You’ve most likely heard someone say that they’ve had a “bad weekend”. From my experience, this usually refers to an excessive amount of food or alcohol. 

If you haven’t heard it from someone else, then it’s probably you that’s saying it.

As a Personal Trainer, I hear this more than most. 

We’re all partial to a “bad weekend” now and then. The consequences of which may not matter to you, depending on what your goals are of course. 

The perception that we genuinely have of the weekend is that it’s for non-working days, eagerly waited on throughout a hard week’s work. For you shift workers out there, this may not be true; but let’s speak in terms of general population.

Monday to Friday, out between the hours of 8am-6pm, commuting, working and counting down the days to the weekend’s social events. 

A work in the week to live on the weekend mentality, often results in a shift of priorities on the weekend. As your focus shifts from working to having fun, you may start to rationalise to yourself that you deserve a break (sound familiar?). 

The issue is that, if you’re someone looking to lose weight, the effects of a “bad weekend” can be detrimental to your progress, setting you back and making your in-week efforts go to waste.

Let’s say that you are someone who is trying to lose weight. With a calorie deficit reigning supreme in weight loss, you’re set a calorie deficit of -300 calories per day, by your trustworthy Personal Trainer.

Your maintenance calories are calculated to be 2100 per day.

Monday – 1800 (-300)

Tuesday – 1800 (-300)

Wednesday – 1800 (-300)

Thursday – 1800 (-300)

Friday – 1800 (-300)

Saturday – 1800 (-300)

Sunday – 1800 (-300)

Congratulations, you’ve created a deficit of 2100 calories for the whole week! Add in 3 days of structured exercise at around 300 calories a pop, whilst walking 10k steps a day, and you’re sure to have over dropped over 3500 calories for the week. 

Even better news, this 3500 calories is equivalent to 1 whole pound of fat! 

Summer body incoming….

Now let’s what the effects of a bad weekend can have. 

Remember your maintenance calories are 2100.

Monday – 1800 (-300)

Tuesday – 1800 (-300)

Wednesday – 1800 (-300)

Thursday – 1800 (-300)

Friday – 1800 (-300)

Saturday – 3100 (+1000) 

Sunday – 3100 (+1000)  

Congratulations, you are now in calorie surplus of +500 calories overall and have made your in-week efforts seem pretty pointless. Oh dear.

3100 calories is pretty easy to consume. Even if you just go to maintenance calories on the weekend and then go out for 5 beers with your friends, you’re in a calorie surplus of +1000.

Here’s a few things to consider:

  • A large pepperoni pizza (dominos) will set you back 2400 calories. 
  • Ben and Jerry’s ice cream (500ml) will set you back 1045 calories
  • 5 beers will set you back 1000 calories.
  • McDonald’s Sausage & Egg McMuffin meal (with OJ), will set you back 674 calories.
  • Large pack of Doritos (180g), will set you back 497 calories.

These things are all pretty easy to consume.

If you’re planning to go out, socialise, drink alcohol, enjoy some pizza or even sit at home at eat cookies; this isn’t a problem. But just be conscious of what effects this can have on your weight loss goals and your calorie consumption.

All too often I see people give it 100% Mon-Friday, just to leave it all behind and blow it on the weekend. Consistency is key.

Plan ahead, if you know you’re going to consume more calories on the weekend then compensate for it. Reduce your calories in the days leading up to it, or after. Reduce your calorie intake from your meals on your weekend days. Let the pizza you have be your dinner, not a late-night snack that you have as you try to sober up. Have half a pizza, instead of a whole one. Look for alcohol alternatives that have less calories and less fluid. 

Be honest with your Personal Trainer so you can both adjust together.

See your social events, alcohol consumption and weekend eating habits as part of the whole picture. Fit them in accordingly. It’s part of an overall lifestyle and must be seen that way.

It doesn’t have to be boring, and I wouldn’t recommend that it is. You can still enjoy your life. But remember to adjust things to accommodate a surge in calories when you need to. 

Always keep your calorie deficit in mind and you’ll continue to lose weight and reach your goals.

If you’re need of some guidance then why not try some Online Coaching or Personal Training?

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Sam is a Personal Trainer, Online Coach and Fitness Educator with background in achieving results for a variety of clients. Sam now specialises in Pain Free Performance, helping people across the world to achieve their goals safely and effectively. 

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