LDW Survival Guide

Good morning friends! Happy Labor Day Weekend. A long weekend filled with BBQs, group meals, ever-present food platters, and a constant supply of alcohol. Super fun? Yes. But there’s also the following…

Guilt and regret: “Ugh, I just ate so much, I did NOT need to eat that hot dog/cookie/extra side of potato salad.”

Vacation state of mind: “Whatever it’s a holiday, I know I’m going to end up eating too much.”

followed by…

Compensation: “But I NEED to diet/juice/get to a Soul Cycle class ASAP on Tuesday.”

I’ve totally been through all of this myself, and I know how common these types of thoughts and feelings are.

It’s early Saturday morning and the weekend is really about to begin. Before you go into it, I want to give you a survival guide so you can feel good both during AND after the weekend – no binges, no regrets, and no crash dieting on Tuesday. So go grab your coffee/mimosa/morning smoothie, and read on.


  1. Taste it all: The operative word is TASTE. This is about not depriving yourself during a weekend filled with food, usually in a group, celebratory setting. You may not want to be the person that says, “Sorry, I shouldn’t…” to everything except the fruit salad, grilled veggies, and skinless chicken.” It’s all about (can you guess?) portion control. Feel free to take a small sample of whatever dishes you’d like so you don’t feel like you’re missing out. THEN, choose your favorites (healthy or not) and make your plate from those. Put your plate together all at once, so you can keep portions of each food in control, and so you don’t continue to go back for more. When you’re eating, be MINDFUL of each bite. Eat slowly and enjoy, so that you don’t look down at your plate and think, “Where did it all go?
  2. Forget FOMO: FOMO can ruin anyone’s intention to eat well during a holiday or vacation. “This food is part of the experience, if I don’t eat it’s like I’m not FULLY experiencing it all.” Or, “When am I going to be able to eat these brownies/cupcakes/cookies/cake again?” Guess what? With that mentality, you just ate a brownie, 2 cookies, most of a cupcake, and a small slice of cake. That ain’t gonna feel too good after. But you could prevent that by realizing you’re NOT missing out even if you don’t eat each dessert. For example, are the cupcakes from a chain bakery? If so, forget those and go for the gorgeous cake from a little bakery that’s unique to the town you’re in. Because you can always go pick up some Baked by Melissa if you really feel like you “missed out” on them this weekend. Or if you’re heart is set on the cupcakes but you want to try the brownies only because they’re homemade, just ask for the recipe so you can make them yourself when you REALLY want them! This goes for any food item and, by the way. Like if there are bowls of tortilla chips and salsa out between meals, and you’re not hungry but want them because “they’re there,” then please – forget the chips and salsa. You can buy them at CVS any day (or HOUR in NYC) when the craving hits. Side note: this also works in any situation going forward. The other night I was out to dinner and “wanted dessert” but didn’t really WANT dessert. I told myself that I could just go back to the restaurant another time when I actually want it, and I left feeling much less full! Boom.
  3. Don’t plan for a crash diet: Going into the weekend thinking, “It’s okay, my diet starts Tuesday” will NOT make the weekend any more enjoyable. It will probably lead you to overeat because you have a plan to undo all of the “bad eating” when the weekend is over. But there are a couple flaws to this: first, you may take on a binge mentality, feeling that this is the last weekend to “get it all in” before the diet starts, which will only make you feel very full (not fun in a bathing suit) and regretful during the weekend. Secondly, crash diets don’t work. We know this by now. The point is to enjoy the foods you really want to enjoy this weekend in a mindful, controlled way without feeling like you totally overdid it when it’s over.

Enjoy your weekend! And although it’s a long weekend, I know it’s not for everyone. If you’re stuck working – don’t worry, I am, too. So in between patients I’ll just browse Instagram for LDW foodie pics. And although I’ll probably have FOMO myself, at least it’s a healthy kind!

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