How to Eat Well on the Weekends
Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD
Weekends are tough times for people watching what they eat. After a busy work week, it’s natural to want to relax and enjoy ourselves, so we might have a meal or two out, or get together with friends, and that often involves eating and drinking. Plenty of people are good at keeping their eating under control all week, but then they really lose it on the weekend, which means that between Friday night and Monday morning they can easily undo a week of good behavior.
Most people who keep track their weight will hop on the scale on Monday mornings. But checking your weight at the beginning of the week might not be the best time. After all, the weekend damage has already been done. So you start the week on a sour note, upset with yourself for your weekend binges, and your weight is probably about where it was the week before. I think a Friday morning weigh-in works much better. If your week has gone well, a Friday weigh-in will tell you so, and you’ll be more motivated to stay on track during the weekend.
Many of us spend part of our weekend getting ready for the week ahead, so think about spending a little time in the kitchen preparing some healthy meals for the upcoming work week. Plan your week’s meals before you grocery shop, make a list and stick to it and don’t go to the store on an empty stomach.
Some people take advantage of the weekends to get in a longer, more intense workout, which is great, but others barely leave the couch. If you’re not up for your usual workout, then stay active doing things that you may not have time for during the week like taking a hike, shooting some hoops or working in the garden.
If you try to cut back too much during the week, figuring you can save up the extra calories for a weekend splurge, be careful. A large plate of nachos and a couple of Margaritas, could cost you well over 1000 calories which could be a pretty big setback even if you’ve been careful all week. Keep that up all weekend, and you’re likely to get nowhere fast.
When you’ve been sticking close to your healthy eating plan all week, it’s natural to want to reward yourself, but let the relaxing time you spend with friends and family be reward in itself. You’ll be more successful at managing your weight if you stick fairly close to your healthy eating patterns, food choices and portions no matter what day of the week it is.