Is Weekend Overindulgence The Cause Of Your Weight Gain?
After a long work week it's only natural to want to relax and enjoy the weekend. Find out how much two days off can damage your diet plan.
Because our weekdays typically have so much more structure than our weekends, a surprising number of dieters are able to stick with their prearranged diet plans Monday through Friday, but Saturday and Sunday are simply giant land mines that must be avoided if our diets are to succeed. Here are a few easy-to-follow tips you can use to avoid weekend weight gain.
We all know that the key is consistency and self discipline, but those mantras are far easier to follow when you turn them into easy-to-follow steps, such as making a habit of weighing yourself on every Friday and then again on every Monday. This way, you can see just how your weekend habits are impacting your diet. Once you know that what you are doing is harming your overall diet goals, you can set out to change your behavior.
Instead of using the weekend as an excuse to take it easy, take the extra time you have to prepare meals that take a bit longer. Use your free time to explore foods that you may not be that familiar with and use spices that you’ve only used a few times in the past. Before you know it, you’ll be using Saturday and Sunday as your culinary experimentation days.
You can also help yourself by anticipating going out at night. If you see yourself headed to a bar or a club where you may drink some, go light on the calories that day and then watch what you drink once you get there. Having a drink or two doesn’t destroy your diet if you compensate properly ahead of time and afterwards.
It can be tough to count calories if you are out at a restaurant, but you can use a mental guide to help you estimate just how much of each item you are eating. If the portion you are getting ready to enjoy is the size of a baseball, that’s about one cup of food. If it is about the size of a light bulb, that’s about one half of a cup. You’ll never get counting calories exactly right when eating out at a restaurant, but if you can make an educated guess, you can plan your calories for the rest of the day more accurately.
If you see yourself straying from your diet with desserts or fast food, make up for it by being more active or watching less television. People tend to punish themselves mentally when they make diet mistakes but that only makes the problem worse. Use that mistake as motivation to go out and get those pounds back. The happier you are, the more motivated you will be to get in shape.
Don’t feel bad about eating out, but try to have a snack before you go that will partially fill you up. It isn’t that you will order more bad things if you go to a restaurant starving, it is that you will eat more of whatever you end up ordering, which can be just as bad. When eating out, watch what you order and how much you eat, as well.
Another way to avoid weekend weight gain is to take the extra time on a weekend to enjoy a delicious breakfast. You may not realize it, but eating breakfast is the most important part of staying healthy and losing weight. You have to give your body those initial calories for any kind of physical labor later on to have its full effect.
Perhaps the biggest culprit of those weekend pounds is alcohol and beverages. Many people think that if they go out to a bar and enjoy alcohol mixed with fruit juice they are doing a better job than if they drank beer, but both can add up very quickly. There is no problem with having a drink or two, but know when to stop.
Studies have shown that not only do people eat better food when they eat at home; they also eat significantly smaller portions, as well. We feel the need to "clean our plate and get our monies worth" when we eat out, while at home, we can toss what we don’t eat in a Tupperware and have leftovers later. Eating at home really does save your waist line and your wallet.