Written by Nutrition Coach Jamie, Registered Dietitian
So I know for most of us, we mentally think of the weekends differently than we do the weekdays. Why is that? Maybe it’s because the work week feels so hectic that we are craving a mini weekend “vacation?” Maybe it’s time that we can relax and hang out with friends and family? Or maybe it’s because we can go on a date night or have that glass of wine we’ve been waiting for all week with our significant other? Whatever it may be, a lot of us think we “deserve” the weekend and result in splurging on extra calories and derailing our mindset from eating the way we truly want to.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy yourself but keep the whole weekend in perspective! It’s one thing to have a meal that you may splurge on but when all of your meals over the weekend are “cheat” meals then you may need to take a closer look at what your fitness and nutrition goals are!
Here are some tips for you to keep on track during the weekends!
1. Squeeze in a longer workout. The best part of the weekend is that you have more free time. Use this time to your advantage!
2. Eat like it’s a weekday. When you think about it, it doesn’t really make much sense to eat differently on the weekend than you do during the week – especially if your food choices during the week keep you fueled and energized. It can be easy to skip meals on the weekend and then make up for it later by overindulging at dinner. Try to make a point to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner while sitting down. For when you’re on the go, follow a schedule just like you would during the week. Your body will thank you!
3. Stick to your usual sleep schedule. Are you someone who has a firm bedtime during the week only to stay up late and sleep in on the weekends? Changing your sleep patterns could throw off your schedule…..it’s hard to eat breakfast when you get up at noon! If you feel tired and want to sleep in a couple of hours more than normal then that’s OK but just be mindful if your sleep schedule changes drastically on the weekends. Lastly, changing your sleep schedule can also make it harder to fall asleep on Sunday night, which could set you up for a tired Monday.
4. Fuel yourself for a weekday success. Ask yourself honestly if you overdid it with the workouts or restricted your food or calories too much during the week. If so, come Friday, your body may be hungry and tired, which can lead to overeating and under exercising on the weekend. Remember, every day, to be eating and exercising in a way that you can sustain for the long haul – not just a few days or weeks.
5. Limit your drinks. While many of us forgo the soda, beer and wine during the week, we loosen up over the weekend. Just remember that the calories in beverages can add up quickly if you’re not careful. Just because you were “good” during the week doesn’t mean that it’s OK to make up for that with one night of all-out binge drinking.
6. Plan for relaxation. Most of us are busy during the week and even our weekends seem to become non-stop errands, chores and work. How do you relax? Schedule some downtime for at least an hour or two. Whether it’s practicing your favorite hobby, watching your favorite show, meditating, or reading, do something every weekend that recharges you. You’ll not only feel better, but also beat stress, which helps with weight loss.
7. Break the on-again, off-again diet mentality. If you have a history in yo-yo dieting, make sure that you’re not alternating between being “good” and “bas” throughout the course of a week. View the weekend as time for you – not a time to rebel or “cheat” on your diet and exercise plan. Remember that being at a healthy weight is about sustainable healthy lifestyle changes, not just a diet and exercise plan that you can maintain Monday through Friday. Revisit your goals and recommit to making healthier and realistic choices, every day, that set you up for success in the long term.
8. Weigh in on Monday morning. If you need extra help being accountable over the weekend, schedule your weekly weigh-in for Monday morning. Knowing that you’ll step on the scale at the start of the week can help you to stay accountable and be more aware of your weekend choices.
9. Plan for the week ahead. What better way to stay healthy on the weekend than by using your extra time to set yourself up for success? Take a Sunday afternoon or evening to hit the grocery store and do some planning for the week ahead. That way, when your busy week gets even busier, you’ll already be ahead of the curse and able to stay on track! Don’t forget about laundering your workout clothes, packing your gym bag, and getting prepared for workouts too!
10. ENJOY YOURSELF. Remember that even WITH all of the tips above – you are HUMAN and you should be enjoying indulgences every now and then (about 10-20% of the time).
Have a great weekend!