Body & Fitness

Why a weekend binge won’t hurt your waistline

Parties, special occasions, celebrations – it’s certainly not hard to splurge on the weekends! But you may not have to feel as guilty as you think for feasting over the two days.

New research suggests that watching what you eat during the week is what really counts when trying to lose weight and if you do this successfully, weekend binges may not be so bad after all.

Researchers from New York’s Cornell University found that the most successful weight control is done by short-term splurges that occur for most people on the weekends.

But the difference between being overweight or not doesn’t come down to how much weight is gained on the weekends, but how much is lost during the week.

Dr Brian Wansink and his team observed the weight fluctuations of 80 participants aged 25 to 62, who weighed themselves before breakfast each day.

They were classified in groups as general weight losers, weight gainers or weight maintainers.

The weekly weight patterns were analysed, showing how the seven-day cycle we live by impacts on our weight.

The results showed a clear pattern of weekly weight fluctuation, with participants weighing more on Sundays and Mondays. Their weight then steadily decreased during the week, reaching the lowest point on Friday.

Researchers found that participants lost weight by cutting back on kilojoules straight after the weekend, continuing until Friday.

Meanwhile those who had no clear decrease in kilojoules during weekdays didn’t lose weight.

The study was published in the journal Obesity Facts and carried out in conjunction with researchers from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Tampere University of Technology.

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