Do you overindulge in ice cream or order in pizza on the weekends?

Does a Friday night dinner out turn in to a 48-hour binge?

Does your weight seem to yo-yo up by Monday morning and down by Friday?

It may be your parent’s fault.

According to a new study of 192 mothers, there was a consistent pattern of more frequent food consumption and larger portions of unhealthy foods and beverages for their children on weekends.  This was consistent with mothers’ classification of these unhealthy items as “weekend items” and a change in nutrition goals on weekends.

For example, the goal of nutrition during the week may be to successfully get through the school day.  Meanwhile, the weekend is seen as a time to be less structured.

Family norms are passed on from parent to child.

Now that you know that your eating habits as a child were influenced by your parent’s food beliefs, it is your fault if – as an adult – you don’t change the habits that are keeping you overweigh, from meeting your goals and breaking the cycle.

3 Steps to Change Your Food Habits

Step 1:  Identify your current food behaviour!

Recall what you ate last Saturday or Sunday.  Compare that to a typical weekday.

Can’t remember what you ate?  Keep a 7-day food journal starting tomorrow morning.  At the end of the 7 days compare what you typically ate during a weekday to your intake on the weekend. 

Did you notice a change in the frequency, amount or type of food and beverages you ate and drank? 

For example:

Zero alcohol Monday to Friday with a full bottle of wine Saturday night.

Avoided gluten all week, except for Friday night date night where you ate an entire loaf of garlic bread at that fancy Italian restaurant.

We tend to make light of weekend indulgences, but if you have an isocaloric or mildly hypocaloric diet in the week, overindulging on the weekend will sabotage your weight.

If you’ve identified your weekend eating habits as the culprit to your weight gain, move on to step 2.

Step 2: Identify your current food beliefs!

Congratulations! You’ve found the culprit for your weight gain! Your weekend habits are more significant than you previously thought!

Did you grow up with apple pie and ice cream after dinner on Saturday nights as a treat? 

Did you only eat cake at birthdays? 

Did you snack all day long on chocolate chip cookies?

Was your family always on a diet?

Your family norms affect your beliefs. 

Your beliefs inform your thoughts.

Your thoughts lead to your actions. 

Did you know that some families never even think about dieting or snacking between meals or having a bed time snack or eating in front of the TV?

If you believe that to be happy you need to have a treat on Sunday night while watching your favourite TV show, you will struggle to avoid the Sunday night treat if that becomes your goal.  You will struggle because your subconscious programming built a belief believes that the treat is integral to having a successful Sunday evening.  And so, you will inevitably give in.

Want to overcome your beliefs? Read on.

Step 3: Identify your why!

You’ve identified the problem and examined your beliefs, but how can you make lasting change when your beliefs are so ingrained?

Identify your goal and your motivation!

You want to lose weight. But, why?

You want to have more structure to your weekend eating habits. But, why?

You want to quit binge drinking. But, why?

Take your goals a step further.  Answer the why!

You want to lose weight – to feel more confident!

You want to have more structure to your weekend eating habits – to decrease your stress!

You want to quit binge drinking – to feel less guilty and more in control!

Want to really get honest with yourself? Take it a step further and ask why one more time!

Now create a new belief incorporating your why!

Old belief:  I need a treat when I watch TV! 

New belief: Eating a healthy snack will contribute to my confidence!

Keep your why in mind as you go about setting up your new beliefs and new weekend routine!

Need help creating healthy weekend habits? We’d love to help you!

Apply to our 28 day challenge and we’ll help you make the changes necessary to reach your goals!