By Mark Slaney
Well, ironically enough it’s Friday afternoon as I start to think about writing an article for the Fitcorp Asia newsletter and the conversation with my colleagues has fallen to plans for the weekend…
After a great week of workouts, calorie counting and a beer free fridge I find myself once again devastated at the prospect of a ‘dry’ weekend – ‘dry’ meaning not just the booze but more importantly maintaining a healthy balanced diet. But hang on, why can’t I put my feet up and have a treat?! After all, I am just the marketing guy…. Surely I can take solace in a delicious nutritious Mac Fat burger and fries this weekend can’t I? Well, I know the trainers here wouldn’t agree and I guess if I am honest I know undoing 5 days good work in just two days of gluttonous over eating and calorie packed beer guzzling would probably seem ludicrous… Hmmm, I guess I am faced with every dieters dilemma – How do I stay true and on track with my fitness goals without sacrificing my entire life?! Weekends after all are sacred!
Anyway, a stern telling off from the trainers here and some great guidelines and advice as always and I suddenly have the inspiration for my newsletter article… Stay Consistent – Weekends can be healthy and fun!
One reason we find ourselves back to ‘square one’ come Monday morning is because during the weekends we find ourselves falling out of our regular daily routines. There are always dinners, dates and family gatherings, where trouble is lurking in the form of buffet lines or rich desserts! Weekend menus can also be more difficult to plan – and without a plan, you’re more likely to stray from the healthy habits you have been working so hard to develop and maintain. The key to achieving any goal is not to do something correctly but to do it correctly – CONSISTENTLY!
This “Weekend Survival Guide” is designed to help your diet survive those dreaded weekends. Keep it with you – in your purse, in the car – wherever you go. The checklist and helpful tips can keep you focused and on track. Most importantly remember this: when you start feeling the temptation to slip, ask yourself how you will feel about your decisions once Monday morning rolls around.
TIPS FOR AVOIDING TEMPTATION
1) Plan family activities like bike rides or outdoor games. This helps you spend time with your family and burn calories all at once!
2) Carry a water bottle with at all times! Take it to your weekend activities, take it to the shopping mall and even take it to bed! This will help you get your water for the day and resist the temptation to reach for a soda or other caffeinated beverage so full of diet destroying calories.
3) Set some “weekend specific” health and fitness goals for yourself based on the realities of what you’ll be doing. They may look very different than your weekday goals, and that’s okay.
4) If you know you are going to be out all day, then take 5 minutes the night before to pack some healthy snacks in case you get hungry. There is no easier way to sabotage your good intentions then to get caught hungry at the shopping mall with the only food available being ice cream or pizza.
5) Set Monday as your weigh-in day. You are more likely to resist temptation if you have to face the scales first thing Monday morning.
6) Plan ahead!! If you are going out to eat, find the restaurant’s menu (and any available nutritional information) online. Search online for a calorie counter and do the math. You’ll have plenty of time to make a healthy choice before you get there and this way you will be able to enjoy yourself at the meal table and feel guilt free knowing you have just ordered the healthiest thing on the menu.
7) Don’t save all of your splurging for the weekends. Allowing yourself a few treats throughout the week will help you avoid the mindset that the weekend is an excuse to go crazy. And by spacing your treats evenly, you’re less likely to get sudden, irresistible cravings and undo all your hard weekday work.
So there you have 7 tips to avoid self-sabotage, and keep yourself on the right track – without having the need to be rudely awoken by the alarm clock at 5am on a Saturday morning reminding you it’s time to get up and jog on down to the gym! With a little extra effort and planning, you can turn weekends into an enjoyable experience and an opportunity to keep your program moving in the right direction without the need to spend all day Sunday confessing your dietary sins.
Have a great weekend and give a little thought to how much alcohol you might consume as well; It’s always cheaper when you hit the bars during happy hour!