One of the most common eating pattern pitfalls that we see are the people that eat really well Monday - Friday, but then they go way overboard on the weekends.
2300 calories per day allows you to maintain your weight. You want to lose 20 lbs. Your new goal is 1800 calories per day to create a 500 calorie deficit. Since there are about 3500 calories in a pound of fat, you should drop about 1 pound per week with this plan, which is a very sustainable and reasonable goal.
You're crushing it during the week and have been averaging 1750 cals Monday to Friday, but then Saturday and Sunday roll around. You feel like you deserve to "cheat" on the weekends since you're so good during the week. One to two days of bad eating won't matter if you're being so good for 5 days a week, right?
Well, "bad eating" is definitely relative, and for a lot of people that can easily look like 3,000-6,000 calories of sugary drinks, fatty foods, etc. Especially, if you're drinking those calories.
Let's say you started Saturday with a few 300 calorie donuts, grabbed an 800 calorie ice cream sundae at local summer festival then had 3x 8oz, 500 calorie margaritas with some friends. You ate your normal meals aside from this.
That would put you at 5,000 calories for Saturday. Imagine that Sunday brunch, wings and beers while watching the football game, then pizza dinner totals up to something similar.
Now your average daily calories for the week are
(1750 x 5 + 5000 x 2) / 7 = 2,679
This is almost 300 calories per day above your "maintenance" calorie level, meaning that you're actually likely to gain 0.6lbs per week.
Maybe this example sounds extreme, but we see it all the time. And maybe it doesn't look like that every weekend, but if it looks like that once in a while, and you're that person that just "can't seem to lose those last few pounds" then this is where those last few pounds live.
If you're at a healthy body weight and happy with those last few pounds, then by all means - live your best life and enjoy yourself!
But if you're not at a healthy or happy weight, and you're constantly struggling to shed the pounds then you have to take an honest look at these kinds of habits.
They really do make all the difference.
Need some advice or accountability? Talk to one of our coaches about nutrition coaching!