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Weekends are often seen as a time to relax, unwind, and break away from the daily routine. 

Unfortunately, this often leads to overeating and weight gain. But does it have to be this way?

In this episode, I’ll give you strategies that can help you maintain your health and fitness goals without sacrificing the enjoyment of your weekends. I’ll share 5 simple, yet effective tips to avoid weekend weight gain.

If you’re struggling with keeping your diet on track over the weekend or if you’re just curious about the topic, this episode is for you.


0:00 – Please leave a review of the show wherever you listen to podcasts and make sure to subscribe!

2:51 – Tip #1 – Include fun activities

3:18 – Tip #2 – Don’t drink too much alcohol

4:08 – Tip #3 -Take some time to relax on the weekends

4:46 – Tip#4 – Skip breakfast on the weekends or eat it?

6:30 – Tip #5 – Eat moderately when eating out

11:52 – My award-winning fitness books for men and women:

Mentioned on the Show:

My award-winning fitness books for men and women.

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Hey there, and welcome to another episode of Muscle for Life. I am your host, Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for a short episode on the topic of weekend weight gain. Why that? Well, research shows that most people, meaning people who don’t understand what you probably understand about proper dieting, they don’t understand energy balance, they don’t understand macronutrient balance, and so on.

So research shows that most people, they maintain a steady weight throughout the week. And they gain weight on the weekends. And research also shows that these same people, most people tend to gain larger amounts of weight over the holidays. And so when we zoom out and we look at weight gain over time, we see this pattern where people are maintaining their body weight throughout the week, maybe even losing a little bit of fat throughout the week by unintentionally restricting calories a little bit.

And then, Eating way too much on the weekends and coming out a little bit fatter come Monday than they were Friday, just by a little bit. But when you repeat this again and again and again, then that can amount to a pound or two or three. Of additional fat over the course of the year, especially when you factor in the holidays when most people eat a lot more food and drink a lot more alcohol than they usually do, and many fitness folk make the same mistakes.

They will eat maybe an extra one to four or 500 calories per day on Fridays, Saturdays. Sundays, you know, compared to their weekdays, and they will burn quite a bit less energy, maybe several hundred fewer calories per day on those same days, at least on Saturdays, particularly on Sundays. In my experience, most people are the least active throughout the week on.

Sunday. And of course the net effect of that pattern is you get a little bit fatter over time. And even if you understand energy balance and macronutrient balance, and even if you know how to get leaner, it means that you have to have these little mini cuts throughout the year. Just to maintain the body composition that you want.

Ideally, if you were just wanting to maintain your body composition, you wouldn’t have to intentionally restrict your calories at all. Maybe a week or two here and there after a vacation or special celebration or whatever. But generally, your body fat percentage, well more precisely the total amount of body fat, cuz your body fat percentage.

Can go up or down without the total amount of body fat changing, depending mostly on muscle. If muscle goes up, body fat remains the same in an absolute amount, then body fat percentage goes down, right? And vice versa. And so I wanted to record a, a quick, quick episode here. Just sharing five tips that can help you avoid that weekend.

Weight gain pattern. So the first one is to do fun activities, and I emphasize activities active on the weekends that you don’t have time for during the week, like maybe biking or hiking, or yoga, or museum browsing, gardening, tennis, dancing. I don’t care. Whatever is fun for you and for bonus points, invite some friends, make it.

A social activity and a social activity that doesn’t involve food and alcohol. My second tip is to not drink too much alcohol. And when you do drink, try to eat something first, and then try to choose lower calorie drinks like wine, light beer, hard liquor with calorie-free mixers. And if you really like wine, Watch out because those calories can add up very quickly.

Make sure you understand how many calories of wine you are intending to drink or are drinking. Many people have never looked at how many calories are in wine, and they can easily drink anywhere from 500 to a thousand calories of wine with, let’s say, a dinner that’s already one to 2000 calories and doing that.

Even semi-regularly makes it almost impossible to maintain a steady body composition to avoid having to do mini cuts throughout the year. All right, my third tip is to take some time to relax on the weekends because acute stress typically reduces appetite, but chronic stress does the opposite, and that’s why studies link the latter.

They link chronic stress with weight gain and obesity because if stress becomes too, Elevated for too long, then appetite increases and you can only fight off the desire to eat for so long. And that’s not necessarily the same as physical hunger, but it can feel more or less the same. And so my tip here is to block out some free time on the weekends to read a book or watch a TV show or play some golf or pickleball or whatever, recharges your batteries.

Try not to fill your weekends with just more work and other obligations. Moving on to tip number four, skip breakfast on the weekends or eat it, whichever one works best for you. Because research shows that some people are generally less hungry throughout the day and they tend to eat fewer total calories when they skip breakfast, while others tend to generally feel fuller and eat less when they eat breakfast.

So find which approach works best for you and stick to it. Many people I’ve heard from and worked with over the years, Need to eat breakfast on the weekdays just because of their schedule up very early, starting very early and getting to work and being surrounded by unhealthy food and snacks, and if they didn’t eat something first.

Hungry, more likely to eat the donuts and other things. But then on the weekends when they didn’t have to get up so early and they weren’t surrounded by all these tempting treats, they found that they preferred to skip breakfast or delay it by several hours. They found that they generally weren’t very hungry in the morning, at least on the weekends, or they didn’t particularly like breakfast food.

And by skipping breakfast or delaying it, turning it into maybe a, a kind of a. Brunch helped them keep their calories a bit lower than if they start first thing with a significant breakfast, but again, with other people. The opposite is true. By having a substantial breakfast, they found that they were generally less hungry throughout the day and that they were less likely to overeat.

And many of these people also have enjoyed eating breakfast, so there might be a connection there. Okay, my final tip here is to eat moderately. When eating out, and I know sometimes this is easier said than done, but to make it easier before you go out to a restaurant, you have a couple of options. You can eat a small high protein snack that tends to work best.

Like for me, I’ll have a protein shake or maybe I’ll take high protein yogurt and mix some protein powder into it. That’s one thing you can do. I also like doing that because if I’m going out to a restaurant, I probably don’t want to eat a high protein meal unless it’s maybe a steakhouse or. There is some other meat that I really want to eat.

If I’m going out to eat though, I’m probably going to want something that is higher in carbs and fat than protein. So if I eat some protein before I go to dinner, takes a little bit of the edge off, as they say, off of the hunger. And it gets my, my protein in that I need my final serving of protein and allows me to quote unquote, spend my remaining calories at the restaurant on carbs and fat mostly, which is probably what I want to eat.

Another option is you can review the menu. Of the restaurant online, and you can decide what you’ll eat beforehand. That works better than trying to figure it out when you’re there. If you’re trying to be conscious of calories, which is generally a good idea, sometimes, who cares? Just order what you want, eat what you want, enjoy yourself.

But if you’re going out to eat fairly often, even if it’s just a couple of times per week, it is good. If you want to just more or less maintain your current level of body fatness two. Be conscious of the calories to try not to go out to dinner after already eating, let’s say a couple thousand calories depending on whether you are a man or a woman, and how big and active you are and what your body composition goals are.

Let’s say you’ve eaten anywhere from a thousand to 2000, 2,500 calories and you get to the restaurant it’s going to. Behoove you to not add several thousand more calories to that several times per week. And so reviewing the menu online, getting a sense of what sounds appealing to you and what is moderate in calories, and making that choice beforehand can save you the frustration of trying to figure that out when you’re at the restaurant.

Pulling out your phone, trying to look up the calories of different types of foods or different meals, and of course you’re probably going to underestimate the number of calories if you try to just figure it out yourself, because most restaurants are using a lot of fat oil. Butter. Those are the two most common forms of fat used to make food taste good.

In the case of desserts, there’s usually a lot more sugar than you realize, and a lot more butter cream as well. Very common. And so that’s another tip. You can also personalize your meal if stock options don’t work. So if you’re looking at the menu and there’s nothing, there’s no combination of things that works for you.

You can ask them to make something the way that you want it. You can modify. An existing meal. You can, like for example, you can ask them to do something and use a quarter of the oil that they would normally use or a quarter of the butter or leave some part of it out. Or in many cases they can do something more customized for you.

You can mix and match different elements from different dishes and. Get something that you enjoy and that is reasonable in terms of calories and macros. Another tip is to skip the bread basket if at all possible, because it is very easy to eat hundreds, if not a thousand plus calories of bread and butter before your appetizer even arrives.

And if skipping it is not an option, then just. Take that into account with the rest of your ordering. So if you are going to eat a fair amount of bread, maybe you want to skip the appetizer, maybe skip the dessert, or this is a segue into my next tip, which is to share your food with others, especially dessert, because most desserts in most restaurants you can count on.

About 30 to 50 calories per bite, per spoon of dessert. And by sharing your food with others, you can reduce the amount of calories that you eat. You also can encourage them to share their food with you, which, uh, I actually prefer to eat that way. In many restaurants because you get to try different things and after you’ve eaten several bites of a dish, unless it is outstanding, it has lost a little bit of its luster.

It’s the first several bites that are the best, right? And so by sharing your food, you get to take those several bites of your food and you get several bites of other people’s food. And my final tip here for eating out is to minimize or leave out the alcohol, because alcohol almost always comes with a significant number of calories and it accelerates fat storage.

Uh, I don’t need to get into the physiology here, but when you’re drinking alcohol, your body is storing. Fat very efficiently. It boosts the amount, particularly of dietary fat that gets stored, but also the amount of the carbohydrate that you eat that gets stored as body fat, which normally does not happen to any significant degree.

And so if you can. Minimize the alcohol or leave it out altogether. It can help a lot with maintaining the physique that you want. If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, then you will probably like my award-winning fitness books for men and women of all ages and abilities, which have sold over 2 million copies, have received over 15,004 and five star reviews on Amazon, and which have helped tens of thousands of people build their best body ever.

Now. A caveat, my books and programs cannot give you a lean and toned Hollywood body in 30 days, and they are not full of dubious diet and exercise hacks and shortcuts for gaining lean muscle and melting belly fat faster than a sneeze in a cyclone. But they will show you exactly how to eat and exercise to lose up to 35 pounds of fat or more if you need to lose more or want to lose more and gain eye-catching amounts of muscle definition and strength.

And even better, you will learn how to do those things without having to live in the gym. Give up all of the foods or drinks that you love or do long grueling workouts that you hate. And with my books and programs, you will do that. You will transform your physique faster. Then you probably think is possible or I will give you your money back.

If you are unsatisfied with any of my books or programs, the results, anything for whatever reason, just let me know and you will get a full refund on the spot. Now I do have several books and programs including Bigger, leaner, stronger, thinner, leaner, stronger, and Muscle for Life. And to help you understand which one is right for you, it’s pretty simple.

If you are a guy aged 18 to let’s say 40 to 45, bigger, leaner, stronger is the book and program for you. If you are a gal, same age range, thinner, lean, or stronger is going to be for you. And if you are a guy or gal, 40 to maybe 45. Plus Muscle for Life is for you. Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful, and if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes.

And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people. Who may like it just as much as you. And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have, uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, [email protected], muscle f o r and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, What your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.

I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.

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