Weight Loss

Weekend diet splurging won’t necessarily lead to weight gain, study says

Birthday cupcakes

 (© Barbara Helgason)

It turns out, a little indulgence over the weekend may not affect long-term weight gain, according to new research from VTT Technical Research Center in Finland.

In a study published in Obesity Facts, researchers found a weekly rhythm in how people’s weight fluctuate over the seven days of the week. Researchers monitored the weight of 80 adults for a minimum of 15 days and found there was an overall pattern of higher weight on Sundays and Mondays. The participants who then lost more weight from Tuesday until the weekend ended up losing or maintaining their weight successfully over the study period.  

“Weight gain following a weekend can be thought of as normal weight variation,” researcher Anna-Leena Orsama of the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, said in a news release.

Researchers concluded that indulging on the weekends doesn’t have a negative impact on weight management – as long as healthy food choices are made during the week. They advised people notice the patterns in their own eating habits and take steps to reverse the upward trend after the weekend.

Overall, long-term habits made more of a difference than short-term splurges, researchers noted.

The study was conducted by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in collaboration with Cornell University and Tampere University of Technology.