Nutrition Articles

9 Tips to Stay on Track Over the Weekend

Don't Let Two Days Derail Your Diet!

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Use extra time to bump up your physical activity.
Adding more physical activity on the weekends will give you room for a little splurging.  If you take the weekend off from exercise and also eat and drink more calories, your waistline is sure to show it! Burn some extra calories on the weekends and give yourself a little wiggle room.

Weigh yourself on Friday mornings and again on Monday mornings.
Seeing how your weight fluctuates from the beginning of the weekend to the end will help you stay on track.  You can make a note of what your choices were over the weekend and how those choices affected the numbers on the scale.  See what your results are on Monday morning and use this to help you stay motivated to continue your healthy habits throughout the weekend.

Don’t leave the house hungry.
Heading away from home on an empty stomach will make unhealthy choices much more appealing.  Always have a light snack (such as half a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread or an apple with peanut butter) before leaving the house.  Also, consider packing a bag of healthy snacks for the car just in case you are out longer than you expect. 

Plan ahead.
Prepare to battle the temptations of takeout and high-calorie meals.  Keep the house stocked with all the fresh foods you need to make it through the weekend.  If you have the ingredients to prepare delicious, healthy meals from home, you will be less tempted to make a quick stop for fast food.

Watch your portions.
Weekends can often mean outings to your favorite restaurants.  Unfortunately, restaurant meals tend to be high in calories, saturated fats and sodium.  Stay on track by keeping your portions small.  Don’t deprive yourself from having your favorite meal, but think about sharing with a friend to keep your calorie intake under control. Starting the meal with a small side salad will help fill you up so you are less likely to overeat during the meal. 

Entertain your friends and family from home.
Instead of going to a bar or restaurant to watch the big game, consider having everyone to your house! This way, you can control what kind of food is served and how it is made.  Try making healthier versions of your favorite snacks or appetizers. You’ll also be doing your guests a favor--and chances are, they won’t even notice the difference.

Make your weekdays top notch!
You never want to deprive yourself from the foods that you love.  If the weekend is your time to enjoy some of your favorites, be sure to make your weekdays even better! Add additional physical activity and do your best to make the healthiest choices during the week.  That way, you have some room to enjoy yourself on the weekend – just be careful not to overdo it!

Sources

Haines, Pamela S., Mary Y. Hama, David K. Guilkey, and Barry M. Popkin. 2003. Weekend eating in the United States is linked with greater energy, fat, and alcohol intake. Obesity Research 11, no. 8  (August).

Khare, Adwait and J. Jeffrey Inman. 2009. Daily, week-part and holiday patterns in consumers’ caloric intake. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing 28, no. 2 (Fall). 

Roberts, Shauna S. 2004. Weekends prime time for weight gain.  The Diabetes Advisor 57, no. 7 (July).
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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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