Weekend weight-gain seems to creep up on you. How? It's so easy to get in the mind frame of "I've been good all week, so I deserve to splurge this weekend!" Those free-for-all weekends add up to pounds-gained quicker than you'd expect. Here are some simple ways to avoid weekend weight-gain:
- Stock Your Staples
If your fridge and pantry aren't stocked with the healthy foods you need, you will have no choice but to eat whatever is within reach (or within a phone call to the pizza place). Friday morning, take stock of your staples and drop by the store on your way home to purchase what is low or missing.
- Be Smart, Don't Skip
If you are planning to go out with friends for a non-diet-friendly meal Saturday night, try to eat lighter at home throughout the day. But whatever you do, don’t skip meals to "save up" for the outing. Your appetite will get the best of you and you will inevitably overeat. (You may even be likely to consume more calories than you would normally have if you'd eaten three meals instead of just one.)
- Review Your Week
Take some extra time to look over your food diary and spot any major diet mistakes. The weekend is a perfect time to review your progress, identify areas for improvement, and make plans for alternatives.
- Get Out
Some weekends are so quiet that I feel like the only soul on the planet. I know the longer I am at home alone, the more I will eat and the less active I will be, so I make a point to get out instead of sticking around the house: Window-shopping, checking out what's new at the library, or going to the park are my favorite calorie-free, cost-free distractions.
- Keep Your Brain Busy
Under the weather? Keep your mind active doing puzzles, reading a book, playing computer games, communicating with online friends, or writing in your journal. You will be less likely to mindlessly snack when you stay focused on something else.
- Try it, You Might Like It
Sit down and make a long list of all the hobbies or activities you'd like to try in the near future, such as finally joining your coworkers for paintball or taking that hike you've been thinking about. Post your list on the fridge and add new ideas as they come to you. Before the weekend arrives, make plans to follow through with one of your ideas.
- Lend a Helping Hand
Got time on your hands? Consider lending a hand to those in need. It's easy to overeat as a way to alleviate boredom when you don't have something constructive to do. Consider volunteering your time with a cause close to your heart. You will benefit others, keep yourself away from the pantry, and your self-esteem will get a boost (which can help keep you on track with your weight-loss efforts).
- Relax and Renew
You don't have to save all your special treats for when you hit that 10-pounds-lost goal you've been working toward. You still deserve a little luxury -- even if you’ve slowed down your "losing" progress. Instead, ditch that all-or-nothing thinking and proceed with pampering yourself. A long bubble bath, an at-home spa treatment, or a new novel will fit the bill.
- Lift Your Spirits
Even if you are not religious, consider doing something of a spiritual nature over the weekend. If an experience truly restores your soul, you will be less likely to fill up on food and more likely to face your week with a renewed sense of purpose, which can come in handy if the weekend has been less-than-perfect on the weight-loss front.
- Make a Fresh Start
Speaking of that less-than-perfect weekend: Remind yourself that every single day is a fresh start. There is no need to give up altogether even if you’ve had your second (or third) really bad weekend in a row. Start your workweek off on the right foot. Have a healthy breakfast and pack or plan a diet-friendly lunch. Getting right back on track will give your motivation a boost and help you focus on making this a great week.