Many people find it easy to eat healthy during their weekday routine, but come Friday night, even the best intentions go out the window and by Monday, it’s time to diet again. And it’s the same every weekend. Parties, dinners out, drinking, watching football, spending hours on the couch, etc make it hard to keep up a healthy routine. Here are some tips for surviving the weekend sans weight gain.
- Pick and choose your indulgences. If you’re craving steak and mashed potatoes, skip the bread basket and dessert, and keep alcohol to one small serving, so you can afford to splurge on the steak.
- Plan ahead. If you know you’re eating dinner out, have an especially healthy breakfast and lunch, so you have more wiggle room at dinner.
- Skip the pre-meal cocktails, and have a glass of wine or beer after dinner. Alcohol increases appetite, so if you’ve already eaten, your cocktail won’t cause you to eat more.
- Choose an egg-white omelet with veggies and whole wheat toast (skip the hash browns), or a short stack of pancakes with no butter and minimal syrup. These are the lowest calorie brunch items.
- After brunch, do something active.
- Have a healthy snack before dinner, like fruit, yogurt, or whole grain cereal with skim milk. If you don’t eat between brunch and dinner, you’re likely to overindulge at dinner because you’ll be too hungry.
- Limit yourself to 1-2 beers/glasses of wine per day (250-400 extra calories).
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with water or club soda, so you stay hydrated.
- Eat before you drink. If you’re drinking on an empty stomach, you’re likely to drink more because you won’t get full, and you’re more likely to get hungover, which will lead to another lazy day full of empty calories.
- Stick to regular beer. Beer is high in volume and fills you up more than wine or cocktails, so you’ll drink less.
- More tips on how to drink moderately without getting plump.
- Lounge away from the fridge and snacks. Lazy days are fine on occasion, but if they cause you to eat all day long, they’ll take a big toll on your waistline.
- Eat meals, rather than snacking all day.
- Don’t eat in front of the TV.
- If you want to splurge on a snack, like chips or cookies, buy a single-serving portion, so you don’t have the option of going back for more all day long.
- Since you’re in control of the food, plan a veggie-packed menu (it doesn’t have to taste healthy).
- Serve low-calorie appetizers, like veggies with dip, roasted chickpeas or green beans, or cucumber slices with smoked salmon, fresh dill, and capers.
- Serve everyone (or have them serve themselves) in the kitchen, then leave the extra food there, so people don’t just eat because there’s more food on the table.
- Offer non-food activities, like games or a movie, so eating is not the only focus.
- Take advantage of weekend time and do something active each weekend day. Vary up the usual routine with a hike, pick-up basketball, tennis, frisbee, or a long walk.
- Think of exercise as a way to offset “weekend eating.” The more you move, the more flexibility you have in your diet.