Whether you become a couch potato, the cookie monster or a beer-vangelist, below are 6 tips to avoid weekend wreckage. With just a few adjustments to your routine, you can learn to indulge without compromising your health.
1. Plan Ahead
Don’t wait until Monday to stock up on healthy foods. Get groceries on the weekend. While you’re shopping, pick up a rotisserie chicken and meat for the slow cooker. Make it easy to eat well by selecting simple recipes and cooking in batches so you have plenty of leftovers. If you have it on hand, you’re more likely to eat it. The same goes for junk food, which is why it’s best to go out to “cheat.”
2. Go Out to Cheat
Two “cheat” meals a week are recommended to prevent feeling deprived and keep you on track the rest of the week. The best way to indulge without going overboard is to have your cheat meals out. If you open a bottle of wine at home, you might be tempted to pull a Kathy Lee and drink the whole thing. Dining out costs more and increases your awareness for what you’re putting in your body. Both of which can help to keep your indulgences in check. Lastly, you’re less likely to crush an entire cake if a whole restaurant of people are watching.
3. Start With Success
A good breakfast is crucial to start the day with success and avoid that addictive sugar cycle. Enjoy a good meal high in protein, fat and green leafy vegetables to promote satiation and curb cravings later in the day. For example, the magnesium in green leafy vegetables can reduce your cravings for foods such as chocolate. If you want your “cheat” meal to be breakfast, then at least have a few eggs and veggies before you indulge in mimosas and syrupy french toast. Basically, try to get some substantial nutrients before the sugar rush.
4. Pour With Caution
Pour with caution and exercise moderation. Above all, avoid mixed drinks. Those creamy cocktail blends and kiddy concoctions are usually loaded with calories and chock-full of sugar. Generally, avoid anything that comes with an umbrella. Instead, choose wine or select liquor on the rocks with a splash of unsweetened soda water and a slice of citrus fruit such as lemon, lime or orange.
Top shelf: red wines, wood-aged and clear spirits, home-made berry daiquiri, white wine, low-carb beer.
Bottom of the barrel: mixed drinks, jello shots, regular/dark beers, as well as anything served in a 40-gallon trash can.
5. TiVo Shows
Commercials are killers. Just thinking about food releases insulin and can make you hungry. To prevent this problem, record your shows and avoid seeing those digitally enhanced, drool inducing food advertisements. Don’t fool yourself with some bizarre rationalization either. “Hmmm… I just ate, but maybe I didn’t get enough. I certainly don’t want to starve myself. I better make sure I’m full by eating a dozen Oreos.” Eating sugar-filled, empty calorie foods never filled anyone up. That’s why you can never eat just one cookie! Out of sight, out of mind! Record those shows and save your couch from chocolate stains.
6. Unplug Yourself
Reward yourself with something healthy. We condition ourselves to believe treats need to be sweets. How about something good for your body instead? No matter how small it may seem, it’s the little things that all add up. Enjoy wild salmon for breakfast, go for a nice long walk, get a massage, take a yoga class, sleep in or take a nap. As a result of our fast-paced “go-go-go” society, we spend so much time in our heads with to-do lists and rigid schedules. Take a day or two to turn yourself “off” by relaxing and letting go of tension. Not only do we perform our best when we feel our best, but we’re also better able to take care of others. Take time to do something special for yourself. You deserve it!