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.
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?
Lauren Slayton is the author of The Little Book of Thin and created the Foodtrainers blog. She has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and has appeared in Allure, In Style, Cooking Light, and more.