We all spend the work-week (Monday-Friday) working out, eating clean and looking forward to the weekend. But why is it that we equate the weekend with “rewards” and cheat meals? If you want to stick to a clean-eating lifestyle, you do it every day.
Keep the same routine on the weekend that you would during the week. Once you reach your desired fitness level and have achieved self-control and discipline, it’s okay to reward yourself with something you’ve been craving as long as it’s done in moderation and does not cause you to binge out all weekend. It’s all about not over-doing it. You can literally destroy all your progress made during the week by blowing it on the weekend. It’s not just the calories and unhealthy meals, it’s the havoc that is wreaked on your metabolism by suddenly feeding your body with sugar, crap and other unhealthy meals. It’s just not worth it to start at square one every Monday.
Here are some tips to not letting your weekend destroy your progress and to get into the habit of everyday being a healthy-eating day while continuing to exercise:
- Don’t restrict your diet too much during the week. You can eat healthy foods that taste delicious. By creating healthy meals during the week that you enjoy, you are less likely to binge on the weekend on nachos, ice cream and other unhealthy foods. For dessert, try berries with sugar-free whipped cream, sprinkled with cinnamon. Seek out new healthy recipes online and try to create a new/different meal every week. Bottom line: Make sure you’re eating healthy but enjoyable meals during the week.
- Plan time to work out, but do something different, preferably outdoors. A swim, walk, hike, bike-ride or some other form of fun exercise, even if it’s just 10-15 minutes. Schedule a family softball game, flag football game or volleyball game. This keeps the family together having fun and keeps you on a routine of working out on the weekends.
- Continue with your meal-prepping or plan your weekend meals ahead of time and grocery shop for the weekend on Friday. This assures that you keep healthy food in the house that does not deviate from clean eating. If going out for the day, take healthy snacks along like cut fruit, nuts, or protein bars, and stay hydrated. Drink alcohol in moderation and stick to low/no sugar drinks with lower calories. Most people fall off the nutrition wagon on the weekends because they fail to plan ahead.
- Step up your mental game! Chances are, you have the wrong mindset for weekend which will wreck your diet. Don’t make excuses that since you worked hard all work, you can take a break on the weekend. This is the type of thinking that leads to weekend indulgence. It’s all about the mindset and commitment level.
- Don’t use food, alcohol and exercise as punishments or rewards! Get out of the mindset that rewarding yourself on the weekend for hard work during the week is a good thing. Likewise, do not punish yourself with starvation or over-training during the week because you blew it on the weekend. If you need a reward, try rewarding yourself with something healthy like a massage, manicure or just some alone time with a book or podcast.