Has this ever happened to you? You start a new healthy routine and you’re killing it all week long. You’ve stuck to your meal plan, you’ve worked out everyday, you’re drinking enough water and getting enough sleep, and then BAM. Friday hits you right across your face. And the bitch brought Twinkies.
Before you know it, you’ve undone all the hard work you spent the last five days doing, and you’re heading into your Monday with a whole butt-load of guilt. You’re tired, you’re sluggish, and you’re craving all the carbs and all the sugar in the world.
Yep. Been there, done that. It’s tough, I’ll be the first to admit it. There’s something in our brains that correlates the weekend to just doing whatever the heck we want. The weekend is typically our time to relax, so we start to relax in all aspects of our life. It’s like a #treatyoself marathon every seven days, and it’s a killer for actually making and seeing progress when it comes to our body or healthy lifestyle goals.
Sabotaging ourselves once the weekend rolls around will wreak havoc on our longterm fitness goals. It just will – there’s no way around it. Unless you do your weekends right. It’s not always easy, but I promise you it’s possible if you stick to these simple tricks to keep you on track during the weekend.
One of the best things you can do is head into your Friday with a plan for how you’re going to remain successful.
For example, make sure your meal prep extends into the weekend so you’re not tempted to grab a sugary filler food instead of a nutritious meal. If you know that you’re going to eat out at a certain restaurant that weekend, research and decide ahead of time what you’re going to eat so that you’re not tempted last minute to make any poor choices in a moment of weakness.
Take it a step further and plan your meals out by either writing them down, or logging them in an app (I like to use MyFitnessPal to help keep me on track). That way you can see ahead of time how you’re doing (if you happen to track your macros, calories, etc), and you’ll feel more grounded as you move about your weekend. Knowing and seeing in advance what you’re going to eat for each meal will help you stick to it vs grabbing whatever looks good.
Make Exercise a Priority
Don’t neglect a workout, especially on a weekend. We all need rest days, but I recommend taking a rest day during the week when you’re more likely to still be moving a lot throughout the day, and if you do take a rest day on a weekend, make sure it’s an active rest day (i.e. go for a casual walk, or do some light activity to keep you moving vs. sitting on the couch catching up on your fave Netflix shows).
Start your Saturday and Sunday off by exercising first. Not only will you be sure to get a workout in that way, you’ll be starting off your day in a positive way, and will be more likely to be in a better mood. Plus, you’ll jump start your metabolism to keep it moving and burning with you throughout the weekend.
If You Indulge, Get Right Back on Track
If you do end up having a cheat meal, whether it be planned or unplanned, make sure that you get right back on track with the next meal. I used to be of the mindset that once I ate one terrible thing, I may as well keep going because I had already messed up, so what did it matter anyway?
Um, it matters a lot, thank you very much. You’re totally allowed to have a treat every now and then, but then you should get back to your healthy eating plan with the very next meal. That’s why it’s called balance. When we eat one bad thing, and use it as an excuse to keep making poor food choices the rest of the day or the rest of the weekend, we’re sabotaging ourselves and teaching ourselves super unhealthy eating habits.
Show Yourself Extra Support
You know when your best friend goes through a bad breakup and you make yourself extra available to her? Do that for yourself. If you know that weekends are tough for you, be extra loving and extra available for numero uno.
What do I mean by this? Leave yourself sweet little notes of encouragement around your house, reminding you how much of a badass you really are, and why you’re deserving of self love and achieving your goals.
Set reminders in your phone for why this goal is so important to you, and add a little encouraging blip about how awesome you are.
Give Yourself a 2 Drink Max
If you know that you’re going to go out, limit yourself to only having two alcoholic beverages. AND.. be sure to drink plenty of water before, in between, and after that second drink. Water will help you flush the alcohol out of your system, and keep you hydrated so that you don’t wake up the next morning feeling sluggish. It’ll also help keep you feeling full, so you’ll be less likely to even be tempted to reach for that third.
Plus, with only two drinks and plenty of water in your system, you’ll be of sound mind and run a lesser chance of swinging by the Taco Bell drive through on your way home 😉
Weekends don’t have to be intimidating when you’re trying to start, stick to, or maintain a healthy lifestyle. They just require a little extra thought in the beginning to help you stay focused and feeling in control. What are your best tips for staying on track? Comment them below!
Natasha Funderburk is a wife, #boymom, NASM-Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Consultant, and ACE-Behavior Change Specialist. When not watching her son play baseball, she can be found on various writing platforms, coaching her clients to live their best lives, drinking all the coffee, and conducting living-room dance parties.