How to keep your weight loss efforts going come the weekend
Posted: Aug 21, 2013
For many, eating in an organized fashion i.e. having breakfast within an hour of waking then eating every two-three hours thereafter is much easier during the week compared to the weekend. Having a more defined routine Monday-Friday that involves going to work with a scheduled lunch and breaks, getting the kids off to school and making sure they get to soccer practice can make it easier to stay on track. When this pattern stops come Friday evening or Saturday morning it can throw some people off. Less routine is one of the great things about the end of the week. But just because the weekend arrives doesn’t mean your organized eating efforts need to be negatively affected. The goal is to ensure that you do not become hungry as it can lead to unhealthy food choices and over-eating.
Below are some strategies to help you stay on track.
- Eat within one hour of waking – regardless of when you wake up. It doesn’t matter if you sleep until 9:30AM as opposed to your weekday time of 6:00AM, having the right number of calories and protein (minimum 300 calories for woman, 400 for men with 20g of protein for each) within an hour will almost certainly result in less hunger and fewer calories consumed later in the day.
- Pencil-in your meals and snacks – You may not have a plan for the day but at least make sure you know when you should be eating. Utilizing the oven timer, sticky notes, the bedroom alarm clock or your smartphone alarm or reminder feature are ways to help ensure that you don’t skip a meal or snack.
- If you are heading out, bring food with you – I’ve blogged about this before as it makes a big difference. If you know that you’ll be out running errands, be sure to take a few minutes and throw some food together. If you are used to making lunches during the week (for either yourself and/or your family), this will be a breeze. Nuts, cheese, fruit, a peanut butter sandwich, protein bars – they all work. Keep perishables cool by using an ice-pack or a frozen bottle of water.
- Keep a stocked car kit – This is in case you go out expectedly (hooray for spontaneous weekend plans!) and forget to bring food with you. Good things to keep on hand in the trunk or backseat are nuts, small cans of tuna, whole-grain crackers, and when it’s not too hot or cold out, a jar peanut butter and protein bars. Keep some disposable cutlery and napkins on hand, as well.
And remember, the weekend makes up roughly a third of the week. That’s more enough time to undo your efforts from Monday-Friday.
Mark McGill, RD