Plan Extra Calories!

In session this week, my client Liz told me that she’s doing well during the week but still struggling to stay fully on track on the weekends. Liz said she was a little surprised by this because she always plans to have more calories on weekends (usually 200 per day extra on Saturday and Sunday) to accommodate eating out, parties, and various events. I asked Liz to describe the previous weekend and what decisions ultimately led to her going over her calorie plan for the day.

Liz told me that she was out for dinner on Saturday night, and had planned to have one glass of wine and no dessert but ended up having two glasses of wine and dessert. I asked Liz to think back to her dinner out on Saturday. “What was going through your mind right before you had the second glass of wine? I know I shouldn’t have this because I didn’t plan to, but it’s okay because….” Liz thought about it and realized the thought was something like, “It’s okay because I have extra calories for today so that can accommodate another glass of wine.” This led to a light bulb moment for me, and immediately I had a pretty good idea of why I thought Liz might be struggling to keep her calories under control on weekends.

“How and when do you decide to have your extra weekend calories?” I asked Liz. “Are you planning them in advance and making them part of your definite plan for the day?” Liz thought about it and realized that a lot of the time she wasn’t planning them in advance, whichultimately meant she didn’t have as strong a plan for weekends as she did for weekdays. On weekdays she was having very little trouble sticking to her plan, because she just knew that what her plan contained was what she would eat for the day; no spontaneous decisions were needed, which kept her resistance muscle very strong. On the other hand, on weekends she had extra calories to spend without a defined way to eat them, which meant she was constantly opening herself up to the possibility of spontaneous extra food.

No wonder it was hard for her to turn down an extra glass of wine – not only did she theoretically have the calories for it, but because she sometimes allowed herself to make spontaneous extra calorie decisions, every time she was tempted to give in it was harder to say no. Liz and I decided that for the next two weekends she would plan every extra calorie in advance and really work on the skill of no spontaneous extra calorie decisions. This should hopefully tighten up her weekend resistance muscle again and get her back where she wants to be!

person at restaurant table

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