We all know the story: Monday through Thursday you’re the picture of discipline. You’re prepping your meals, you’re sweating it out, you’re drinking green tea by the gallon, and you feel great.
Come Friday happy hour, everything goes down the drain. Between social commitments, eating out, disrupting your routine, and finding a million things more enjoyable than hitting the gym, it can be an absolute mess sticking to your healthy intentions.
To help you stick to your goals and stay focused, here are some tips for getting through the weekends as healthfully as possible:
- Plan your workouts
Sticking to an exercise regime is making a serious commitment to yourself, and to your body. You need to treat your workouts like appointments, at least until it becomes an absolute habit. Schedule your workout times, and stick to them. Plan ahead and be realistic. If you know you’re going to have a late night, don’t plan a workout for 5am the next day. Rather try to find an afternoon class that you can attend.
- Invite someone to workout with you
Fit nights out and Saturday morning yoga classes are becoming all the more popular. People are choosing to replace their usual social events with healthy bonding sessions. Obviously, we’re not telling you never to go out and relax, but there are options for socializing that don’t involve food and alcohol. Going for a Sunday hike with your girlfriends can be a great way to get your exercise and visiting in at once. This will also help to keep you accountable, so you’re less likely to bail on a workout.
- Be adaptable and do your research when it comes to food
When you’re eating at a restaurant, it can be easy to feel unsure about what you should be eating. You’d planned a meal of lean protein and veg, but nothing on the menu looks like what you’d make at home. While it’s good to have a general idea of what you’d like to be doing diet wise, you need to learn the basics of nutrition so that you can make an informed decision about what to order when eating out. For example, knowing that salad dressing contains way more sugar and fat than you were planning on ingesting, means you’ll know to order a salad with dressing on the side. Similarly, the different ways of preparing proteins (frying, grilling, etc.) can greatly influence their caloric content and their healthy-factor. It also helps to have an idea of what is on the menu at a restaurant before you go. Usually you’ll be able to find an online menu.
- Drink tons of water
We all know hydration is essential. Try to keep a bottle on hand over the weekend, and where possible order water instead of alcoholic drinks/cool drinks. This will help keep your healthy eating on track. There is also a ton of research that shows thirst plays a major role in over-indulgence.
- Get enough sleep
Keeping a regular sleep schedule will help you to stick to your workouts and your healthy-eating routine. Messing with your circadian rhythm can also have a negative impact on your health. Too little sleep can actually promote the release of cortisol which could contribute to overeating and fat storage.
- Eat breakfast
Try to start each day off right, with a healthy breakfast. If you’re meeting friends for brunch, try to have a snack before you go to avoid over-indulging later.
Routine is a big factor when it comes to any healthy eating and exercising plan. In the beginning it can feel like a chore, and it can feel as though it’s disrupting your social life and taking too much effort. However, with enough time, it will become a habit and you’ll find your groove. Keep as consistent as possible and the results will come!
by Chanel Serfontein