For most people, Friday afternoon is a marker of freedom, a time to go out, binge-watch TV shows, and relax. Sadly, this means that any efforts that were put towards eating healthy and exercising fall by the wayside on the weekend. While it is completely natural to relax on the weekend, you are not excused from sticking to your weight loss goals.
Statistically, adults dramatically increase their intake of fat, alcohol, and calories on the weekend. Different studies have found that weight gain occurs on the weekend due to the higher caloric intake and decreased physical activity.
Why Does The Weekend Get You Off Track?
During the week, most people have a regular routine that provides structure. The weekend, on the other hand, has no structure and allows you to break free from your regular routine and cut loose. The lack of routine, however, can lead to unnecessary snacking out of boredom and can derail any motivation to exercise. While the weekend is a time to reward yourself after a long workweek, it is integral to focus on non-food rewards to prevent weekend weight gain. You’ll find simple changes you can make to your weekends to help you stay healthy below.
Don’t Play Catch-up With Sleep:
Everyone should get their 7-8 hours to keep the body healthy. While it may sound appealing, sleeping all day is a surefire way to disrupt the circadian rhythm, which helps with the regulation of hunger hormones known as leptin and ghrelin. Disrupting the rhythm can cause you to crave fatty foods or unnecessarily increase appetite. The desire to sleep all day is a sign that the body is sleep-deprived, which is why it is optimal to keep your bedtime and wake-up time within one to two hours of your normal sleep schedule. And don’t gorge on carb-centric breakfasts that you don’t normally eat during the week. Stick to oatmeal, chia pudding, or smoothies to avoid blood sugar spikes.
Don’t Save Treats For The Weekend:
Depriving yourself of treats you enjoy during the week can lead to over-indulgence on the weekend. While we don’t encourage cheating all the time, it is crucial to incorporate small tastes of foods you enjoy a few times throughout the week. A little piece of dark chocolate won’t derail your health goals, but a giant bar of it will. If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, check out our healthy dessert options by clicking here.
Don’t Think The Weekend Is All About Partying:
You always have to remember that alcohol is loaded with calories. It also impairs your healthy decision making ability, which is why many late nights lead to pizza, tacos, or fast food. If you are going to go out, try to pick a place with healthy food options, which you can share with friends. Guacamole, hummus & pita, poke with chips, or roasted Brussels sprouts make great bites to share. Try to limit yourself to two drinks and aim to turn in within two hours of your bedtime during the week.
Don’t Fear The Weekend Workout:
If you are the type of person who enjoys exercising, let your weekend be a time to visit the gym. If the weather permits and you are into outdoor activities, schedule time during the weekend for things like mountain biking, surfing, hiking, kayaking, trail running, or cycling. It doesn’t have to be that intense, though. Try to do some form of physical activity for an hour on Saturday and an hour on Sunday. You’ll still have ample time to relax if you follow this plan.
Don’t Go Out For Every Meal:
When you go out to a restaurant with family or friends on the weekend, you can expect to overeat and load up on a high-calorie meal. While there are healthy restaurants, you should try to cook most of your weekend meals. If you meal prep during the week, apply some of that effort toward your weekend meals. Don’t let portions get out of hand and make sure you are satisfying your fruit and vegetable servings you need each day.