It’s Friday and many of us have been dedicated to our healthy lifestyle all week – we’ve eaten well, worked out, and taken care of ourselves.
Yet for some reason the second Friday evening hits, it’s like our healthy habits never existed.
For many of us, weekends seem to completely sabotage all the progress we make during the week.
What is it about the weekends that makes us lose all control?
Is it because we are home and have easy access to food? Is it because we want to go out and party? Is it because we spend time with friends? Is it the way we unwind and de-stress? Is it because we are sometimes bored and there is food right there? Is it because we mindlessly eat when we watch TV?
Maybe even all of the above?
Whatever the reason, if we want results, we can’t go completely crazy every single weekend.
So how do we help ourselves stay on track during the weekend?
Here’s what I’ve found helps people stay committed to their healthy lifestyle even on the weekends:
- Be active! When we sit around the house, we look for things to fill the time….Like eating anything we have in our cabinets. Yup…We tend to eat out of boredom, especially if it is easily accessible. If we stay active and entertained, for one, food won’t just be right there and two, we won’t be as tempted to eat. Activity keeps us motivated and from eating out of boredom!
- All social engagements don’t have to revolve around food and if they do, PLAN. Over the weekend, we tend to get together with friends and family. And too many get-togethers revolve around food. Try doing something active instead. Go bowling or on a hike. HOWEVER, there will be parties that you can’t avoid that are centered around food. PLAN for those and decide to either use them as a cheat or stay on track. If you plan ahead, you won’t let one party derail all your hard work and send you on a downward spiral the rest of the weekend!
- Clean out your cabinets. If you find you eat badly when you have bad food around, it may be best to clean out your cabinets and not keep the foods that tempt you in the house. When you get bored, you won’t have anything to reach to and you may find you look for something to DO instead. It will also keep you from mindlessly eating as you watch TV. Sometime the best way to stop yourself from doing something, is to not even give yourself the option to do it.
- Make some healthy snacks. Kale chips, carrot chips, apple and almond butter….Make a healthy snack to munch on as you hang around the house. It will satisfy you without derailing your progress. Plus, it may just cure your boredom to experiment with some healthy snack recipes…And…gasp…cooking may actually be fun! (It could also be a fun FAMILY activity!)
- Be moderate in your alcohol consumption unless you plan to cheat. We tend to make bad eating decisions when we’ve consumed too much alcohol. And some alcoholic beverages also contain a ton of calories themselves. So a great way to stay on track is to be moderate in your alcohol consumption unless you are consciously indulging. While the weekends should be a time to relax and enjoy, it doesn’t mean we have to binge!
- Be prepared and keep yourself motivated! All week long, we do things to motivate ourselves and prepare ourselves. We prep meals. We write out workouts. We cruise the web for motivation. Why not spend an hour or two on the weekends doing the same thing? Many people take the weekends off from working out. Instead maybe take a weekday off and save a workout for the weekends to keep you motivated. Doing a workout on the weekend may make you less likely to cheat because you are reminded of what you are working for and just even spent time working toward it! Just remember to remind yourself of your goals even on the weekends.
I would just like to note that a planned cheat day isn’t sabotaging your weekend EVEN if it means you lose a little ground on your goal. For many, cheat days are a chance to recharge and can actually help keep you on track.
That being said….If cheat days lead to a downward spiral, you may want to avoid them on the weekends until healthy habits are created.
Don’t let this weekend sabotage your progress! Stay on track using these tips.
What else helps you stay on track over the weekend?