Finding that balance between a healthy social life and a rocking summer body is a struggle that most trainee’s face weekly.
Hanging out, enjoying a drink on the weekend, or stopping by your favourite pizza place for a slice with friends is NORMAL HUMAN BEHAVIOUR! Something that in the right amounts, we should all look to enjoy. But there is a tipping point……
The way in which you ‘handle’ your weekend can be all the difference between achieving the results you’re after in the gym, or blowing things out and working away from your fat loss goals. The flip side to this coin is becoming afraid of your social life, unhealthily pushing it all aside in the hopes of achieving their dream physique. It doesn’t take a genius to know that neither end of the spectrum is a place you want to be.
Here, we aim to outline a few of the socialite traps you may find yourself in, and offer up some suggestions as to how you can combat them in the battle to achieving your fat loss goals.
#1 – Alcohol, Calories and McDonald’s Drive Through!
Many people underestimate the caloric value of a weekend alcoholic binge. On a big night out with friends, you can easily un-do a week’s hard work, simply by the total calories brought in. It wouldn’t be hard to consume a 6-8 of your favourite vodka mixers, bringing easily over 1400 calories in drinks alone. Couple that with a late night trip to the McDonalds Drive Through and BOOM, you’ve just topped the 2000 calorie mark for that evening! And that’s hoping that we’re only talking about a single night out!
#2 – The All-You-Can-Eat Binge
For many other social butterfly’s, the weekly night out can pose more of a challenge. Heading out to dinner after a big week of work can be a great way to unwind, distress and enjoy time with loved ones. Where this can become an issue is when a quite meal out, becomes an all-you-can-eat stay at the buffet. Restaurants make their money providing you with tasty, addictive foods, that keep you coming back for more. Sorry to say, your fat loss goals are not at the top of their priority list! Always expect that the meals you have out are going to have WAY higher calorie content than those cooked at home (that’s why they’re so damn tasty). This is not to say that you should avoid eating out all together. Just make sure you head into these meals and events planned, prepared and with your goals in mind.
#3 – Alcohols Effects and its Effects on GAINZ
Another (and potentially more concerning) effect of excessive alcoholic consumption is how it effects your lean muscle. If you’ve ever wanted to be ‘toned’, hate to surprise you, but you’ll need to hang onto a little bit of muscle.
One or two drinks on the weekend is harmless, and in some research, has even been shown to be health promoting. But once you exceed a certain point, you’ll be risking losing some of that hard earned muscle, un-doing the hard work you’ve been putting in at the gym. To give you an example; if you’re a 65kg female, consuming 3 or more drinks will take its toll on your muscle mass now, and for a few days to come. Combine this with the calories from the drinks as well, and you have a recipe for fat gain.
#4 – Dancing the Night (and your sleep) Away
One of the most underestimated aspects of a fat loss plan is how you sleep. One night of sleep deprivation can affect your performance, fat loss, hormonal profile, mood, and many other things.
Now unless, you’re trying to win an Olympic medal, the occasional Saturday night out isn’t going to de-rail your progress. But when this starts to become a regular thing or multiple nights in a row, you’ll need to be mindful of the effects, and do your best to combat it. The weekends are a great time to catch up with friends and relax after the working week, but also a great opportunity to maximise rest and recuperation.
#5 – ‘Making up for the Weekend’
At one point, we’re all going to end up ticking one of these boxes. It’s all good! Avoiding social occasions and parties is just as, if not more concerning, than any of the issues described above.
Feeling guilty for your actions, and heading into the gym with thoughts of ‘making up for the weekend’ is never a good approach. In many cases, attitudes like this will lead to over-training, under-eating and potential eating/training disorders. When a big weekend does happen (and it will), the key is to simply wipe the slate clean, enjoy it for what is was worth, and get back on the horse. Learn from these experiences, don’t punish yourself for them.
Remember, either end of the spectrum is not a good place to be. Knowing how to have a social life without going entirely overboard is something you need to master if you wish to succeed in your fat loss endeavours. Here, we leave you with a few practical take-away’s to get you started:
- While in a focused fat loss phase, limit your consumption of alcoholic drinks to 2-3 per sitting. Any more can lead to high calorie food binges, lost muscle mass and fat gain through ‘hidden’ calories.
- When you’re eating out, plan the meal ahead. You can do this by:
- ‘Saving’ up some calories from earlier in the day
- Choosing something that isn’t too far off what you’d have at home.
- Checking out the menu in advance, and work this into your day.
- Aim to sleep 7-8hrs per night, even on the weekends.
- Never try ‘making up’ for a bad weekend. Clean slate, get over it and learn from it.
- Fat loss phases aren’t permanent. Some habits just won’t work if results are important to you. Know your priorities, work hard, obtain your result. Then work towards a long term balance between health and your social life.
If you’d like to know more about how we can help you achieve your fat loss results, book a FREE 30min Consultation with one of the PPT Team! Click CONTACT US to book yours!