During the workweek you’re pretty good about sticking with healthy habits. You order oatmeal for breakfast, hit the gym during your lunch break and whip up simple, light dinners after work. But Friday night through Sunday, things change. Weekends mean time to let lose and that translates into eating and drinking too much paired with moving too little. Even when you can anticipate the challenge ahead and mentally prepare, the sabotage keeps happening.
Here are a few tips on how to stick with your diet plan.
Get the pancakes
There’s nothing wrong with indulging in a little something extra on a lazy weekend morning. The key here isn’t to deprive yourself but rather to make smart choices so you treat yourself without going completely overboard. If you’d love a pancake, order one. But then skip the muffins.
Eat breakfast before brunch
This might sound like a mistake – why double-down on calories? But if you’re brunching at noon or later, yet waking up at 9 am, it’s the best way to make sure you don’t overeat. The goal isn’t to eat two full meals, but rather to chow down on something so that you’re not famished by the time you join friends at the table. Plus, since you’ll be preparing the food yourself, you’ll know exactly what you’re consuming – calories, fat and all. Some fruit with a half-cup of plain yogurt should be sufficient to tide you over until the main event.
Sit at a table whenever you eat
Being home all day often means non-stop munching instead of eating real meals. That sounds harmless enough, but those little nibbles can add up quickly. Grazing trips up the body’s natural hunger and appetite regulation system so you never feel completely full. People who graze often eat more calories than individuals who eat three meals and two snacks per day. So no more eating in front of the refrigerator. Instead, take a few minutes to prepare a real meal and sit down in the kitchen or dining room while you enjoy it.
Order two appetisers
When you’re dining out you might feel tempted to try multiple dishes on the menu and that’s normal. Simply satisfy your curiosity and save calories by ordering two appetisers. Many restaurants will let you turn an entree, such as pasta, into an appetiser by ordering a half portion, so don’t be afraid to ask for that either.
Be picky about the unlimited freebies
Maybe you’ve heard that you should never touch the bread basket, but is that realistic? Forget perfection and strike a balance. Ask yourself if that bread really looks amazing, and if so, have a piece and don’t feel bad about it. But does it look only okay? Don’t waste the calories then. Same goes for those lovely fries at your favourite restaurant. When the waiter comes around and asks if you want a refill on chips or bread, always say no thanks.
Eat healthy foods first
Weekends tend to be packed with special events like weddings and cocktail parties, which means you’ll likely be presented with an array of tasty food. But before you start piling items on your plate, do a lap around the buffet table to check out the offerings. People who do so tend to be thinner than those who just dive right in. Next, start by loading up on the healthiest items first. Also, fill up a little before you sample the higher-cal treats like quiche and doughnuts.
Talk about your efforts
When you’re gathered with friends around the TV watching sports or a movie, it’s all too easy to keep noshing on the finger foods in front of you. So speak up beforehand. Ask the host if you can bring a healthier option. Tell your close friends how hard you’ve been trying to eat well and being straightforward about asking for their support. You must tell them that you’re working really hard on maintaining weight loss. And if they see you overdoing it, they shouldn’t be afraid to give you a little nudge.
Always plan ahead. Take a moment on a Friday afternoon to ponder your weekend plans so you can make some choices before you get caught up in the moment. Allow yourself room to have one special thing that you wouldn’t typically have during the week at each event. If you’re headed to a birthday dinner, for example, there’s no need to skip the cake. If you still want to fit into your exercise bra, you might want to forgo the fried calamari. Going to be watching a big game? Leave room for beer by taking a pass on the chips. Knowing what’s in store and planning for it can make for a more positive outcome.