3 Way You Can Prevent Your Weekend From Derailing Your Nutrition
If I had to guess, I’d say about 90% of people feel relief when Friday rolls around. It’s the end of a long week, you have a few days to rest/recover/catch up and often times there’s something fun on the calendar - sporting events, parties, date night, etc. What is not to love?! In working with many people on optimizing their nutrition, one thing is very clear about weekends: they have the ability to make or break your nutrition. Another way you might look at this, is that the weekends can either support you in reaching your goal, or act as a major detour.
Let’s do some quick math here. There are 7 days in the week. For most of us, “the weekend” encompasses Friday + Saturday + Sunday. This is 43% of the week. When you look at it this way, statements like “I don’t track on the weekend” “I only drink on weekend days” “I’m not consistent on the weekends” pack a lot of power.
It sounds cliché, but your approach to nutrition really is a lifestyle. We hear this all the time, but what does it really mean? It’s meant to support you, what you’re trying to accomplish in life, and help you to feel your best. A super restrictive approach is never successful. We all want to enjoy a treat here and there, celebrate with a glass of champagne (my personal favorite), or enjoy an occasional slice of pizza. The trouble comes when these things become part of our weekend routine and sabotage what we’re doing the rest of the week. SO, here are three way you can prevent your weekend from derailing your nutrition.
1. Eat your meals and snacks. Skipping meals and snacks is a recipe for disaster. Whether it’s because you’re busy or that you’re “saving” calories for an evening out, this is never a good idea. When we skip our meals and snacks our blood sugar drops. We feel hungry, tired, lethargic (Hello hanger!), and when we get to our next meal-we are likely to eat more than DOUBLE what we actually need to feel satisfied. That meal out very quickly becomes a combination of apps + dinner + dessert that packs more calories than you’d normally eat in a day. YIKES! Aim to eat consistently throughout the day!
2. Meal prep for the weekend. Before you write this off-read on…it can be easier than you think! Meal prep is essential to good nutrition; it we don’t have healthy foods readily available; we are going to end up opting for faster, and very likely-unhealthy options. When I say meal prep for the weekend, I don’t necessarily mean that you’ve got to spend hours prepping on Thursday night (if this is your jam then go for it.) Rather-work smarter, not harder. When you are prepping on Sunday (or whatever day you like to), go ahead and DOUBLE your recipe. That’s right…double it up. Making 2 pounds of General Tso’s…now you’re going to make 4. Then, you’re going to put that second half into an airtight container and pop it in the freezer. Come Thursday or Friday, pull it out, let it defrost overnight, and bask in your planning ahead. This will help you accomplish #1 [from above], save you money in eating out, and help you stay on track.
3. Keep alcohol to one weekend day. Alcohol is sugar. You’ve probably heard it referred to as “empty calories” and it is, because there is no nutrition in it. What’s more unfortunate, is that it is the first fuel to be used (over carbohydrates, protein and fat), postponing any fat burning and leading to greater fat storage. Let’s go back to that 43%; it’s going to be very challenging to lose or even maintain weight if this is happening for 43% of your week—the remainder of the week is essentially going to be damage control for what was incurred on the weekend. With this in mind; chose the day you’d like to enjoy a drink and stick to that one day.
You work hard in the gym all week, you’re putting work into prepping for success and improving your nutrition-do not allow your weekend to derail you. You have a choice to wake up Monday and feel regret and like you’re starting over, or to wake up Monday, feel energized and be one step closer to your goals. Where will you be?