When it comes to the weekend, two days can quickly erase five in the grand scheme of fitness and nutrition, and for many this notion is daunting enough to make them do one of two things:

  • Completely abandon fitness- and nutrition-based goals during the weekend to eliminate goal-related pressure entirely.
  • Succumb entirely to the pressure of fitness- and nutrition-based goals, leading one to avoid or not fully enjoy   an otherwise fulfilling experience with friends and/or family.

Neither approach is a feasible or healthy way to structure weekend eating. The reality is that, in many cases, there is no one way to properly structure such eating.

Ideally your weekend eating, from point A to point B, would be 100 percent on plan and completely consistent with your momentum established during the week. In actuality, it can be extremely difficult, both physically and mentally, to remain fully on point during weekend activities — especially when additional factors like holidays and personal events are thrown into the mix, which only increase the perceived obligation to let loose and forget your plan entirely.

That said, as I have covered in past entries, the key to success in this scenario is the redefinition of success. You must become comfortable adapting your goals to fit your surrounding environment, and that means going back to the drawing board and creating new goals that will still be behaviorally congruent with your weekday values. It is all about finding a healthy and logical middle ground.

For instance, if you are slated to attend a weekend birthday party where you know junk food will be plentiful, sit down and visualize what will still be considered a “win” in that setting. Maybe you will limit yourself to one or two drinks for the entire party, or perhaps a single piece of cake once desserts are served. Much of this process chalks up to individualization and self-awareness; get to know yourself and your limits in terms of what will be excessive.

Adopting this approach to weekend eating can be positively life altering. Too often, dieting and general nutritional thinking are deemed synonymous with militant, torturous self-discipline. Of course, the latter still plays a big part in one’s success at the end of the day, but that is not to say there cannot be wiggle room in terms of life’s simple culinary pleasures; this means opening yourself up to junk now and again — just within reason. So long as you plan for redefined success, you will be able to add another set of W’s to your calendar.