, alcohol, etc. If my friends didn't accept me for the goals that I want to make and the lifestyle I CHOOSE then they really shouldn't be my friends. But if you need to eat pizza and drink soda's with your buds then you can always make a "better" decision..Instead of getting a chicago deep dish pizza get a thin crust pizza with some ham on it or something..or if you gotta drink pop get a diet coke or diet pepsi or whatever.


#20

Been there as well, and thankfully have realized this while I'm young enough to have it not matter.

2 days of partying is not fucking up 5 days of dieting, but with that being said, just be smart about what you are doing...Drink diet mixed drinks when out....If you know you'll be eating some shit after you get back from drinking adjust the cals from earlier in the day.

I only train M-F and leave the weekends as a time to go out and have fun and party....Still be able to get leaner doing this every weekend and make a lot of progress in the gym as well. Just be honest with yourself and make sure those 5 days that you're nailing the diet are truly 5 days of kicking ass in the gym and kitchen.

Live it up.