Did you put on a few pounds during last Saturday's pizza binge? And now you're looking for ways to avoid weekend weight gain?
Why do we feel the need to eat so much on the weekend? It might be because you have the mindset that you’ve been good all week so you deserve to splurge a little at the weekends, or that you are simply more relaxed and less fettered by the discipline you set for yourself during your working week. It’s surprising how much weight you can gain at the weekend if you overdo the treats and alcohol and don’t work out for two days. There are ways to avoid weekend weight gain and still enjoy yourself. Here they are.
1. Reduce Your Opportunities to Boredom Eat
One of the best ways to avoid weekend weight gain is to quit snacking because you're bored. We tend to reach for snacks or go into the kitchen to check what’s in the fridge more often when we are bored. Eating is something to do, but instead of seeing if there’s a bag of forgotten goodies at the back of the pantry, do something fun. Get out of the house. Go for a walk, visit friends, go window shopping, visit a museum. These ideas are not only calorie free, but can be cost-free too.
2. Keep Your Brain Busy
Boredom doesn’t just stem from physical inactivity. During the week, your mind is occupied and focused on work or classes. Come the weekend, your brain breathes a sigh of relief and goes into relaxation mode. Being relaxed can lead to being starved of stimulation, which again can lead to unconscious eating. Keep your brain busy. Read that novel that’s been on your nightstand for months, try out new computer games, write in your journal, do puzzles. Anything that keeps your brain active works.
3. Have the Right Foods in the House
Make sure your fridge and pantry are stocked with healthy, but delicious things to eat. Fresh fruit is always more delicious than you imagine it to be once you bite into it. Keep carrot and celery sticks cut up in the fridge if you get the munchies. If you’re going to snack, make sure you aren’t overindulging. Make popcorn and add some low-cal flavourings. It's fun to make and yummy to eat!
4. Don’t Skip Meals so You Can Indulge
Of course, you want to indulge at the weekend. If you’re planning a heavy meal for Saturday night, don’t starve yourself during the day. This plays havoc with your blood sugar and messes up your metabolism. Ahem - you know those healthy snacks I mentioned in point two? Eating rather than skipping is far better for you. If you skip a meal, you’re more likely to over consume the next time you eat.
5. Shop Smart
If you prefer to do your grocery shopping at the weekend, don’t go to the supermarket when you’re hungry. It is far easier to avoid loading up your trolley with unhealthy foods when your tummy is full. Also, make a list and rigidly stick to it. Plan your treats and buy accordingly. Don’t give into impulse buying or ideas that you might fancy it later.
6. Remember That Alcohol Has Calories Too
It’s amazing how many calories you can consume on a night out. There’s an average 125 calories in a glass of wine. If you are going on a drinking binge with the girls, alternate your alcohol with water. Add lemonade or soda to your wine to make it last longer. Choose lower calorie spirits. If you’re going to indulge in cocktails, remember they can contain as many calories as an entire meal.
7. Have the Right Attitude
Healthy eating and a a healthy lifestyle come from making positive choices. You shouldn’t feel like you are restricted in any way at the weekend. Feeling deprived can kick your health goals to the kerb. Give yourself the freedom to enjoy treats and indulgences. Just be sensible about it, because it’s not a good idea to kick off the week with a feeling of guilt for what you ate at the weekend.
What if you had a crazy weekend? What if you ate and drank way too much? Easy. Monday is a fresh start. Don’t beat yourself up. Kick it off with a healthy breakfast and get back on track.