Total Nutrition Technology
Friday, November 14, 2014

By: Total Nutrition Technology

We all know how things can go.  You work hard and stay on track all week - making smart food choices, avoiding temptations and getting in your workouts. But then the weekend hits and somehow your willpower starts to wavier.  You meet up with friends for a beer or a glass of wine to unwind from the long week.  Next thing you know that table is full of the types of snacks that commonly go along with that beer and wine.  Sound familiar?

The weekend can bring a lot of challenges to staying on track to meeting your goals.  It's easy to see really.  During the week we are generally more wake up, go to school or work, eat a pre-planned snack and lunch, schedule in your exercise, eat a planned dinner and get to bed at a decent hour so you can do it all over again the next day! 

For many, the weekend is usually a time to decompress.  Have a lazy day -- no set schedule. And this can also lend itself to being lazy about your healthy habits.  But it doesn't have to be that way.  Here are 7 healthy weekend tips can help you stay healthy and on track over the weekend.

1. Go outside!
Sadly we are spending more time indoors.  Most of us work inside during daylight hours. And with the cold weather comes a shorter day and less daylight.  So take the weekend as an opportunity to plan your activities around the outdoors!  Instead of going shopping or watching a movie, take a hike or simply a walk. Just get outside and play!  In addition to benefiting your physical health, you will see that connecting with nature will improve your mental health promoting a little relaxation.

2. Hit the gym...a little longer
Take advantage of not being on a schedule over the weekend and squeeze in 15 more minutes of your workout.  Take a lull in the day and throw on those running shoes and get in a 30 minute run.  Take the day to try a new class at the gym.  Use the weekend as a chance to mix things up with your workouts!

3. Sleep!
Changing your sleep patterns could throw off your schedule and could also interfere with weight loss. In fact, there have been several studies linking less sleep to extra body weight.  The benefits of sleep are undeniable.  So use the weekend to recharge your batteries.  

4. More water than alcohol
It's important to remember that drinking your calories can add up quickly.  According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 5% of the average American’s calories come from alcohol. That might not sound like a lot, but let's do a little math. If a person consumes a 2,000 calorie diet, that’s over 36,000 calories per year. That's 36,000 empty calories -- and thus not providing any essential vitamins, minerals or other nutrients. So remember, replacing a few alcoholic beverages with water will help improve your diet and your overall health.

5. Eat like it's a weekday
When you thing about it, Saturday and Sunday are just two more days in the week.  So why do we treat them so differently when it comes to our eating and exercise habits?  Make it a point to stay on schedule with just a couple aspects of your day - meals and exercise.  Make sure you don't skip a meal.  And keep healthy snacks pre-packed in your pantry and car so they are ready to grab and go.  These little things will help minimize those temptations that the weekend can bring. 

6. Schedule a Monday weigh-in
If you need a little extra help staying accountable, schedule your weigh-in for Monday morning.  Knowing that you will be stepping on the scale can help keep you motivated and aware of your weekend choices.

7. Plan for the week ahead
The weekend is a great time to plan ahead.  Things are typically not as rushed.  We have the time to sit down and plan out meals.  Use the weekend to prepare healthy food options in advance.  Pre-pack snacks and keep them ready to go in the fridge and pantry.  This way when the busy week starts you have everything ready to go so you can stay on track with ease.  Set yourself up for success!

Use these ideas to stay on track this weekend, and revisit this list to have healthy weekends moving forward!

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