TIPS FOR THE WEEKEND

10 Tips for a Healthier Weekend

By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness
Instructor

We all know how it goes. You make good food choices, avoid
temptations, and work out every morning only to find that on
Friday or Saturday night, your willpower goes out the window.
Somehow you begin noshing on chicken fingers and guzzling
beer then snoozing through your Spinning class the next
morning. Sound familiar?
The weekend sure can pose a challenge to our health and
weight-loss goals. Why? Well, during the week, we tend to plan
ahead and follow a schedule. We get up, eat breakfast, head to
work, eat planned snacks during our breaks, enjoy lunch at the
same scheduled time each day, and find ways to squeeze in a
little exercise. Many of us even pack a whole day's worth of
food and do pretty well at making healthy decisions day to day.
During the weekend, it might seem that all bets are off. Without
a set schedule (and more opportunities for temptation) one
weekend can easily undo a whole week of healthy habits.
But weekends don't have to be this way. In fact, weekends are a
great time to practice healthy behaviors because you usually
have more time to do so.
So, how do you change your unhealthy weekend habits? A good
start would be to begin incorporating these healthy weekend tips
so you can stay healthy—and on track!
1. Squeeze in a longer workout. The best part of the weekend is
that you have more free time. So while you might not be able to
squeeze in a 30-minute run over lunch during the week, you can
use the weekend to go for a longer run at a beautiful park
nearby. Or go to the gym to try a new hour-long class. Use the
weekend as a time to refresh your workout and get more activity
in without feeling rushed.
2. Eat like it's a weekday. When you think about it, it doesn't
really make much sense to eat differently on the weekend than
you do during the week—especially if your food choices during
the week keep you fueled and energized. It can be easy to skip
meals on the weekend and then make up for it later by
overindulging at dinner. So, make a point to eat breakfast, lunch
and dinner while sitting down. Pack snacks for when you're on
the go, and follow a schedule just like you would during the
week. Your body will thank you!
3. Stick to your usual sleep schedule. Are you someone who
has a firm bedtime during the week only to stay up late and
sleep in on the weekends? Changing your sleep patterns could
throw off your schedule (hard to eat breakfast when you get up
at noon!), and could also interfere with weight loss. Just think of
all those times you stayed up later than usual, got hungry and
ended up eating something unhealthy! Changing your sleep
schedule can also make it harder to fall asleep on Sunday night
which could set you up for a tired Monday.
4. Get outdoors. Because most of us work indoors during the
daylight hours, the weekend provides a nice opportunity to get
outside, see the sun and connect with nature. Heading outside
can boost your body's production of vitamin D , plus studies
show that people are happier when they spend time out in
nature. So, get out there and enjoy the great outdoors!
5. Fuel yourself for weekday success. Ask yourself honestly if
you pushed yourself too hard with workouts or restricted your
food or calories too much during the week. If so, come Friday,
your body may be hungry and tired, which can lead to
overeating and underexercising on the weekend. Remember to
practice moderation every day, eating and exercising in a way
that you can sustain for the long haul—not just a few days or
weeks.
6. Limit your drinks. While many of us forgo the soda, beer and
wine during the week, we loosen up over the weekend and drink
more of our calories. Just remember that the calories in
beverages can add up quickly if you're not careful. Go easy on
the drinks, or try healthier drink swaps if you just can't forgo
that fancy coffee or sweet tea on Saturday! Practice moderation
when it comes to alcohol, too. Just because you were "good"
during the week doesn't mean that it's OK to make up for that
with one night of all-out binge drinking. Here's what you need to
know about fitting alcohol into a healthy diet .
7. Plan for relaxation. Most of us are busy during the week and
even our weekends seem to become non-stop errands, chores,
work and travel. So how do you find time to relax? Take the
whole weekend (or at least part of it) to schedule some
downtime for at least an hour or two. Whether it's practicing
your favorite hobby, seeing a movie with friends or even
meditating quietly, do something every weekend that recharges
you. You'll not only feel better, but also beat stress (which may
also ) help you drop a few pounds .
8. Break the on-again, off-again diet mentality. If you have a
history in yo-yo dieting, make sure that you're not alternating
between being "good" and "bad" throughout the course of a
week. View the weekend as time for you—not a time to rebel or
"cheat" on your diet and exercise plan. Remember that being at
a healthy weight is about sustainable healthy lifestyle changes,
not just a diet and exercise plan that you can maintain Monday
through Friday. Revisit your goals and recommit to making
healthy and realistic choices every day that set you up for
success in the long term.
9. Weigh in Monday morning. If you need extra help being
accountable over the weekend, schedule your weekly weigh-in
for Monday morning. Knowing that you'll step on the scale at
the start of the week can help you to stay accountable and be
more aware of your weekend choices.
10. Plan for the week ahead. What better way to stay healthy on
the weekend than by using your extra time to continue to set
yourself up for success? Take a Sunday afternoon or evening to
plan your meals , hit the grocery store, and do some big batch
cooking for the week ahead. That way, when your busy week
gets even busier, you'll already be ahead of the curve and able
to stay on track! Don't forget about laundering your workout
clothes, packing your gym bag, and getting prepared for
workouts, too.

Enjoy your weekend!!!

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