Overeating on weekends? 5 tips to kick the habit

A whole week's hard work and discipline in the gym can be ruined if you indulge in sinful eating for all meals during the weekend. Photo: iStock/nicoletaionescu

Many of us struggle with the weekend binge eating habit, on our journey to a fitter body. A whole week's hard work and discipline in the gym can be ruined if you indulge in sinful eating for all meals during the weekend. At times, it can also affect your motivation to continue eating healthy the next week. if you want to make sure your diet plan isn't screwed up on Saturday and Sunday without ruining the weekend fun vibe, here are a few tips to follow:

A cheat 'meal' over a cheat day
A cheat meal, once a week won't hamper your fitness routine, much. However, make sure that you work hard during the week to deserve the weekend cheat meal. The human brain craves reward, and your cheat meal can be a lot satisfying if you can show yourself your fitness achievement earned through hard work, over the week. Put enough thought into the cheat meal and make sure you eat it mindfully, taking time, so that you don't feel it was over in a snap. Also, make sure the portion size is justified.

Keep a food journal
A weekend food journal can help you track what's going into your tummy, while in a fun weekend mood. Also, don't lie to yourself in the book, be honest about your entries. Brutal honesty is the way to go when it comes to food journals. You can team up with a friend to 'police' you or help you eat healthy if you are too kind to yourself when you journal. Make sure you enter details on water, drinks, and snacks too in the book, in addition to regular meals.

Eat slowly
Slow eating is not just about getting your food digested well. It's also a tactic to get better satisfaction from your meal. Chew your food for longer minutes, so that your brain gets enough time to signal your stomach to kick off digestion. Prolonged chewing also decreases the amount of food you consume and makes you feel fuller, by the time you finish your plate.

Drop the 'last supper' mindset
Aren't we all used to the 'This is going to be my last hurrah.' I will eat clean from tomorrow forever' speech? Well, the tomorrow never comes. Rather, focus on eating right at the moment in your hands. If you are struggling with your craving, try the 'Apple Test.' According to this technique used to practice good eating habits, when you crave for a big meal, ask yourself whether you will be happy eating an apple. If you are truly hungry, you will pick the apple. Or else, you know it's just a craving.

Leave your house to have something special
If you are planning to treat yourself to a cheat meal, make sure you leave your house for it. Remember, eating a packet of chips as a cheat meal might not feel rewarding in the long run. Rather, get dressed, preferably walk to your favorite restaurant with a friend, place the order, wait for the meal, and enjoy every morsel of it once it's served. After the meal, take a light stroll back home. Not only will you feel rewarded, but you will also get a light dose of exercise with your treat meal.

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