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 and it’s easy to stick to your plan.

If weight loss isn’t a diet, but a way of life, then Weekends Off is a way of life anybody can love! 

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 ain’t really 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.


2-3 servings of grains (preferably whole grains including hot and cold cereal) 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.

5 or 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

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

2 cups of skim 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)


No need to stop having fun on the weekends just because you want to weigh less. It's possible to do both at the same time!

No need to stop having fun on the weekends just because you want to weigh less. It’s possible to do both at the same time!

Keep your weekday food plan in mind and adjust downwards slightly to allow for an indulgence such as a meal in a restaurant complete with bread, shared appetizer, entree, adult beverage, and a shared dessert (or the equivalent.)

Weekends Off is not about undoing all the work you did all week. It's about indulging with Flexible Restraint!

Weekends Off is not about undoing all the work you did all week. It’s about indulging with Flexible Restraint!

Tips 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. 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.

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.

If you’re following Weight Watchers you can still take weekends off. Save all 49 weekly allowance points for the weekend. Activity points earned during the week can be swapped for food during the week, saved for the weekend along with the 49 WAPs or not at all. 


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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.