Now even if you don’t live in North America, feedback from TT readers all over the world show that one of the biggest problems you have with your fat loss program is weekend nutrition.
So I’ve written out the perfect plan for overcoming diet destruction. All you have to do is use these tips and you’ll lose fat and live guilt-free this weekend.
#1 – Shop Now
Buy your groceries before the weekend so that you have the right foods in your house (or in your cooler if you are going to the beach).
Use the PSP system…and I don’t mean PlayStation.
I mean: Plan-Shop-Prepare.
As with anything in life, the more you prepare beforehand to overcome obstacles, you will have a better chance of staying on track.
#2 – Plan Your Reward Meals
Plan when you will have your reward meals/cheat meals. Stick to that schedule. If you know that you are going to cousin Joey’s on Sunday afternoon to feast on his award-winning cookout ribs, then don’t plan an all-you-can-eat pancake-n-bacon buffet on Sunday morning with your ol’ fraternity brother, Bluto Blutarsky.
By the way, if you find that you just can’t stop eating, cut yourself off by going for a walk, brushing your teeth, chewing gum, or simply throwing the junk food in the garbage where it belongs.
A reward meal means ENJOY, not binge-eating to the point where you feel bad. We don’t need that…we want to enjoy eating and living the healthy way instead. Stay strong!
#3 – Stick to the Fat Loss Foundation Diet whenever possible
Whenever possible, choose fruits, vegetables, and raw nuts as your snacks and as the foundation of your meals. Make sure to buy and then pack these for your trips.
If you don’t have good food, you’re going to eat junk. Obvious, right?
But if you at least pack the basics, chances are you’ll make the right choice at least a few times, therefore reducing your diet mistakes and decreasing your feelings of guilt.
Stick to the basics of getting enough sleep and water as much as you can. Obviously when you are on vacation you’ll get out of your schedule, I understand, so that’s why the next tip is so important.
#4 – Start the day right
Reward meals are best left for BBQ dinners, so make sure that you start the day on track with a good breakfast and stick to your fat loss nutrition plan as long as possible. No need to pig-out at breakfast when you know you’ll be around the campfire making S’mores at night time.
Pick your diet battles – breakfast shouldn’t be one of them.
#5 – Have REALISTIC expectations
Listen, whenever I make a “to do” list a mile long, and I only get through half of it, I feel bad – even if I managed to get a lot done. That’s because I’ve set unrealistic expectations for myself.
And the same goes for your weekend rafting trip or weekend down at the Jersey Shore.
If you think that you’re going to eat organic greens at every meal, you’re fooling yourself and you’ll be disappointed and on a guilt trip all weekend rather than a vacation.
So again, use the PSP system. Plan, shop, and prepare – both in terms of buying the right food, but also prepare MENTALLY for what is REALLY going to happen this weekend.
Accept that you’ll have a few more calories than normal…that’s ok, and might even be good for you…and then just get ready to get back on track as soon as you are back home and in control of where and what you eat.
#6 – Stay as active as possible
Be a kid again. Look at how they run around at the beach, rather than sitting around reading magazines. Join in their games. Don’t just lounge around sipping boozy drinks and gossiping all day. A little of that is fine, but get your butt off the lawn chair for a few hours each day.
Go for a hike. Play frisbee. Or do some odd jobs around the house or cottage. For example, I love chopping wood. If you ever have me up to your cottage, just give me an axe and I’ll keep myself busy for hours (also make sure your 1st-aid kit is up to date, thanks).
And here are just a few other fun ways to burn calories this weekend:
– Backyard Badminton = 300 calories per hour
– Shooting hoops = 300 calories per hour
– Basketball game with the youngsters = Up to 500 calories per hour
– Moderate cycling = Up to 600 calories per hour
– Bodyweight exercises = Up to 600 calories per hour
– Canoeing = 400-600 calories per hour
– Turbulence Training = 10,000 calories per hour (Ok, maybe not that much…)
– Coaching your kid’s sports = Up to 300 calories per hour
– Lawn darts = 200 calories per hour
– Fishing = 200 calories per hour (more if you are wading in stream)
– Frisbee tossing = 200 calories per hour
– Golf (carrying clubs) = 350 calories per hour
And even if your activity doesn’t burn a ton of calories, you’ll be keeping your hands busy and out of the food, and that is often half the battle when it comes to fat loss.
So use your body for what is meant for – moving – rather than a garbage disposal for junk food.
#7 – Hang with the right people
This is HUGE. If you hang around folks who eat a bag of chips before roasting up a round of hot dogs while drinking a 6-pack of beer, you’re in a heap of trouble.
But if you spend your holiday weekend with folks who want to play in the water, throw the football around instead of sitting inside, and simply stay active while eating moderately, you will be healthier, fitter and leaner, of course.
#8 – Beat the booze
If you’re like me, you might end up at a friend’s house on Saturday night to watch the UFC fight between Lesnar and Carwin. Should be an epic battle.
Of course, that means junk food and booze. Here’s a good plan for you – not only for Saturday, but for any event that involves alcohol.
First, eat a real meal before that fits your fat loss plan. That means protein, fiber, healthy fats, and water. Could be salmon with a sweet potato and broccoli.
Second, go to your friend’s house and take some raw cashews or roasted pistachios.
Third, take beer. Frankly, it doesn’t matter if it’s light beer or not. If you’re going to drink it, take the kind you like. Choose beer (or wine) instead of mixed drinks. A beer or glass of wine contains up to 150 calories, but a mixed drink contains 150 calories from alcohol PLUS whatever mix you add in. So it could be double, triple, or more calories from mixed drinks.
Fourth, alternate between beer and water. So drink one beer, then get a giant glass of water and don’t drink your next beer till you finish it. Snack on the nuts you brought rather than the pizza, chips, or whatever else is sitting around.
Fifth, walk home or get a cab. Arrive alive, my friend!
Alternatively, ignore the above and schedule this as a reward meal/cheat meal night…but don’t overdo it unless you want to feel guilty in the morning.
#9 – Decide what you want more
In the end, your success comes down to this one simple decision:
Figure out what you want more.
Do you want the chips more than a flat stomach? If yes, then eat chips and don’t feel guilty. If the answer is “NO! I want a flat stomach more than I want a stupid handful of potato chips!”, then good news, you won’t eat the chips.
As much as it is Planning-Shopping-Preparation, it’s all about the right mindset. You must be committed.
And if you think that it’s just “easy for you to say, Craig”, well, the truth is that I’ve seen TOO MANY success stories from all walks of life to believe in any excuses.
I truly believe that YOU can do it.
Just take a look at all of the Turbulence Training Transformation Success Stories here:
There’s someone from every age group, every gender, every family type (from Mom’s of 3 to single gals, to men over 60 and guys who needed to lose 33 pounds in just 12 weeks).
Read their success stories. It will give you the inspiration you need to believe in yourself.
I love reading those stories, but I don’t need to read them again right now because I ALREADY believe in you.
#10 – Relax, it’s mostly water weight
When you come back from your weekend and see that the scale has gone up, don’t panic. If you consume more calories, carbohydrates, and sodium on the weekend, you’ll also retain more water in your muscles and under your skin.
Weekend weight gain is mostly water. Of course, if you really overate, you will have gained some fat, but not 5 pounds of fat – not in a single weekend.
After all, as you know, it takes 3500 calories to store a pound of fat. And there are 540 calories in a Big Mac. So to gain a pound, you’d have to overeat by the equivalent of over SIX Big Macs…and to gain 5 pounds in a long weekend, you’d have to overeat your needs by the equivalent of over 30 Big Macs.
That’s really tough to do. So relax…and wait to weigh yourself until Wednesday…that’s when you’ll get a more accurate measure.
Hope that helps you stick to your transformation this weekend!
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training
PS – I guarantee that Turbulence Training will work for you.
Try it out for a buck for 21 days. If you don’t think it’s working, just let me know and you won’t pay a penny more.
Give it a try, and let me know how it goes.