Are you someone who tends to do really well during the week but then when the weekends come, you have a hard time staying on track? Do you feel like all your hard work may be going down the tubes, come Saturday and Sunday? So many people use Monday as their fresh start because the weekends were a bit of a tragedy. There is no reason to continue this cycle if you are serious about your goals and frustrated by this weekend madness!
Most of the problems lie in the fact that the weekends throw us out of our daily routines. For those that work a typical weekday/weekend off schedule, during the week, you are pretty structured in the time you wake up, go to work, eat your meals, head to the gym, pick up kids, run errands, etc. Then suddenly the weekend comes and there is no structure along with parties, dinners, dates and family gatherings, where temptations are everywhere! Weekend meal planning can also be more challenging because you often don’t know where you will be or try to be a little more flexible with your schedule. Take your weekend blunders by the hand and start with a plan!! Without a plan, you’re more likely to stray from the healthy habits you have been working so hard to develop.
You can survive the “dreaded” weekends with a little proper planning. Keep your meals with you, always carrying extra snacks in your purse or in your car. Bring your water with you so you stay hydrated and avoid temptations often because you are royally just thirsty! Just like you think about your week in advance, think about your weekends before they come. If you are planning on heading out to dinner, you may want to pull up the menu online and check out what it is they offer and what it is you are going to order. Before you head out to a party or dinner, be sure to eat. Sounds kind of funny to eat before you eat but by the time you get to the gathering and order, hours can go by and not to mention you never know if they will have what you want, how you want it and in the quantity you are use to. Restaurant servings tend to be enough for 10 but when you order clean, for some reason, the serving size is much smaller. Take away the fatty sauces, and starchy carbs and you have your lean protein and 2 asparagus spears! Another reason to eat before you head out the door is because this will help you avoid snacking while waiting for your meal. If you are starving, you are more apt to go for the bread or chip basket.
Be conscious of how you feel on Sunday night or Monday morning and use those reminders to help you stay on track over the weekend. This will make me feel_________________. Do I want to feel ______________? Is it worth it? Often when you remember how you felt about your decisions, that is enough to detour you from a tempting decision you may regret.
There is no reason why your activities and gatherings can’t be guilt free and leave you feeling satisfied! Just as you plan your meals, set up your schedule of activities. Plan family activities like bike rides or outdoor fun. This helps you spend time with your family and burn calories all at once, total win win! Just as you set up your weekday and daily mini goals, set some “weekend specific” goals for yourself based on the realities of what you’ll be doing. They may look very different than your weekday goals, and that’s okay. It is normal to have a different set of goals for the weekday as you do the weekend.
We often indulge in a weekend refuel meal as a way to keep our sanity, keep our body responding and often these refuels to offer us something to look forward to, after a week of hard work. If a weekend refuel works for you perfect! If you find yourself having a hard time sticking to one meal or that with the lack of weekend structure turns one meal into a slippery slope, you may want to change your refuel meal. Maybe don’t save that meal for the weekends. Either plan for it during the week or allow yourself a few treats throughout the week and this may help you avoid the mental state that the weekends are for refueling, which often turns into more than “refueling”. By spacing your treats evenly, you’re less likely to get sudden, irresistible weekend cravings. Just know you and your tendencies and plan accordingly.
With a little extra effort and planning, you can turn weekends into an enjoyable experience and an opportunity to keep your program moving in the right direction! Regardless of how your weekend unfolds, remember that this is a challenge for everyone AND no matter what, remember to jump back on the wagon, regardless of your decisions. We are not perfect, that is for sure. All you can do is plan, prepare, be smart and do your best! As long as you get right back on track, just learn and keep moving. You can do it!!