Everyone has a certain food or meal that they love. Pizza, pasta, ice-cream, chocolate – the list goes on.
It’s not uncommon to hold off on your favourite meal until you can relax at the end of the week and tuck into a massive pizza. Or maybe you put together an extravagant bowl of ice-cream while you watch a movie.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with eating these foods. They can definitely fit into a healthy lifestyle. The problem lies with the amount you eat and the habits you’ve created.
Often you don’t just eat until satisfied. You don’t stop when you’re full. You push past that point and eat for that sake of eating.
You held off all week and now you don’t want to waste the only time you’ll get to eat your favourite food.
So you binge.
You eat and eat and eat until you can’t anymore, and then you regret it instantly. Wait a week and then repeat it all over again.
This causes your progress to come to a screeching halt and can even send you backwards. It often doesn’t matter how good you’ve been during the week; you can undo it all in 1 day if left unchecked.
Let’s be clear though – does 1 bad day ruin your progress? No, just like 1 good day doesn’t make you achieve all your goals. But if you’re doing it every weekend, that’s 52 days that are ruining your progress, not just 1.
That’s why it can be helpful to include some of your favourite foods into your week. Rather than living off chicken and broccoli until Saturday and then gorging yourself on pizza and ice-cream all day, you might include smaller portions of your favourite foods throughout the week.
This can really help to stop the binging on the weekend and help you to see the other values of food. It helps you to see how food makes you feel and how you can enjoy food without destroying your stomach.
It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach.
Now, if you take the same amount of food you eat on that 1 ‘binge day’ and spread it across your entire week, will it change your results?
No, your calories are still the same for the whole week in this instance. And you definitely can’t fit these foods into your week and then go and binge on the weekend as well. This isn’t a “Jake said I can eat this during the week AND on the weekend” scenario.
But what it does do is help to create a better relationship with food. You’ll find that because you’re working it into your lifestyle, you don’t want to stuff yourself and make yourself feel gross. You don’t want to eat to excess. You don’t have an all-or-nothing approach.
You can now enjoy a small pizza and be content. You can enjoy a small piece of chocolate, not the whole block. It’s now 1 meal or snack out of the day, not the whole day ruined.
I found this especially helpful and effective when I was tracking my food. I knew how many calories I needed for the week, and I planned them accordingly.
If I had eaten pretty good during the week, I would have more calories leftover on a Saturday so I could enjoy a few beers and maybe a burger.
If I had sprinkled some of those foods into my week, there was less room on the weekend and I ate accordingly.
Whether you track your food or not, the principle is still the same – don’t leave yourself primed for a massive, unplanned binge every week. If you find that you’re perfect Mon-Fri but poor on the weekend, change something up. Sprinkle in some of your favourite foods during the week and be more controlled on the weekend.