Weekend Overeating A Problem? How To Take Healthy Habits From The Weekday Into Every Day
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The weekends are a time of rest, to spend time with family and friends, run errands you couldn’t get done during the week, and for many people, an opportunity to binge eat and drink as much as possible before Monday. Whether you’ve been on a weight-loss journey or attempted to change your diet, it’s not uncommon for people to be disciplined during the week, only to throw caution to the wind throughout the weekend. It’s a move that can mess with your progress or simply leave you feeling regretful (and maybe bloated), ready to deprive yourself again by Monday morning.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. We spoke with WW Digital 360 coach Kayla Jeter who broke down the root of why some of us eat and drink to excess Friday through Sunday, ways to make healthy habits as opposed to dieting an everyday thing, and how WW (formerly Weight Watchers) plans help you adjust your behaviors and perspective for the better.

ESSENCE: Whether people are looking to lose weight or just trying to eat healthier, a lot of individuals find themselves staying on the straight and narrow during the workweek and then going off the rails over the weekend. Why would you say that is?

Kayla Jeter: The familiar “work hard, play hard” motto embedded in work culture emphasizes being on your “A-game” when it comes to your routines and healthy habits in order to find success during [the] workweek, framing the weekend as a reward. However, when it comes to a weight and wellness journey, this mindset can lead people to view the path toward their goals as one riddled with restrictions. Not only does this lens create what I call, “weekday wellness,” which makes being healthy feel like a 9 to 5 job, but it makes the weight loss and wellness journey feel unsustainable. Instead of getting too focused and stuck on what’s not going well, try shifting your perspective toward the bigger picture — what is going well for you, progress you’ve made and/or recent accomplishments (no matter how small!).

So how can we change our perspective all-week long? 

The key to transitioning from the “It’s the weekend” mindset to creating healthy habits for everyday life is to find what works best for you and your goals based on where you’re at right now in your weight loss and wellness season. Many of the healthy habits we have during the weekday (i.e. getting adequate sleep, moving our bodies daily, eating nourishing foods, etc) don’t have to clock out at 5 p.m. on Friday and can exist next to Saturday brunch with friends. I often say, “wellness is your whole self in harmony,” which includes enjoying a glass of wine on a Wednesday while setting boundaries for a weekend morning walk. This mindset can help us shift from what we are missing out on to what we gain in still prioritizing ourselves throughout the weekend and can help keep momentum into the following week versus always feeling like you have to start over once Monday hits.  

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What are some tips you would offer to help people go about curbing weekend binge eating? 

Some tips I would offer to help people create a lifestyle of wellness is to:

  1. Reflect on what sets you up for success during the workweek then find ways to roll some of those practices or behaviors into the weekend.
  2. Show yourself grace. Creating new habits and breaking well-worn ones takes practice. 
  3. Don’t forget to make time for activities you enjoy during the week and the weekends. This helps fight those feelings of lack. Research shows that prioritizing engaging, enjoyable, and meaningful activities can increase our happiness and make healthier choices easier!

Remember, there is no fast pass to being well or losing weight, there’s only the way that encourages you to be consistent, flexible but more importantly, liveable. 

How does WW help with this? I’m assuming that not having people cut things they really enjoy out of their day-to-day diet, but rather, eating in points/moderation, helps.

WW helps you be the CEO of your own journey by helping guide you toward healthy habits that fit your lifestyle, no matter if it’s during the weekday “wellness grind” or during the weekend and you’re on the go or out with friends. WW’s behavior change approach emphasizes the importance of developing awareness. Using this technique can help members become more aware of how their habits occur, and ways in which their patterns, thoughts and environments play a role. It’s one thing to notice what we do; it’s another to understand how it happens and what the impact is. WW helps connect the dots between our thoughts, feelings, behaviors – and monitoring our progress to recognize the impact. This helps us understand what leads to what. Through this practice, we can figure out what changes are likely to be effective and give them a try. 

The WW app is an incredible tool that helps members adopt healthy habits and achieve their goals through behavioral strategies that are backed in science, including not only how to develop a healthier pattern of eating, but also ways to move more, shift your mindset and incorporate sleep into your routine. It’s not about being the perfect picture of health; it’s about meeting you where you are on your journey and having the resources, inspiration and community you need to help you achieve your individual health and wellness goals.