I hear it all the time. People kick ass on their fitness, and food, all week. They go into Friday feeling great. Then the weekend comes and they dismantle it all.
Every Monday feels like starting over. Then one Monday comes, and they don’t even bother starting over.
Their unhealthy weekend turns into an unhealthy week and they feel further from their goal than ever. Hopefully that week doesn’t turn into a month or even more. We have ALL been there!
I never wanted to give up my social life to lose weight. I had a very active social life all through my 110 pound weight loss and maintained my weight through a lot of travel. I have learned that the “all or nothing” mentality doesn’t work long term. Not for ANYONE.
Here are my tried and true, Top 7 Ways to Stay on Track with Your Health and Fitness Over the Weekend:
1 – Make Saturday your STATurday, and weigh in! I encourage weekly weigh-ins for my clients. No need to obsess over things, but you need to be able to see that your choices lead to changes. If you do it on Saturday it will keep you on track through Friday night! Choosing to only indulge one weekend night was a big part of my success and staying in, making healthy choices, and focusing on my goals Friday night served my body, and wallet, very well, during my journey.
2 – Get up early. Yep I said it. I know, everyone hates this one lol. Now it might not be as early as you are used to during the week, but don’t overdo the sleeping in. If you get up at 6 am during the week, be up by 7 on the weekends. Too much sleep can leave you feeling lethargic and throws off your routine. If you are feeling off from the start, it will make it much harder to make positive choices for yourself all day. When you wake up with energy healthy habits are so much easier!
3 – Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. It is really common that people lose the sense of urgency to eat in the morning, since they’ve slept in, or have no place to be right away. They will look up and realize it’s creeping on lunch time and they haven’t eaten. This does a number on your blood sugar and on your decision making abilities. Remember, your food intake is not just what you feel like, it’s what your body NEEDS, and when it gets into starving mode, it’s going to want fast, easy, energy. AKA sugary carbs. If you start your day with sugary carbs you are going to be on that cycle all day, as your body burns through them fast and needs energy again. So get up and EAT! Start your day with a healthy breakfast, so that you are more inclined to make better choices for the rest of your day.
4 – Plan your cheats, treats, or free meals. I always picked one thing I was really looking forward to for my weekend. Was it that dinner with my other half where I’ve already scoped out the menu and know exactly what I want? Maybe it was drinks with the girls or that family dinner. Brunch or book club potluck perhaps? Whatever it is, just pick ONE place where you will have your “fun” foods. I know food labels are dangerous and I don’t love the word cheat so I always say free food, but you can use whatever works for you. When I have one thing I am looking forward to, it makes it easier to say no through the rest of the weekend because I feel like am “saving up” my calories lol. It is a great mental trick!
5 – Schedule social activities that aren’t food related. This one was HUGE for me. It still is, but it’s second nature now. I used to make plans with friends, or family, and lead with “we should go to dinner” or “hey let’s grab a drink” but as my life changed, so did my plans. I started suggesting a walk around the lake, a hike, a fun 5K, a fitness class, or coming over to workout with me at my house. Farmers Market’s are one of my favorites, lots of walking! This way, if we did go to lunch, or dinner, at least we moved our body and were feeling good when we got there. That always led to healthier choices when ordering.
6 – Always eat before your first drink. Science has proven that if you drink before you eat, you will eat more and make less healthy choices. It also shows that you will drink more during the night, if you start before there is food in front of you. I know when you order food they are always asking about drinks first. You can simply tell them you want to order after your food arrives, or ask them to bring it with your meal, and down a big glass of water while your meal is being prepared. That is a way better way to start your night. I actually just did this on a date with my hubby, had a fantastic salad and water, that filled me up, and the drink was like dessert. It was perfect!
7 – Do your meal prep for the week on Sunday. Your meal prep may vary from buying food and making a meal plan to pop up on the fridge, all the way to making all the food and portioning it out. Regardless of what your routine is, doing it on the weekend puts the upcoming week on your mind. Investing weekend time to make healthy choices in advance, for your week, puts your goals at the forefront of your mind. It also takes up time on a day that might otherwise turn into a “sit on the couch” day. Standing, moving, planning, and taking action is going to make you feel more accomplished and more like you CAN reach your goals.
This is my most basic list and I really hope it helps shift your mindset. Don’t underestimate the power of looking at your vision board, writing out your goal each day, or listening to personal growth books, to help keep you track too!
I hope you find this helpful and I am here if you need anything at all for your health, fitness, or nutrition!