“My Diet Starts Monday”

If you’ve ever uttered the words “my diet starts Monday”... this might just be the episode for you. 

This is a common topic of conversation with new clients, so I thought I’d throw it up in episode format to help anyone else who might be struggling with their nutrition over the weekend!


Welcome back to the Bite Me nutrition podcast. Today I wanted to try a bit of a different episode format, if you will. Up until now they've been very informative.

Here's a topic, here's the information about that topic. Hopefully dispelling a few myths and giving, giving you a really good understanding of that topic. But it's been quite informative and factual. I promise what I'm about to talk about will still be factual, but I thought maybe having a few different episodes that are focused a bit more around, I guess some clinic tips, some more actionable things rather than those informative episodes might be a cool change of pace.

Now the informative episodes aren't going anywhere. They're probably my favourite to do because I get to nerd out over a bunch of research. They'll probably still form the bulk of this. But if you like this episode, if you like the idea of there being some more practical stuff slipped in there, please either flick me an email or shoot me a message on Instagram just because I need a proof of concept. If I don't get any messages, I'll assume everyone hated this, which is totally fine, I've got thick skin, but if I hear from a few people that they found it positive, then I'll keep doing some slipped into the future.

But basically the idea is I have since becoming a dietitian, I found that it's very common that there'll be sort of just themes that pop up with multiple clients in a week, people struggling with similar problems. And I thought it would be cool if I talked through what I would work through with them, the strategies that we would use and the things that I would suggest. Because if some of my clients are struggling with these things, I imagine probably some of you are also struggling with them. So hopefully this sort of practical advice can help.

And the thing place I wanted to start is around weekend eating because it probably doesn't surprise too many of you or I mean, we've probably all experienced it ourselves. Our weekend eating can be quite different from our weekday eating and it can unfortunately be one of the deciding factors between are we going to be successful with our goals or unsuccessful with our goals? Because the week you might have seen me talk about it, the weekend is close to 30% of your week. So it's a non negligible part of our week. We can't just push it aside and not focus on it and not worry about it. And we can't think that what we do on the weekend, it doesn't impact on our overall health or our overall health and fitness goals because fortunately, or unfortunately, it does. And so I wanted to start with what I think is probably the biggest mistake people make around eating on the weekends, and that is to have this goal conscious or unconscious that they're going to or they need to make their eating on the weekend look exactly the same as they're eating during the week. The exact same breakfast, lunches, dinners, snacks, the same pattern of eating which I think for almost all of us is fool's gold. It's not going to happen. And what happens is we go into the weekend with this subconscious goal or this conscious goal. We fail probably fairly early on in the weekend and because we failed to eat similarly to the week. We give up. We go. I can't stuff this diet starts Monday and we kind of just blow away through the weekend and we get back into it on Monday and then rinse repeat hopefully up until you listen to this podcast and will come up with a better plan of attacks.

So I'm going to paint with a bit of a broad brush here but I think for most people we typically eat breakfast a bit later on the weekend. Hopefully you get a bit of a sleep in or there's like a later gym class or you get to go for a walk or whatever you do with your Saturday mornings. Breakfast typically lands a little bit later than it does during the week and maybe because you've got a bit more time on the weekend, it's also a bit fancier. Maybe it's a cooked breakfast, it's a bit bigger, it's a bit more complete and so you're having a bigger later breakfast and then lunchtime rolls around and very unsurprisingly you don't feel like lunch had a big late breakfast, of course you don't. And so we skip lunch because we don't need it or maybe we're out of the shops or you're at your kids footy game or you're doing clearly I don't do anything on the weekend, I don't know what people do on the weekend but whatever you normal folks do on the weekend, you're doing that at lunchtime so you don't eat. And then at around three you get really hungry because you haven't eaten for five or 6 hours and you're a functioning human being. And so either you decide that it's close to dinner, I'm going to push through and just ignore my hunger or I'm going to have some cheese and crackers or I'll just have a couple of chips and then because you're so hungry and you're eating this delicious snack food, you typically will over indulge on that food. And then you get to dinner and you've either thrown caution to the wind and you eat a much larger portion than you otherwise would or you've gone out for dinner. You've ordered take out or you've cooked something a bit more extravagant for weekend dinner and you haven't eaten for 7 hours so you massively overdo it because again. Hungry human being plus overly delicious food is a very simple equation to solve. And so that happens and it might happen again on the Sunday or it might mostly just be happening Friday night, Saturday night, but it consistently happens week in, week out. And it is enough to slow or stop all of the progress that you have kind of accumulated over the week.

So, my favourite, favourite thing to do on the weekend is to drum roll, eat lunch, but eat it a bit later. So stop trying to eat lunch at lunchtime because you probably don't feel like it because you had your later breakfast. But rather than just skipping it, push it back an hour or two, right? Have lunch at two or even 03:00. There's nothing wrong with that at all. Forget about school lunch times, right? And so at that time, you're having a small, like maybe a bit lighter lunch because you had a bigger breakfast and you're maybe having a bigger dinner. That's cool. But don't just have a couple of cheese crackers, right? Don't just have a banana or a piece of fruit, have a sandwich, have a salad with a good source of protein, have a smoothie, have some yoghurt and fruit, have something that is still a recognizable meal. And I guarantee, even if you do have cheese and crackers, because again, there's nothing wrong with having cheese and biscuits on the weekend in the evening. But I guarantee your portion of those foods will produce. I guarantee if you go out for dinner or you order take out, the amount of that food you eat will reduce. And so it can help you manage your appetite and regulate your appetite a bit more effectively over the weekend. And rather than kind of having this big famine during the week and feast on the weekend, we can have a better even distribution of our calories throughout the week.

The one other completely unrelated to the thing I just talked about then was if your weekends are a constant blowout and it's not because of the eating pattern I discussed, have a look at your week. You are probably massively restricting yourself during the week. If there's a whole host of foods that you're not allowing yourself to eat during the week, or you're causing yourself to massively just restrict food in general. So if you're eating a very low calorie diet all week, the likelihood of you using a get out of jail free card for 48 hours on the weekend and significantly over consuming all of those foods that you weren't allowed during the week, or just significantly over consuming those calories. That energy you won't be allowed during the week is also quite high. So that's more of a separate topic to make sure that you're not over restricting during the week.

But in terms of the weekend eating pattern, I always find it's that middle meal, it's that lunch meal. The fact that it doesn't happen or we swap it out for something that isn't neil can be one of the biggest deal breakers. So.

If you found this kind of episode useful, I'd love to hear it. I don't need my ego straight. I just want to know that I'm giving you guys something that's helpful. So if it's been helpful, please let me know. So I'm going to keep doing it, and if it hasn't been helpful and all I hear is crickets, that's totally fine. We'll dive straight back into the informative episodes. The next episode, I promise, will be something quite informative. I don't know what it is, otherwise I would tell you, but it will be back to the original style and then maybe I'll throw a few of these in later if they land well. But otherwise, thank you so much for listening and I'll catch you next time.