It’s Friday afternoon, you’ve just left work and everyone around you has got that ‘Fri-yay!’ feeling. You’ve been good all week eating healthily and exercising but now 3 nights and 2 days of temptation lie ahead. You might be going out for drinks, out for a meal or going to a party. It’s that time of the week where we like to eat more and drink more whilst inevitably exercising less and sleeping less! Here’s how to survive, indulge a little and be a weekend warrior!
Good preparation leading up to a weekend filled with eating, drinking or partying can be your saving grace. One way to do this is by increasing your exercise in the weekdays beforehand which in turn can speed up your metabolism. Never underestimate the power of simply getting up out of your chair and moving.
When Saturday and Sunday arrive it’s still not too late to squeeze in some last-minute prep! I have talked before about the importance of breakfast and there really is no excuse for skipping it on a weekend as you have the time to prepare something tasty, satisfying and good for you! Breakfast gets your metabolism going and stops you from feeling hungry and overeating later in the day. I like to have beans and egg on toast. A 100-calorie snack before you head out can also help you not overdo it at a party buffet.
Easy compromises can be made that allow you to still enjoy your favourite meals whilst staying on track. Simple decisions like opting for a small glass of wine or ordering the thin crust pizza instead of the deep pan matter. If you are planning on having a few drinks or more then break them up with water. Not ‘going large’ on your takeaway portions (no matter how cheap it is) is a good rule to have. Pick a meal with vegetables or salad rather than chips. If you do fancy some chips the thicker the better as they absorb less fat. Swap deep-fried dishes for steamed dishes.
Just because you are trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t ever have a meal out or takeaway again! There will always be some healthier options on the menu you can pick from if you want to.
One by-product of the weekend can be late nights. Try to make sure if you have a late night on Friday or Saturday it is followed by a good sleep the following night. This may come as music to your ears but sleep is highly important in keeping excess weight off. When you are sleep deprived not only do you feel groggy and tired, your fat cells do too! Lack of sleep affects your body’s ability to use insulin properly…
“When your insulin is functioning well, fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your blood stream and prevent storage. When you become more insulin resistant, fats (lipids) circulate in your blood and pump out more insulin. Eventually this excess insulin ends up storing fat in all the wrong places.” http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/why-sleep-no-1-most-important-thing-better-body
Lastly it is important to remember that rest and recovery is important and you should find some time in the weekend for this. After a week of classes I don’t spend the weekend exercising, I use it as a rest period. Over doing it when it comes to fitness can result in injury and fatigue which in turn lowers your performance and results.
You should remember it takes 3500 calories to put on a pound of fat so a ‘day off’ isn’t going to result in any major weight gain. Don’t spend your weekends feeling guilty, enjoy them! They go by far too fast not to!