Nutrition Articles

9 Tips to Stay on Track Over the Weekend

Don't Let Two Days Derail Your Diet!

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You work hard to stick to a healthy routine all week long. You choose and prepare healthy meals, avoid the temptations of junk food and make time for physical activitiy.  You reach your weekly goals and are feeling good about your healthy choices. Then, Friday comes along.  You make some not-so-healthy choices for a couple of days and feel as though the progress you made during the week was all for nothing. On Monday morning, you’re back at square one.  Sound familiar?

If so, you are not alone! Most Americans tend to consume more calories on the weekends than on the weekdays.  In 2003, a study published in Obesity Research found that the average person between the ages of 19 and 50 takes in an average of 115 extra calories on each weekend day.  

For many of us, the weekends allow us to step out of our work roles, relax, and spend some time doing the things we enjoy most. Typical weekend activities may include meeting friends for drinks at a bar, eating out at a restaurant, filling up on popcorn at the theater, or enjoying a lazy afternoon on the couch.  The excess calories and lack of physical activity on the weekends can easily derail your diet and cause you to slowly pack on the pounds. 

This weekly cycle is frustrating for many people, but it's not impossible to break out of it! Taking small steps and being mindful of where you spend your time and calories on the weekends can make a big difference.  Here are some tips that may help you avoid the downfalls of overindulgent weekends:

Build structure and routine into your weekends.
Many people ''slip up'' on the weekends because of a lack of structure.  Try to follow the same sleep patterns you would during the week.  Wake up in the morning at the same time and eat your meals at the same time.  This will help you to regulate the amount of food you eat each day and prevent you from grazing in the kitchen.

Make sure to eat breakfast.
Eating breakfast on the weekends is just as important as it is during the week.  Try to keep the same schedule and wake up for breakfast on the weekends.  However, aim to keep your morning meal low in calories.  Feel free to make eggs along with whole grain toast and fruit, but save calories and fat by skipping the cheese and high-fat breakfast meats!
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Member Comments

  • Good points! I am really thrown off my game when my schedule or routine changes. Strategy and a little planning when possible help immensely.

    However, although it's typical, not all of us have the weekday/weekend routine. - 10/14/2013 10:10:27 AM
  • I know it isn't typical but I have a terrible time getting in enough calories on the weekends. - 10/12/2013 11:46:49 AM
  • I often treat myself to a meal out on the weekend, sometimes even two. I look forward to the break from the kitchen. Usually I plan where I'm going and look up the menu and nutrition information ahead of time. I go one step further and enter it into my tracker as well. If the portion is huge I divide it before I begin to eat. Portion size, calories and a lot of fat are certainly an issue in most restaurants, but the thing that really concerns me is the sodium content. I often ask for my grilled meats to be prepared with no seasoning and sauces on the side.
    I also plan for extra walking opportunities on the weekend, like shopping, or the park. All in all I don't see the weekend days as different from any other days. It's all about making the right choices, every meal, every minute, every day. - 10/12/2013 10:32:39 AM

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