Beating the weekend binge

I’m sure there are a lot of people reading this who have done what I’m about to discuss today. So tell me, does this sound familiar? You know that you are going out for a meal with family or friends at the weekend. Because of that, you decide that you are going to purposefully eat less, exercise more and cut out the drink from Monday to Friday? Don’t worry, this isn’t some sort of witch hunt but it is extremely common.

The weekend binge is something that I am sure we have all experienced at one time or another. And I’m not just talking about a binge drink. People have been known to binge on all sorts of things at the weekend, ranging from the traditional food and drink, to the ever more common television or social media binge.

Quite naturally we try to compensate for that during the week. Some of us abstain from alcohol, some of us choose to eat smaller meals and some of us will just ensure that we spend an extra twenty minutes in the gym. So is this just naive human thinking or are we cleverly tricking our bodies into maintaining positive levels of progress?

Let’s look at alcohol first because if we are being honest it is probably the thing that we most commonly binge on. I’m sure you have heard the ongoing argument surrounding whether it is better to drink little and often, or rarely in excess. Needless to say the ideal is neither. We aren’t faced with only two options here: drink one glass of wine every day of the week or seven on a Sunday.

Like I mentioned above, technological binging is become just as common as a drinking binge at the weekend nowadays. When we are working throughout the week it is difficult to find the time to kick back and watch some TV. So now our weekends are being filled with box set marathons that can last through all of Saturday and Sunday. Then there is social media. A Sunday evening scroll through your Twitter feed is now just as common as a glass of wine.

Sleep often goes forgotten as one of the most common weekend binges. When you are getting up early for work during the week and coming home tired after a long day your sleeping pattern should naturally follow a standard pattern. But if you have Saturday and Sunday off then I’m sure that you spend the whole week looking forward to those lie-ins. That being said, oversleeping can be just as bad for us as not sleeping enough. Not to mention that if you interrupt your usual pattern of sleep it can be difficult to get back into it come Monday again.

Now for food. It is an undisputed fact that when we have more time on our hands we eat more. When we are busy it can be difficult to find the time to eat and therefore the chances of overeating are next to nothing. Weekends tend to be a social time too and people will generally eat more when they are eating with others. So you put those two things together and then you can see why these binges occur.

I’m sure you can probably guess what the general advice is. “All things in moderation” is usually what you tend to hear. But if you ask me that is more like saying if you are going to do it then just don’t do it too much or too often. And I’ve said before that the best way to see positive results is by completely removing those things that counter all the hard work that you put in. So ideally if you are training you want to cut out smoking, cut out drinking, don’t overeat, don’t oversleep and don’t spend time sat in front of the TV. But obviously for most people maintaining all of that, all of the time is just not possible.

You won’t be tricking your body by cutting back on the things that you know you will be doing to excess later in the week and in reality you might be negatively affecting your results while you do it. So just try to minimise those things that aren’t beneficial to you and try to eliminate any unnecessary binges.


Ollie Lawrence
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