Stay on Track This Weekend With These 8 Tips
The weekends are great. You may not have to go into work, your friends are off, and it's the only time we really get to do anything.
While we want to go have fun with our friends and family, it's hard to not overeat. Instead, you would rather stay home.
While it can be difficult to manage your calories without being a hermit all weekend, you need to have a little room in your life for some indulgences. It just sucks that it's easy to go overboard if we don't have everything planned in advance.
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While it isn't bad to go off of your plan occasionally, it will add up over time. In order for you to make progress, you just have to make a few better decisions each week.
Say you've been eating consistently, hitting your calorie goals, and working out. Did you know you could gain 12 pounds if you overeat only 400 calories on Saturday and Sunday? What's worse is overindulging during the weekend can make it harder to get back on track.
Professionals recommend staying as consistent as possible, every day of the week.
If that seems impossible to accomplish, check out these tips.
8 Tips to Survive the Weekend
1.) You'll Need to Plan Ahead
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It's been my mantra for a while, and it slaps me in my face every time.
If you know you're going to be going out for the weekend, take a look online and find their menu. This will help you get calorie counts and help you make a plan when ordering.
The anxiety and stress you get from "not knowing how bad this is going to blow my diet" makes eating out a chore. Being able to know in advance exactly what to expect when you are ordering. You already have the calories accounted for, you've planned everything out, and you will be able to enjoy the foods you want.
Don't overthink — make a plan and stick to it.
2.) Schedule Your Weekend Workouts
Make a commitment to yourself to exercise during the weekend. No one really wants to feel sluggish when we exercise, so your dedication to your goals will help slow down those shots at the bar.
You'll also make better food choices that help you feel better instead of overindulging in your favorites.
Scheduling some time to exercise during the weekend will create the structure you need to set the tone for the rest of the day.
3.) Make Non-Eating Social Plans
I don't know about you, but most of my friends and family like to eat. Even if we are just all meeting up over at Grandma's house, someone's bringing pizza or sweets.
Try thinking of other ways to gather without involving food. It's really hard to stay on track with your calories if you go to a restaurant and have a free-for-all.
Instead of meeting your friends for something to eat, invite them out for coffee, take a walk in a park, check out a museum, or even join a workout class.
4.) Be Smart About Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol doesn't need to be an off-limits food, but when you're trying to lose weight, you don't want to consume too much.
If you want to go out for a drink, make sure to choose a single alcohol with a non-caloric mixer.
Try something like seltzer or a diet version of your favorite mixer. After the first one goes down, it can be hard to keep track of your calories. Keep your drinking limited and plan out your excursion so you don't blow your calories.
5.) Track Everything You Eat and Drink
Before I started logging my food, I thought it was a waste of time... until I found out it wasn't.
It seems common for those who count calories often become relaxed over the weekend. Tracking will keep you accountable.
If you already track your weekdays, great. If you haven't started, I suggest it. It doesn't have to be fancy — a pad of paper works if you log what you eat and drink.
Buy yourself a nice food scale, some measuring cups, measuring spoons, and some meal prep containers if you want to dial in your amounts and get more consistent results.
6.) Make No Foods "Off Limits"
We all know that fighting off indulgences gets worse as the week goes on. But what if those foods we have forbidden ourselves to eat could be eaten every day?
For me, having "bad foods" isn't because that's what I prefer. I just like the way they taste. When we restrict ourselves from eating foods that we label as "bad," things go downhill fast — kind of like sneaking a few pieces of candy at Halloween that no one knew about.
What's worse, when we finally do eat the foods that we've put as off-limits, stress and anxiety about eating them put us into a tailspin. Since we already broke our rules, why not just get it out today and start over on Monday.
If that sounds like a conversation you've had with yourself, prevent this restrict-and-binge cycle by allowing yourself to eat these foods. Instead of devouring a bag of fun-size snickers, grab yourself a couple for the day and account for those 150 calories.
No food needs to be off-limits, they just need to be watched. It is great to be able to enjoy some white cheddar popcorn or some sweets every day without having regret.
7.) Be Prepared Entering the Weekend
I like to cook, but whenever there's nothing in there, I scurry to find food. Ordering takeout or eating out several times in one weekend is expensive and makes it impossible to stay on track.
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are all easier to stay on track because the foods you've prepared for the week are fresh. As the week goes on, your food dwindles and your leftovers become unappealing.
Try planning easy no-prep dinners for Thursday and Friday with basic non-perishable ingredients.
Want a change of your weekly habit? Plan a mid-week food run so you can keep more appealing options at home. It is fun to run into the store to grab a few things for dinner — the second trip gives you more time to plan a new meal or find a nice recipe to try.
8.) Try the Three-Bite Rule
Practicing moderation is the answer to living a healthy life — we can have our cake and eat it too.
While the three-bite rule never has helped me (mostly because I don't like to waste food), taking a few bites will help you savor the flavor without eating 1,000 calories.