Use the time off to kickstart your health goals and set yourself up for a week of success.
Weekends are notorious for weight gain – socialising, plenty of drinking and eating and far less time spent at the gym inevitably mean an excessive calorie intake and even a kilo or two of extra weight if you are not careful.
So, how can you make the most of the weekend and even lose some weight?
Well, your weekend may need to be toned down a little but come Monday morning it will all be worth it.
1. Exercise more than usual
Weekends mean more time, and more time means that you have more time to move your body. Forget a single class at the gym or a quick run around the block on Sunday afternoon, if you are serious about shifting the kilos you need to spend a lot of your weekend hours on your feet. Plan a long walk or ride; walk to an event rather than catch a cab or drive, or schedule some exercise both morning and evening of each Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Not only will your body feel a lot better at the end of each day, but you will help to compensate for the many hours we spend sitting down during the week.
2. Cut back on your meals
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Weekends inevitably mean more eating, and more eating means a whole lot more calories. A relatively simple weekend strategy is to swap your regular meals and snacks for a couple of larger meals – say a brunch and then a restaurant meal out. Not only will the change in your food routine help boost metabolic rate, but eating a couple of substantial meals with plenty of hours in between will help you actually feel hungry in between eating occasions.
3. Avoid the calorie bombs
You may find it is via alcohol; fast or takeaway foods or weekend fried treats but when you include some pastry, fried food, pizza, hot chips or several glasses of wine or beer you can literally consume hundreds and hundreds of extra calories. Once you ditch the low nutrient density foods such as heavy breads, dips, fried pub foods, pizza and large volumes of alcohol you will keep your calories tightly controlled which will support fat burning.
4. Ditch the feeders
Of all the behavioural research available, there are two key predictors shown to encourage the consumption of ‘extra’ or ‘discretionary’ foods – how available these foods are, and whether those around us (friends, family, and work colleagues) are eating. For this reason, if you spend your weekends with friends and family who are constantly stuffing their faces, ultimately you will eat a whole lot more too. For this reason, if your goal is to really take control of your diet and lifestyle and drop a kilo or two, you need to be strict about who you spend your time with. Seek out supportive, motivated people who will encourage you to keep being active and not make you feel guilty for not indulging in high calorie foods you are trying not to eat. Remember, we become like the people we spend our time with.
5. Go light on Sunday night
A lot can be said for a low calorie meal every so often. Not only are low calorie soups, frittatas and salads packed full of nutrition, but when they are packed full of vegetables and not much else, they can contain as few as 200-300 calories per serve, or less than half the calories we would usually consume in a meal. Swapping your regular Sunday night pizza or pasta for a low calorie meal helps to contribute to an overall calorie deficit and weight loss; it means you will more likely wake up hungry some Monday morning and it sets us up with a good habit of resetting our diet each Sunday night with a vegetable rich, low calorie dinner.