Take the Weekends off From Dieting to Lose Weight!

Lose Weight and Take Your Weekends Off! Sounds like a cheesy claim on the front of a sleazy rag you see at the supermarket checkout! It’s actually an effective way to lose weight. The best part is there’s no deprivation making it easier to stick to your plan. What’s even greater with this plan is how well it can fit your life even after you reach your goal.

If weight loss isn’t a diet, but a way of life, then Weekends Off is a way of life anybody can love and sustain. If you have been unable to stick to a weight loss action for any length of time, this could be the way to finally lose weight and keep it off.

I can hear you thinking, “what’s the catch?”

I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t one. Common sense told you there had to be a catch and you’re right about that, but the catch isn’t so bad.

Here’s the Catch with Weekends Off Dieting!

Consider the pendulum, the farther you pull it in one direction, the farther it swings in the opposite direction. We are not trying to get the pendulum wildly swinging from one side to the other, but rather working on a gentle sway. In other words this isn’t about a very restrictive diet during the week and letting caution go to the wind on the weekends. It’s about being somewhat cautious during the week, but nowhere near to the point of uncomfortable. On the weekends you can relax your efforts without wrecking them.


2-3 servings of grains (preferably whole grains including hot and cold cereal without added sugar) Serving size: 1/2 cup or about as much as would fit into the top of an aerosol spray can, or one slice of bread approximately 3/8″ thick.

2-3 servings of protein, Serving size: Meat, poultry or fish about the size of the palm of your hand (width and thickness, excluding fingers) 1/2 cup of tofu or legumes.

Minimum of 5 (go ahead and enjoy more!) servings of vegetables, Serving size (only necessary to ensure you meet the 5 serving minimum) Cooked vegetables, 1/2 cup, raw vegetables 1 cup. Be very stingy with the oil and butter!

2 servings of fruit (does not include juices, dried fruit, or fruit in syrup with added sugar)

2 cups of skim or 1% fat milk

3 teaspoons of monounsaturated oil (olive oil)

100 calorie treat (examples: 2 small cookies, glass of wine, 1/2 cup serving of reduced fat ice cream)


Follow your weekday food plan plus add an indulgence such as a meal in a restaurant complete with bread, shared appetizer, entree, adult beverage, and a shared dessert. Your indulgence is your choice!

How to make weekends off work for you:

1. The better you adhere to your weekday plan, the more wiggle room you’ll have on the weekends.


2. Tracking your food on your weekends helps you to recognize how far your indulgences go. Don’t count calories, but do jot down what and how much you’re eating. If your progress is disappointing (you can expect to lose an average of 1-2 pounds weekly with this program) you will be able to see if you’re carrying your “weekends off” too far.

Having fun on the weekend and even going to parties doesn't have to derail weight loss progress.

Having fun on the weekend and even going to parties doesn’t have to derail weight loss progress.

3. Increase your physical activity. Try to get more movement into every day. Pedometers are motivating and an easy way to achieve 10,000 steps a day. More steps gives you more weekend freedom! Increasing your metabolism allows you to eat more because you burn more calories at rest!

4. Keep your goal in mind. You want to lose weight in a manner that is a good fit with your lifestyle. This approach to weight loss is particularly useful in learning skills for sustained weight control. It allows the dieter to practice and perfect the skill of flexible restraint.




Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.