For most people it’s pretty easy to stick with healthy eating and a structured workout routine during the workweek, but for whatever reason the weekends seem to throw people off track.
If you add up all the weekend days in a month (including a Friday, Saturday & Sunday) it’s about 12 days, which is almost HALF OF THE MONTH!! So, derailing at the weekends means you’re literally taking off 50% of the month, which isn’t ideal if you have a goal set to lose weight or get in shape.
I’m not saying that there isn’t room for some splurges and treats, but it’s important to keep your health goals in mind when making choices over the weekend.
Stay focused and keep with your normal routine – One of the big things that throws us off on the weekend is lack of routine that we normally have during the week. If that’s the case, come up with a weekend routine.
Of course, there will be weekends where you don’t follow the routine exactly, but it can be so helpful to add some structure to your weekends. A few ideas: have a small lie in but still get up near the time you would during the week, sit down to have breakfast as you would normally, go for a walk or do your household chores, make sure you still down for lunch at the time you would during the week, plan your afternoon or meal prep for the week, attend an exercise class or head to the gym for a workout, sit down for your evening meal as you would normally, head to bed at the same as you would during the week.
Limit your alcohol – A lot of people use alcohol as a way to relax on the weekends. Having a drink here and there is totally fine, but it’s super important to find other ways to relax and destress after a long week. A few ideas: exercise, catch up with an old friend, read a book, take a bath, schedule a nail appointment or a hair appointment. Of course, if you do plan to indulge in a few alcoholic drinks, it’s best to drink water or another calorie-free drink in between drinks.
Eat a healthy breakfast – A healthy breakfast starts your metabolism and helps to control your appetite all day. You will normally have a little more time at the weekends to prepare a delicious healthy breakfast so take advantage of that!
Stick with the basics – When planning meals for the weekend, load your plate with protein, healthy fats, whole grains and lots of fruit and veg, so that you feel comfortably full and satisfied. Many people tend to snack throughout the weekend instead of sitting down for full meals.
Keep a food diary – This is another one of my favourite tips. Writing down what you eat is the most accurate way to hold yourself accountable and ensure you’re not sabotaging your diet over the weekend. All those small bites and sips that you quickly forget about add up! Keeping a food diary can be a real reality check when you look back over the week.
Move more – Make the most of the extra free time you have on the weekend and try to squeeze in some sort of workout or go for a walk. Getting your friends and family involved in something outdoors can be a fun way to get moving! And remember, exercise doesn’t always have to mean going to the gym — walking, playing sports, gardening, cleaning the house and mowing the grass are all forms of physical activity.
Use your weekend to plan for the week ahead – The weekends are a great time to plan your healthy meals for the week.
Moderation is key – Eat and enjoy your favourite foods in moderation. Deprivation tends to backfire so if you really want a treat, eat and enjoy it and then move on.
Last but not least, don’t let one setback keep you from working toward your health goals. If you slip-up over the weekend, don’t let it get you down or bring on the mindset of saying I’ve already screwed up, might as well throw in the towel for this weekend start again on Monday. Nope! Just make sure your next meal is a healthy one and keep on going.