Have you ever heard of a “weekend warrior”?
It is best explained when you understand a little more about the role of nutrition as it relates to your body composition. Research shows that nutrition is 80% of the equation when it comes to weight loss and changing body composition. Yes, exercise is impactful too, but when you are talking about shedding weight, especially fat, what you fuel your body with is extremely important. It is important to meal plan, know what foods to eat and how to track your nutrition. Macros (protein, fat, carbohydrates) are also hugely important by understanding the breakdown of each one and how it plays into your overall nutrition.
And then the burning question, “What about a cheat day?”. Can you still have a cheat day from eating “well”? Can you still eat processed foods and chocolate? Can you still drink alcohol? Can you still have pizza? The thought of having to turn these things off 7 days/week might start to give you anxiety and fear that eating healthy is not a sustainable option.
So let’s talk about the options. Here are the differences between a cheat day, a cheat meal and a Weekend Warrior.
Cheat day… You give yourself the whole day off. You eat whatever you want with no regard to your macros, meal planning, nutritional goals, etc.
Cheat meal… You choose one meal where you eat what you would like to even if it’s outside your normal nutritional guidelines. In this circumstance, the other meals in that day would follow your normal guidelines.
Weekend Warrior… You throw caution to the wind and go crazy Saturday and Sunday. You eat and drink what you like. You don’t workout. You are living your weekend hard like it’s your last weekend EVER! You are a champion at being the life of the party and making sure you are satisfying all your cravings. And come Monday, you hit the gym hard, tighten up your nutrition 100% and tell yourself “no more cheats…until next weekend hits again”.
Here’s the thing. When you live the Weekend Warrior lifestyle, it messes with your body…and your mind…big time! By being so inconsistent for 2 full days with your activity level and nutrition week in and week out, you make it that much harder to get back into your healthy routine Monday through Friday. Not to mention, your body is pretty well wrecked Monday just recovering from your weekend.
The bottom line is, you have to consider what your goals are. Are you training for a physical competition or have an upcoming photo shoot? Or are you trying to maintain a healthy weight so that you feel good overall? How important is your overall nutrition and health when you decide what you put in your mouth day in and day out?
We all experience different seasons in our lives when we are more committed to our goals. This goes for business, family, exercise and nutrition. The point is, YOU HAVE THE CONTROL. If you want to live the Weekend Warrior lifestyle for a season, that’s your choice. Just know what consequences come with it. If you prefer to live a more sustainable lifestyle, allow yourself the cheats in moderation (and make sure they are worth it!). At the end of the day, we all have to make choices about our nutritional habits and take ownership of those choices.
Perhaps we can all follow the laws of moderation and instead of craving the Weekend Warrior Lifestyle, we can confidently rock the Healthy Warrior Lifestyle instead!
At SHF, we want to provide you as many options to create a nutrition plan that works for your lifestyle that’s SIMPLE, SUSTAINABLE & FUN! If you need more tips/ideas for how to plan healthy for your week, make sure to drop us an e-mail so we can help you with that. Cheers to your good health.