If I were to ask you, “where do you feel like you fall off track?”, I would guess you might tell me the weekend. The weekend can easily derail us from our health and fitness goals. You set a goal, you are right on track Monday – Friday afternoon. Then, Friday evening happy hour hits and the weekend becomes a blur of “om-nom-nom-nom”. Girl, I have been there and still struggle just to make it to Monday without landing face first in the cake at my niece’s Birthday party.
Weekends used to tear me up. Cheat meal turned to cheat day turned to cheat weekend. I had to train myself to look at weekends differently. I pulled together some of the tips and tricks I now use to keep myself from completely going off the deep end on the weekends. Not every weekend is designed the same. Some weekends life happens and we fall off track or eat more cake than we really should have. Don’t beat yourself! These tips, however can help you aim for completely self control a majority of the time.
- Eliminate “cheat meals”! The word “cheat” is such an icky word. No one likes a cheater, not even my food. Second, cheat means something bad. Why on earth are we calling something we love “bad”? Stop that! Stop that right now!
- Choose a day without a meal plan! Typically I choose Sunday to be an open day. WAIT! Don’t move on, hear me out. This DOES NOT, (I repeat) this DOES NOT mean that we eat freely on Sundays whatever we want. What this means for me is, I eat things off of my healthy grocery list in the amount I choose. So if you have been portioning out your strawberries each day with your breakfast, Sunday we can eat as MANY as we want. Sweet potatoes, grilled steak, more strawberries, giant salads, etc.
I then choose ahead of time what I may thoroughly enjoy. Example, a meal out with my husband and I don’t turn away the bread basket. I choose a steak, baked potato, steamed veggies, and then I enjoy dessert and wine. I may choose a loaded chicken salad, skip the appetizer, but opt for dessert.
You are working within your grocery list and meal plan, but still taking the time to enjoy favorites.
- If it isn’t your favorite, don’t eat it. Need I say more? If you LOVE homemade cake, eat it. If you can’t stand the store bought kind, don’t eat it. If you LOVE a glass of red wine, drink it. If you don’t like Pizza or you don’t like “that kind”, don’t eat it. If you love carne asada, go for it girl! Don’t feel an obligation to eat something if it is there, especially if you don’t fully enjoy it.
- Communicate with your husband, friends, and family. If you trust them, tell them! Communicate with your significant other what your plans and goals are. “This weekend, I would like to only have one dessert with dinner.” Lean on one another in pursuit of your goals.
- Grocery shop only after you have eaten! When you grocery shop this weekend, make sure you have eaten. If not, you will put things in your cart you don’t need. You will over buy snacks to “enjoy tonight” and they will taunt you the rest of the week.
- Try new places that offer healthy options. I love finding new places to eat that are fairly healthy. Maybe a new juice spot and get yourself a smoothie or Acai bowl. Find an organic hole in the wall, vegan restaurant, or Farmer’s Market. You may not eat here every day of the week, but a new place will give you a chance to try healthier options and still eat out. I especially love to find juice spots on the weekend.
- Plan socializing around things other than food. I know this may be harder for some people, but if you can help it plan friend dates somewhere without cheesecake. If you know your friends are on a similar journey or they are understanding, plan a hike on a new trail. Plan to check out a juice or smoothie bar afterwards. Look on Groupon for free or reduced price fitness classes and afterwards plan to grab a healthy salad nearby. Birthdays can be celebrated in ways other than Happy Hour and drinks.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you enjoy something outside of “a plan”. It is going to be okay. While you are eating the cookie, don’t tell yourself how you’re failing. After a big meal out with your family, do not dwell on the fact that you ate the bread, the pasta, the dessert (and then some), and drank the wine! It. Will. All. Be. Okay! I promise! Commit to getting back on track, plan for some detox-crummy emotions this week and proceed with life!
I hope these are helpful for you! Have a plan and you will be okay. Remember your goals this weekend and make decisions based around them. Planning ahead is always the number one tip. If you can plan that there is a birthday party this weekend, you may want to skip Happy Hour Friday night. The plan is what keeps you together.
Have a great weekend, friend! Cheers!