Monday, February 13, 2012

Be A Fit and Healthy Weekend Warrior

Happy Monday everyone!  If you're like many people, Monday is often a day to "get back on the wagon."  I usually give myself a little more freedom on the weekends in terms of food choices, but I know I used to have a really hard time not overdoing it.

Here are some tips that helped me conquer the weekend binge fest:

  1. Do Your Grocery Shopping on Thursday.  Of course, Thursday may not be a good day for you, but you might want to try to do your grocery shopping as close to the weekend as possible; that way you are sure to have a  fridge and pantry fully stocked with healthy treats for the weekend.  Late night binges on take-out or delivery are often caused by the feeling of "there's nothing to eat."  Prevent it by stocking up on healthy snacks and meals.
  2. Do Your Homework.  One of the hardest parts about overeating on the weekends is that we are more likely to dine out on the weekends.  Before heading to a restaurant, check the menu online and decide on what the most healthful option for you would be.  Don't forget to calculate in alcoholic beverages if you choose to have any (I recommend skipping them and really enjoying the meal).  You may also want to figure out ahead of time how you can get your meal modified to suit your dietary goals.  I never hesitate or feel bad about requesting a side salad instead of fries or asking that the chef hold the oil/butter, bacon bits, egg yolks, etc.  As long as you are polite, the waiter and kitchen staff should not have a problem with this.  Don't be embarrassed or feel guilty about getting what you know you want and deserve.
  3. Plan Ahead.  I often do this during the week, but during the weekend it's even more crucial.  Now that you know what you'll be having for dinner because you did your research on the restaurant, might as well figure out what you'll be eating for the rest of the weekend, too.  In the morning (or even the night before), write down what you plan to eat and how many calories it will be.  This decreases your risk of grabbing something without thinking first.  As the day goes on, plans may change and you may have to make alterations to your menu, but you'll still be prepared for the majority of the day.
  4. Don't Sleep In Too Late.  We all love to sleep in a little on the weekends, but sleeping in too late and skipping breakfast can really throw off your whole day.  Make sure you get up and have a healthful, balanced breakfast (preferably the same breakfast you normally have or something similar) and stick to your normal eating times.
  5. Work out!  Many people say it's harder to be motivated to workout on the weekends, and I can definitely relate.  You'd think having more time would make it easier, but for whatever reason it doesn't.  Some ways to stay accountable with your workouts on the weekends are: make plans with a workout buddy to meet up at a certain time to workout, workout earlier in the day so that you don't keep putting it off until it just doesn't happen, and save that especially fun workout that you look forward to for the weekend that way you don't dread your workout.  By working out, if you do eat more on the weekends or eat less healthfully, you're guaranteeing that you burn it off (or at least some of it).
You may still "fail."  A lot of well-meaning people will tell you, "Don't worry about it!  Tomorrow is a new day!"  While it's important not to beat yourself up about it, make a mental note of that feeling of remorse and regret.  Really feel what that is like to know that you genuinely want so badly to do better.  Sitting with the disappointment for a while will actually prevent you from making the same mistakes again.  For me, sometimes the only way I can seem to make a positive change is when not changing becomes so painful and disappointing that I simply can't stand it anymore!  Please forgive yourself for your poor choices, but don't let yourself off the hook for next time either.

I hope this helps!  Do you have any other tips for staying healthy on the weekends?