The weekend is two days of pure bliss — kicking up your feet, socializing with friends and family and relaxing from a busy week. But hectic schedules, social events and planned “treat days” can lead to overeating and overindulging, making it difficult to hit your calorie goal all seven days of the week. So while you may be meeting your weekday goals, many find it harder to stay on track during the weekend.
If you find yourself overeating as soon as Friday night rolls around, here are some tips to help throughout the weekend:
Continue to log your food. The workweek may be over, but it is important to keep logging your food, even if you know you’re going to blow your calorie budget. Instead of considering the entire weekend a wash, enjoy the indulgence — but hold yourself accountable by tracking your meals.
Stock up on healthy snacks. Cookies, crackers and chips may tempt you on weekends, but if you replace these items with ready-to-eat fruit, vegetables and nuts, it’s easier to keep temptation at bay. Out of sight, out of mind? Hopefully!
Remain flexible, even on weekdays. Saving treats and “cheat meals” for the weekend can lead you to overindulge or even binge on foods that are typically off-limits during the week. Try a more moderate approach by eating nutritious whole foods 80–90% of the time all week long. Instead of setting aside one “cheat day,” spread these foods throughout the week for a more balanced approach.
Avoid using food rewards. Had a stressful week? Accomplish something big at work? Relax and reward yourself with experiences rather than food. A manicure, a trip to the beach or a movie night with friends are great, calorie-free ways to treat yourself.
Snack on a veggie and fruit smoothie or salad before you leave home. Weekends often include social events; parties, picnics and barbeques can mean high-calorie foods that are easy to indulge in. Don’t go famished; remain mindful of your food selections during these events. Opt for smaller portion sizes — you can always go back for more!
Water, water, water! Drinking enough water throughout the weekend, while also being wary of high-calorie drinks such as soda and alcohol, will allow you to remain hydrated and avoid overindulging on liquids. Bored with water? Refresh yourself on a hot day with calorie-free seltzer or cucumber-infused water.
Beware of portion distortion. Eating out at your favorite restaurant? Large portion sizes and high-calorie foods can quickly lead to overeating. Consider ordering off the appetizer menu, but if that entree is calling your name, ask for a to-go box then place half your meal in it before that first bite. By doing so, you’ll eat half the calories and have leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch!
Make your workweek habits stick by staying motivated and focused over the weekend, too. The body loves routine, so keep consistent with what you do during the week. Wake up around the same time, and get that workout in early. Also, putting exercise at the top of your calendar can make you more successful with keeping on track with your healthy habits so you don’t find yourself throwing in the towel on the weekends.