You’ve been eating well all week: oatmeal for breakfast, a salad for lunch and grilled chicken with vegetables for dinner. Then the weekend hits. Suddenly your taste buds want French fries at the bar and Mom’s cheesy lasagna is calling your name during Sunday dinner.
Not to worry. A new study suggests small weight gains on weekends are normal, and as long as you can compensate during the week, indulging a bit may even help you lose weight long-term.
Researchers analyzed data from 80 adults, ranging in age from 25 to 62 years old, who recorded their weight each day after waking up.
The participants were grouped according to their weight changes over the study period: weight losers who lost at least 3% of their body weight; weight gainers who put on at least 1%; and weight maintainers who stayed in between those minimums.
All three groups, the losers, gainers and maintainers, recorded higher weights on Sundays and Mondays than other days of the week. But those who successfully lost weight had lower weights during the week, with their lowest generally recorded on Friday.
This shows they managed to compensate for the weekend gain during the work week, researchers say.