This topic is primarily directed towards those who are looking to lose fat. If you are maintaining your weight or aren't focused on weight loss at this point this can also be a useful topic in terms of creating more sustainability with your nutrition.
Weight loss is primarily driven from viewpoint of the weekly caloric deficit. That is where you see a lot of your progress. The daily calories matter (because they make up the weekly calorie data) but the total weekly caloric deficit is where you see the results. I would encourage you to view your nutrition through this lens because in doing so you gain a different perspective. First, you can let go of meals where you "miss the mark" because you realize the weekly picture is more important. Secondly, you can begin to see holes or opportunities for growth in your nutritional protocol from a larger point of view.
During the fat loss journey, a major problem occurs when people lose their consistency over the weekend. During the week they have structure. They usually stay consistent and follow the plan. On the weekends, it can be easy to lose track of calories because of lifestyle factors. Having a couple extra drinks, snacks, and desserts are common when dining out or having parties with friends. This is not something you have to feel guilty about but it is important to become aware of these trends because this is what I call the "weekend trap". We can still absolutely do these things but we need to account for them!
Weight loss can be more of an emotional journey than a physical journey at times. Many times we can become emotionally drained from the ups, downs, and plateaus. It is hard for us to use our logical brains during this process because we tie our weight to lots of individual emotions.
The problem with the weekend trap is that it gives us a false reading of our progress. We could be eating/exercising in a manner that would allow us to lose 1-2 pounds per week (excellent Monday-Friday data) but due to the weekend trap we can seemly lose some or all of that progress. Instead of losing 1.5 pounds a week maybe we are losing .3 pounds per week. Regardless of the number, it can be frustrating when we don't see the full fruit of our labor.
The transformation journey is hard enough by itself. A lot of people will try and sell "easy" ways to lose weight. The reality is it's not easy. It's simple but not easy. It takes behavioral change and that is something we as humans we don't like.
Consistency is everything when you are doing a transformation. That doesn't mean you can't have that drink, dessert, or extra snack. Just make sure to track it or account for it so you are aware of what is actually going on. You have to be just as focused on the weekends as you are during the week if you want to see lasting progress. This process doesn't have to be miserable but you do have to stay consistent. I can't stress that enough.
With that being said, there are a couple solutions to the "weekend trap". First and foremost, you need to create your nutrition around your lifestyle not the other way around.
Lastly and most importantly, don't beat yourself up when you miss the mark. There will be times when you go over your protocol or miss it completely. That is okay. No one got fat from one meal and no one got skinny from one meal. That meal where you 'missed the mark' doesn't matter. It doesn't! The shame and guilt associated with that meal is where the problem comes in. When you let shame and guilt into the equation then you start developing poor relationships with food and that's what makes 1 'bad' meal turn into 10 'bad' meals. The best thing you can do after a meal like that is to place the proper perspective into your brain. You didn't ruin anything. You aren't off track. You didn't take a step back. All you did was fill up some glycogen stores, satisfied some cravings, and had an enjoyable experience with some tasty food. I think some people think that you need to beat yourself up when it comes to imperfection. If you are harder on yourself then it won't happen again. I would argue the exact opposite. Most of us are already aware of our shortcomings and aware of the fact that creating wellness results are hard. I've found that allowing imperfection actually creates more consistency over the long term. I talk about this in all of my content. The goal isn't to be perfect 100% of the time. The goal is to hit the mark 80% of the time and allow 20% imperfections to happen naturally. Allowing the 20% in your life gives sustainability and consistency to the 80% and that's when you start to see results.
Your best is yet to come!