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7 Ways to Stay on Track on Any Given Weekend

7 Ways to Stay on Track on Any Given Weekend

Most people know weekends present a challenge. On one hand, you want to take part in all the fun things your friends and family are doing; but, on the other, you want to stay within your macro and calorie goals. Often, it can feel difficult to do both.

Of course, the answer isn’t to stay home like a hermit! We've all had enough of that lately. LOL. There should always be room in our lives for some indulgences, but when trying to improve your health and body, it’s too easy to go overboard if we don’t plan ahead.

While it’s not so bad to go off plan over the weekend occasionally, it can add up over time. Even if you’re someone who consistently hits your calorie goals and do the same workout most days, you could gain up to 12 pounds in one year just by eating 400 extra calories on Saturdays and Sundays. What’s more, overindulgence during the weekend can make it more difficult to get back on track come Monday. It’s best to stay as consistent as possible, seven days per week. How many times have you said, "Well I blew it this weekend, I ruined it, I'm done trying."?

But how can you actually have indulgences, not jump completely off track and regain focus come Monday?

I have you covered with these simple guidelines...

1 - MAKE A PLAN

When you know you’re going out to eat with friends and family, look at the menu in advance. Failure to plan will lead to just that, failure. If you make a plan and stick to it when ordering, it will reduce any anxiety you might feel about going to a restaurant and not knowing what to choose. However, you should enjoy the foods that you eat, especially when you’re with friends and family, so don’t overthink it!

2 - CREATE PLANNED WEEKEND WORKOUTS

Even if your weekend workouts aren’t as intense as your weekday ones, they could help you make better food choices. No one wants to feel bogged down when working out. This commitment to your fitness will help you slow down the rounds at happy-hour and scale your food choices to set yourself up for feeling good. Working out on weekends creates structure that will set a tone.

3 - MAKE SOCIALIZING LESS ABOUT FOOD

Think outside the restaurant when meeting up with friends. Having an active social life is so important for overall health, but it’s more difficult to stay on track when eating at restaurants. If you regularly eat out with friends, suggest meeting up for coffee, pickle-ball, a bike ride, a walk, or a workout class instead.

4 - CHOOSE ALCOHOL WISELY

Alcohol doesn’t have to be off-limits when you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, but it’s definitely not something you want to consume a lot of. If you are drinking, choose single alcohols with non-caloric mixers like seltzer. If you have wine, make it a spritzer to expand the volume without extra calories.

5 - TRACK YOUR FOOD

Lots of people track what they eat during the week, but come the weekend, they let the habit lag. Don’t break a winning streak. The fact is, tracking keeps you accountable. If you’re the type who doesn’t track your weekdays because you always eat the same things and do the same activities, it’s all the more important for you to track what you eat and do over the weekend. I recommend LoseIt or MyFitnessPal apps to my clients. The added accountability, especially on the weekends puts things into perspective. On the other hand, if you do go over, it's helpful to see that too. Often times, you didn't "splurge" as much as you might have thought.

6 - USE THE THREE-BITE RULE

Practice moderation by allowing yourself to have and enjoy indulgences without eating the whole thing. Especially when it comes to dessert, three bites should be enough to savor the flavor without overdoing it. I know I know, but seriously, give it a try. It's a heck of a lot better than banning it altogether.

7 - GO INTO THE WEEKEND PREPARED

Having nothing in the fridge is a common reason for ordering takeout or eating out several times in one weekend. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are easy to stay on track because what you prepped for the week is around and fresh...by Thursday and certainly Friday, you are out of prepped foods or you’re tired of the leftovers. Plan easy, no-prep dinners for Thursday and Friday that can be made simply with basic, non-perishable ingredients that you can keep stocked in the pantry or freezer.

Think - frozen shrimp and whole grain pasta with a sprinkling of blackened seasoning. Simple, quick and easy to stock up on ingredients.

You may even want to plan a mid-week trip to the grocery store or get a mid week grocery delivery to top your cabinet and fridge full so you have appealing options at home over the weekend. Plus, if you’re not able to pick up fresh dinner supplies for the week on Sunday, you’ll be set for Monday.

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