It’s a familiar story to many of us: you’ve worked hard and stayed consistent all week, but when the weekend rolls around, your routine slips and you veer (maybe majorly) off track when it comes to nutrition and fitness goals. Here, we’ve outlined some simple tips and tactics you can employ to help make sure nothing gets in the way of reaching your goals and feeling amazing.
1. Keep up your routine
Just because it’s the weekend doesn’t mean it has to be a free-for-all. Instead of letting your routine slip, aim to treat the weekend like any other day. A bit of tough love here: if you eat and drink whatever you like on Saturday and Sunday (and maybe Friday night too), you can’t reasonably expect that the hard work you did Monday through Friday to be enough to reach your goals. Going off-script on the weekend can have a big impact and sabotage your efforts. Instead, stick with a routine by eating your meals around the same time as you usually would.
Tip: Don’t skip meals. If you’re thinking about skipping a meal before, say, a Sunday brunch, you’ll likely be hungrier than usual by the time you sit down – ravenous even – and most likely to make bad decisions.
2. Enjoy a cheat MEAL don’t indulge in a cheat DAY
Finding health and feeling great comes from a shift to a healthy lifestyle – and a healthy lifestyle also means a happy one. It’s important to enjoy your favorite foods and be excited about a party or dining out. But, instead of eating out and making unhealthy choices for breakfast, lunch AND dinner, indulge during one meal of your choice, and in a moderate way.
Tip: Be mindful of your portions when eating out. Usually, the portions are much bigger at restaurants than what’s advisable for a healthy diet. Remember that just because the food is put in front of you, doesn’t mean you have to eat it all. Listen to your body and stop when you’re full.
3. Get your workout done
For most of us, the weekend is a perfect time to fit in that workout we weren’t able to get in during the week because of our busy schedule. On Saturday though, you can sleep in and still get an 8fit workout done before the day gets going. A quick workout will help you to start your day feeling productive and energized. Use the weekend to find time to knock out a workout or two without having to feel rushed.
If you’ve worked out during the week, then make Saturday/Sunday an active recovery day and head out for a nice long walk or cycle, either by yourself if you need some “me time,” or with friends and family to turn fitness into a fun, outdoor social activity. One of 8fit’s relaxing yoga sessions would be a perfect way to wind down on Sunday evening too.
4. Pack healthy snacks/meals with you
If you’re going out for the day and you don’t know when and where you’ll be eating next, take healthy snacks or prep a healthy meal to take with you. We can’t stress this enough. That way, you’ll always have the right things to eat at the right times and ensure your blood sugar is regulated. You’ll also sustain energy all day while staying on track to reach your goals. If we’re caught out and about without a snack handy when hunger strikes, it’s too tempting to turn to the first energy source we find – usually a not-so-healthy one!
5. Don’t let one unhealthy meal lead to more
We’ve all said the phrase, “I’ll start on Monday,” but in reality, it’s a lot harder when Monday swings around. Just because you’ve enjoyed an indulgent meal or gone off plan at one point, don’t undo the week’s hard work by going on a rampage of over-indulgence for the rest of the weekend. Instead, enjoy a bit of what you fancy and then get right back on track. My favorite analogy is, if you burst a tire on your car, you don’t then burst the other three tires. You get it fixed and carry on with your journey, and that’s exactly the approach to take if you overindulge – you get back on track and carry on with your journey.
The most important thing is realizing that leading a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t mean giving up the things you love or restricting yourself; once you embrace that, you’ll come to find that you can treat weekends like any other day. You can still enjoy your favorite foods and activities – it’s just about doing it in a mindful and balanced way so that nothing will get in the way of reaching your goals and you’ll feel great every day of the week.