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Managing Lockdown Weekend Weight Gain

How did your weekend go?

Did you have that feeling of ‘no line on the horizon,’ where the weekdays are just melting into the weekends.

Many of us are good at building an eating routine when we have a structure to our day. However, what happens to this routine when our daily structure changes aren’t always positive.

Weekends can be a dangerous time when you are trying to manage your weight. This is especially so since lockdowns were introduced back in March 2020.

There is the reward aspect of working hard all week and ‘deserving’ that takeaway or slice of cake. Those of us that are not furloughed /on temporary or now long-term leave, would admit to working longer hours.

As a result of working longer hours, the anticipatory feelings of reward are heightened.

I work hard.

I deserve.

A reward.

Also, the lockdown pulls at you in other ways too; like being distracted by your children’s natural demands which prevents you from being focused the same way you would during the week.

Therefore, it is vital to establish an eating routine regardless of what your day entails.

Here are some tips to help you to manage your weight even during the weekend.

  1. Eat Breakfast

Many of us love nothing more than a lazy morning on the weekends. However, to kick start your metabolism it is necessary to eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up. If you aim for a protein rich breakfast it will set you on the right path for the day and help you stay in control of your portions.

  1. Be Prepared

By preparing snacks to have on your days off it will make it less likely for you to go off track. Alternatively, keep a protein bar close by or in your handbag. This will guarantee you will have something guilt free to snack on and the lure of other snacks will be reduced. Create a new eating routine for those days and make sure to have all the free veg and protein you need in the house.

  1. Manage Triggers

Days off can be bittersweet. We yearn for time to ourselves but sometimes this can lead to boredom or loneliness. If these are triggers for you it is essential you have a plan in place for your time off. Remember these types of triggers are psychological hunger and therefore it is not food you are craving. Ask yourself why are you eating when you are not physically hungry.

  1. Meals ‘Out’

Eating out was a very common thing to do on the weekend. Now ‘eating out’ has been replaced by takeaways. The meals out are now the meals in.

Remember to eat regularly throughout the day and drink plenty of water so that when it comes to placing an order, you are not really hungry.

This is critical – be selective and only order from restaurants that provide healthy menu options.

Don’t want to sound like a killjoy but don’t eat in front of the TV. Doing so, over time, people equate watching TV to food time and this in itself is a major problem. Watching TV and eating must be separate exercises. Eat your takeaway at the kitchen table.

  1. Make Yourself Happy

To avoid the trap of rewarding yourself with food or alcohol on the weekends, do something nice for yourself as your treat. Think about what you want to get out of your weekend and how you want to feel on Sunday night. It doesn’t have to cost money; calling a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, taking some time out for yourself, or having some quality time with your family will provide you with more long-term happiness than food or alcohol.

There is nothing revelatory or out of the ordinary in the 5 tips above. Managing lockdown weekend weight gain requires some forward thinking and planning. We always recommend a few minutes of every day for quiet reflection – this is an integral component of our audio programmes and how we coach our clients to change their behaviours and attitudes to food. Use this reflective time to look to the next weekend and put in place a plan so that it’s not about managing lockdown weekend weight gain but healthy lockdown weight management.