5 Tips for Preventing Weight-Gain Weekends

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Let’s say a person (perhaps you) develops a stellar eating routine that involves cooking, hydrating, and eating lots of green things. By Friday that person (perhaps you) feels accomplished, clothes are looser, energy is through the roof—you get the picture. Then, person (you?) goes on a weekend getaway­ and things get carefree. Person enjoys the weekend (a little too much) with extra cocktails, extra course, and fun, fun, fun. What’s the big deal, you say? Not a big deal if your weight loss from Monday to Friday is erased and you’re good with bloat and more. And if you’re not, well…

Believe it or not, there’s a way to balance cocktails with consciousness, and there’s even a way to make progress over the weekends. Here’s how.

1. Make Room for the Weekend

There are 52 weekends a year so what goes on from Friday to Sunday shouldn’t be all that shocking. Use Thursday to your advantage. Thursday is a day where you skip your grains and skip your cocktails so that your weekends can be slightly (I said slightly) looser.

2. Pre-eat

It’s not only the alcohol calories that your body burns before it gets to any love handle or back fat; it’s the food we consume once we’ve had the drink. You must pre-eat. Have asparagus (breaks down alcohol and debloats you. How’s that for a twofer?) or a little good fat, like walnuts or olives work well before you imbibe. Alcohol will affect you 3x slower if you do this. And that’s a good thing.

3. Meals Matter

There’s much more winging it on the weekends. More time around the house often leads to grazing, or what I like to call “pupu platter eating,” instead of defined meals. Pupu platter eating isn’t pretty. I suggest a mental walkthrough on weekend mornings. Take a minute to think about where you’re going to be and what you will eat. Think in terms of distinct meals and snacks. Even if your day starts later, I’d suggest three meals. This is better than two meals and ten snacks.

4. Move it (not just for workout)

Maybe you went to a spin class—that’s awesome. But sitting on the beach, by the pool, or at brunch for hours isn’t in your best interest. I’ve written about my Fitbit many times, and tracking your activity is especially important on the weekends. You’re not chained to a desk; let’s see what you got.

5. Make Sure You’re Set Up

Be super careful and make sure that if you do go away on the weekends, that you’re set up for the week. Food shop on your way home or have groceries delivered. You need your tools and a menu for the week ahead.

Do you eat differently on the weekends? What’s you’re biggest challenge?

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  • Great article – Thank you! What do you recommend eating after a night out to help get back in balance. I lose my appetite the morning after and find it hard to eat and then eat terribly later in the day??

    • Alysa: great question. Whether it’s hungover eating or just “recovery” from poor eating the key is to set the tone for the next day asap. I suggest 2 cups of water first thing and protein (even if small amount) within 2 hours. It’s not about the going out, that’s ok. You just don’t want to lose the next day for every night you’re out.

  • This is SO right – I proved it! The first weekend after I got my Fitbit One; I was out and about with my niece on the Saturday and got what I “thought” was a decent meal only to find out the sodium content was sky high even in the chicken sandwich and the calories were double what I expected! We won’t even discuss the fat content. I did almost 24000 steps that day and just over 13 miles in distance but my calorie input was close to my output. I spent most of Sunday in church and watched my calories through out the day but Monday morning I had regained 3 of the 5 lbs I had lost. It was an immediate lesson in paying attention to what is going into my mouth and keeping moving! Last weekend I made it through without gaining anything but haven’t lost much since – still it’s early days and I am going to keep on stepping. I love the blog, tips and stories – they help to keep me motivated and to stay on track but most of all; my One is my constant companion and does the same.

  • Our local bakery is my downfall on Saturday morning. Their bagels are must-haves!!! But I do walk a couple miles before ????

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