How to eat healthily – even on the weekend
By the time the weekend rolls around, we’re ready to let loose and for some, that also means indulging in “weekend treats.” Bacon is a given (natch), along with pancakes, bagels, cheese and biccies, pizza, wine, pizza, wine, pizza, wine. And beer.
Hmm. If you’re trying to get in shape or just feel better, the weekend isn’t the time to let go of all the hard work and discipline of the week gone by. Here are a few tricks to help you stick to it on your off days:
1. Swap for one
Friday night drinks are a simple start to letting things slip. One drink can easily become a few and all of a sudden you’ve forgotten dinner and find your eyes lingering over the hot chips at the table next to you. My tip: going for a drink or two is fine, but alternate your alcohol with water and make a plan for a healthy dinner so you have something good in your belly and you don’t cave in to the pub food. It’s also a good idea to book a fitness class for Saturday morning so things don’t spiral out of control. Alcohol and fries do not a make for a healthy evening.
- Book a fitness class for free on Bodypass
2. Wake fresh
Whether you’ve been out or having a night in, ensure you hydrate well prior to bed and upon rising flush the body out with lemon in warm water. These practices will help your body eliminate toxicity and keep you on track even when the loose structure of the weekend is in play.
3. Be mindful
Maintain a little mindfulness around eating during your weekend. Sure, the fridge is a little closer when you’re at home instead of the office, but that doesn’t mean you need to casually swipe from it every time you move around the house. Instead stick to your three main meals or five small, and leave random snacking aside.
4. Move and groove
Weekends don’t have to be about lazing about, map out some ways to move your body so you fuel it with good energy. Our bodies thrive on the endorphins produced by exercise and goodness knows when you’re exercising you’re not thinking about the cronut at the coffee shop, right? Don’t confine yourself to one type of exercise either, a mix of stretching, high intensity, yoga, gentle running, weights conditioning, dancing or just a walk are all good means to move.
- Book a fitness class for free on Bodypass
5. Sweet social
Catching up with friends over a meal or coffee is the norm for the weekend, but these can blow out into afternoon cheesecakes, or sessions at the pub. My tip: organise a new restaurant or health spot to catch up where you know sweet treats or super indulgent food won’t make you feel tempted. Better yet, ditch the seat and take a walk with a buddy for a good change in health or even book something like a game of tennis or paddleboarding. Now that it’s warmer, the options are endless.
6. Clear it
Use the weekend for a bit of mental, physical and dietary cleansing instead of making it time to own your ‘cheat meals’. Clear out the crud from the fridge that does not serve your health (condiments, chocolate, soft drinks etc) and focus on refilling it with inspiring and nourishing food for the weekend and week ahead. Not only will this set your intention for the week, it will keep you busy and stop you from snacking.
7. Cook and create
Learn to create your favourite take-out flavours at home. While a quick phone call might be convenient, the sugars and fats that come with take out will leave you feeling drab. There are plenty of delicious alternatives to your favourite Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Thai, Indian, American style meals and more.
8. Get into nature
Immersing yourself in a bit of nature by the weekend is such a fabulous way to take your mind off the week that’s been, focus on all things bright, beautiful and let a little bit of biophilia settle your thoughts. Nature is an incredible way to balance the wheel of health and something most of us don’t get enough of. My tip: kick off your shoes, plant your feet into the earth and ground yourself.
9. Hone the habit
Habits can be hard to break, so if the weekends have become about doing/eating whatever you please it’s time to nudge that habit to one side. Focus on one thing each week to break this habit and make a new one for the long term. It could be as simple as rising and drinking green tea, which gives our bodies an antioxidant kick instead of heading straight the coffee shop.
10. Learn and grow
Just because it’s a break from routine, doesn’t mean we can’t learn something new to add to our diet and health for the week ahead. Challenge yourself (just a little) to try a new ingredient in the kitchen and learn a few ways to work with it. It will give you the inspiration you need to kick on with a positive approach to health.
11. Finish fab
Make time just for you each Sunday to reflect on the week that has been and what you can do to improve your diet and health for the week that is coming. Good health starts and finishes with the way you think. Healthy mind, healthy body.
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