Maintaining your health and fitness routine can be challenging, but it seems the weekends are where we can lose steam or even regress. During the week when you’re working, you have specific habits that tend to keep you on track. Get up by 5am, eat a healthy breakfast, walk the dog before you head into work. At lunch maybe have your prepared meal, then stop by the gym before you head back home. Once you are home, have family time, eat a healthy dinner, and in bed by 9am to read before starting another day.
It can be much easier to stay on track during the week, but by Friday, we are ready to relax and unwind. But this can mean many things to people, unfortunately it means doing the opposite on the weekends. Sleeping in for starters, going out to breakfast with friends, binge watching Netflix, then going out for drinks in the evening. Herein lies the problem – all the hard work you have put into the week in watching your weight, can go right out the window by the end of the weekend.
Here are 10 tips to keep the weekends from during your progress.
1. Don’t be so restrictive during the week. Because by the weekend you feel the need to overcompensate by increasing your calories, adding trigger foods, and possibly going overboard. Aim for a better balance throughout the whole week, not just Monday through Friday afternoon.
2. Bank calories during the week (-100kcal Monday-Friday). Try to decrease your calories by 100 each day during the week. That way you go into weekend with a slight deficit that will help offset the caloric increase on Saturday and Sunday.
3. Try tracking your food just on the weekends to see if there is a large increase. Plan ahead for your weekend activities. Plan your calories around a party or event or going out. Make sure your other meals are significantly smaller to make up for the added calories during the event (don’t have two full meals plus overeat on the day your event is happening). You need to go into your weekend with a meal plan, it doesn’t mean you have to be very restrictive, plan to have a single larger meal on each weekend day so that you account for it in your total calories. This way you do not end up with 2 days of excess calorie intake that limits your progress.
4. Have a small protein shake before you go out. This will help so feel fuller so you don’t consume as many calories when hanging with friends or family.
5. The 1 for 1 ratio. If you drink, have 1 water for every alcohol drink or have low calorie drinks that contain more ice so you don’t drink your calories or get dehydrated.
6. Eat more fruit or veggies that contains water. This can be a great way to snack between meals or while socializing and it will increase how full you feel.
7. Share. If you have an appetizer or dessert, try to share it with somebody else (these calories can be more than the meal itself). You could always share a full meal to reduce your total caloric intake, and skip the bread basket when you go out.
8. Keep your meals light during the day. If you know you’re going to have a big dinner, don’t consume as much at breakfast and lunch.
9. Get out early and go for a walk or workout. Try to do a fun activity, outdoor hikes, or outdoor festival where you will be moving for several hours. This will still help burn calories while enjoying the day.
10. Always keep your eye on your why. Set mini goals, write stuff down, and organize yourself for the weekend. Don’t let the moment derail you from the future you want.
You need to go into your weekend with a plan. It does not need to be the detailed meal prep that fits your busy week, but an idea of your activity level and eating schedule. Try not to go into it mindlessly eating whatever is in front of you. After a hard week we use weekends as small celebrations, or parties to offset the week. But overeating at every meal, not moving all weekend, drinking too much, or snacking on the couch watching football all afternoon will end up reversing all the hard work you put into the week. Start with 1 or 2 items next weekend, and see if you start Monday off feeling better, lighter and more on track for your goals.
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