No one gets in shape eating one healthy meal. Just like no one gets fat on one cupcake. What matters, in the long run, is consistency.
Friday night. It's been a tiring week. Kunal drives home and orders beer and pizza. He savours them over his favourite Netflix series.
Saturday. He wakes up much later than usual and skips breakfast. The evening melts into a night out with friends, as usual. The parties are full of platters of carbohydrate-overloads and alcohol, as usual.
Sunday. He wakes up late again and spends a lazy day at home. Come evening, though, Kunal is back to his ultra-healthy fitness mode. He shops and preps for his strict diet. The weekend shenanigans are the furthest thing from his mind.
Rest of the week. He wakes up early, goes to the gym for an hour, eats his meals on time and religiously sticks to his diet.
By next Friday night he is back to undoing the efforts of the week.
No wonder, he is struggling to lose weight. He knows his weekends are sabotaging his fitness goals. But how can he avoid partying with friends? How can he avoid alcohol? He can't possibly carry his healthy food to social dos! What can he do?
Why does it have to be ‘all or nothing’?
No one gets in shape eating one healthy meal. Just like no one gets fat on one cupcake. What matters, in the long run, is consistency. Setting super-tight dietary boundaries on weekdays triggers negative hunger responses in our minds. It snowballs into binges on weekends.
Instead of trying to follow a ‘perfect’ plan, you can choose to eat mindfully. On a weekday, if you crave pizza, have one slice along with a salad. That's better than eating a whole one by yourself over the weekend.
The concept of cheat days doesn’t work, practice moderation. Binging is extremely counterproductive. Instead, be mindful of what you eat. Adopt the strategies we discussed in last week's column.
Alcohol calories count!
Weekends are synonymous with alcohol. Alcohol derails your efforts to stay in shape. Calories in alcohol are preferentially metabolised by the body. Hence it slows down fat metabolism. Not to mention, alcohol impairs judgement. Your eating behaviour becomes problematic while drinking. Eat high-protein starters and pan-grilled vegetables before and with drinks. Salted peanuts and high-carbohydrate foods are a no-no. Avoid high-sugar cocktail mixers.
If you overeat once, it’s okay. Don’t try to overcompensate by starving yourself the rest of the week. It will just lead to another binge day. Remember, you cannot out-exercise a bad diet. You have to prioritise your long-term goals over chaotic indulgences. Don’t sweat it. If you want it bad, you will achieve balance over a period of time.