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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown

Janet Aylott

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant


How can I stop weekends ruining a good week’s dieting?

I eat healthily throughout the week, but everything seems to go to pot at the weekend – especially if I’ve had a few drinks! Do you have any advice to help?


Our expert says...

Hi there,

This is a very common challenge - not letting 2 days undo all the great work of the 5 before! Weekends are tricky and temptation often gets in the way of good intentions….and why not when you’ve had a busy week?!

The trick is to allow for extra calories at the weekend by careful planning, and being as healthy as possible on most days of the week. We like to think of an 80:20 rule – being healthy 80% of the time, allowing for 20% of being a bit more relaxed!

The good news is that you know where your downfalls are which makes it easier to come up with a plan. I stress that the first thing to do is to plan, plan, plan!

Here are a few tips

1. Use ‘Settings’ (link above your food diary) to allow for more calories at the weekend (whether it’s Friday and Saturday, or Saturday and Sunday). It cuts down your calories a little across the weekdays to give you more to play with at the weekend.

2. Weigh everything! Do this during the week and at weekends. It will give you a good sense of where the excess calories are coming from - and might surprise you.

3. Don’t slip into the mindset that once you’ve started over-doing it, there’s no point in stopping. Allow yourself treats but weigh them and log everything in your food diary. Even if you have gone over target.

4. If you know you have a meal out, or takeaway planned for the weekend, allow for this in the week by not only changing your calorie setting but also 'banking' some exercise calories. Why not make Thursdays an exercise day? That way you’ll feel good heading into the weekend and will have a few more calories to play with. If you usually have a takeaway, why not try a portion controlled version from the supermarket instead? It’s cheaper and can be much healthier. We highly recommend the new M&S Count on Us Indian Meal for One (383 cals) or Count on Us Chinese Meal for One (similar number of calories).

5. Alcohol is often the trigger to get the munchies, so find ways of curbing the drinking which will hopefully curb the snacking too. Allow for alcohol in your food diary, but try and limit the volume. So swap your usual tipple to a spirit and slim line mixer to save calories, or ‘water’ down your favourite drink e.g. white wine spritzer with more ‘spritz’ than wine.

6. Try and stick to drinking alcohol on just one day of the weekend. You’ll feel better for it both calorie-wise and from having a clearer head in the morning. Why not try some alcohol-free alternatives such as flavoured water, cordials with fizzy water, iced tea…..all very refreshing as we head into the summer months but far less calories.

7. Don’t buy the foods that you binge on – if they’re not in the cupboards then you can’t eat them. Allow yourself treats in the house but keep these out of sight. Try to buy portioned snacks such as mini chocolate bars and standard sized bags of crisps (not the big sharing bags). Choose healthier options such as bagged pop chips or popcorn. We really like the M&S Guilt Free snacking range for weekend treats!

8. Round off the weekend with a healthy roast – there’s a great recipe on the NC website coming in at less than 600 calories (Take a look here: http://www.nutracheck.co.uk/Recipes/MembersRecipes/View?RecipeID=823)

9. Remember to fill up your plate at every meal with veggies or salad first, choose a lean protein and add a complex carbohydrate. The fuller you feel after a meal, the less likely you’ll be to snack.

Finally – losing weight shouldn’t be seen as a battle. I know that sounds easier said than done, but at NC we’re all about changing lifestyles rather than 'dieting'. Making healthier eating part of everyday life is something to strive for, but isn’t out of the question, and we’re here to help every step of the way. The forums are a great place – as you can see! And myself and the rest of the expert team are here for any questions you might have.

I hope this helps!


You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...

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