A common challenge that our nutrition clients often encounter is how to track macros on the weekend. You want to loosen up the reigns on your tracking, but how much is too much. If you’re too loose with your diet, getting to your goals is going to take much longer. So then, how do you find the balance between how to during the week versus how to track macros on the weekend?
Does this sound like you?
Monday – Friday: Eat clean and hit your macros⠀ ⠀
Weekend: Eat whatever you want⠀ ⠀
Does this happen to you? You’re “good” all week, but then go off the rails on the weekend. Oy. It can be a vicious cycle, especially if you have specific goals in mind for yourself. Remember: Your goals don’t change on the weekend. ⠀ ⠀⠀
If this cycle of eating is not help you achieve your goals, here are a some options to consider:⠀
1. Track only the macro that’s toughest for you to hit.
Track ONLY the macro that is toughest for you to hit. Often times, it’s protein, which means you need to cook something or plan ahead to hit this goal. This also makes you are much more aware of your choices. Pro tip: Do a mini food prep on Thursday/Friday to get you through the weekend!⠀
2. Leave yourself a calorie “buffer” for your social activities (i.e. dinner out, a party).
Leave yourself a macro “buffer” for social activities. Have a wedding or fancy dinner on the agenda? Track your morning and keep things light (high protein + low carb) and then save yourself a sizable calorie allotment for your event. Think 1,000 calories or more! Then, ENJOY yourself. Don’t worry about tracking anything. And, if you go over your macro or calorie goal, no worries. Remember the awesome experience you had and MOVE ON!
3. Meal prep for the weekends⠀
Who says meal prep has to be just for the week? Swing by the grocery store on Wednesday and grab a few staple proteins, veggies, and snacks that you can quickly prep on Thursday night. Just having an easy breakfast and/or lunch option in the fridge to get you through the weekend will be enough to avoid a Saturday morning fast-food run because there’s no food in the house!⠀
4. Pre-log your meals
Know that you’re heading out to dinner on Friday night or attending a brunch on Sunday? If possible, look up the menu ahead of time, pick what you’d like to eat, and log it ahead of time (it doesn’t need to be perfect; estimates are better than nothing). If you know you’d like dessert or a drink or two, log those as well, and plan your macros to fit the rest of your day. If you’re going to an event like a wedding or party where you’re unsure of what will be available to eat, focus on eating protein and non-starchy veggies earlier in the day. This way, you can save fats, carbs, and calories for the fun foods and not worry so much about staying on track.⠀
5. Treat yourself… all week!
Who wrote the rulebook that says you have to be healthy during the week and can only enjoy yourself on the weekends? I don’t know, but I’m calling BS on it! If you truly want that donut on a Thursday morning or glass of wine because you’ve had a heck of a Tuesday, then go for it! There’s no reason besides the ridiculousness of diet culture that you shouldn’t. A donut is a donut whether you eat it on a weekday or weekend – what matters is consistency and long-term trends when it comes to seeing results.⠀
6. Don’t track at all.
For real. Don’t track at all, but be mindful of your choices. Taking a break from macros is good for your mind, body, and soul. Plus, loosening up is a great way to learn to trust yourself and your choices. Enjoy your weekend, be mindful of your choices, and use your time “off” as motivation to get right back on track on either Sunday or Monday morning. Use Sunday as your grocery shopping/meal prep/get your sh*t together day and get right back at it!