Do you eat healthy?
We’re sure that you do, or at least try to, but the one thing that has always prevented everyone from truly achieving their potential is the weekend…
During the week, it is much easier to maintain a healthier lifestyle because you slip into a routine that you get used to and many of us are on autopilot – gym, work, eat, sleep, repeat; but the weekend is a different animal altogether.
The problem is that on the weekend, the textbook simply goes out the window. There’s no one to admonish you for skimping on your diet or drinking that extra beer, because everyone around you is probably doing the same thing.
It’s the weekend!
You’ve been waiting all week to cheat, but what you need to realise is that you’re doing more harm than good.
Being proactive about your health and making every day count means that you need to iron out all of the creases, and when it comes to your diet and training that normally means prioritising the weekend and stopping yourself from bingeing.
Cut out cheat days
There’s a myth in the diet world that has since become a reality, and it is derailing people left, right, and centre as they try to maintain a perfect balance between what they know they have to eat, and what they want to eat.
Cheat days were introduced so that people on restrictive diets could have one day a week where they eat whatever they want without a guilty conscience and afterwards they’d be able to face another week of restriction with an incentive. But this is not the right way to do things.
What needs to be cut out, along with refined carbs and sweets, are cheat days themselves. They’re counterproductive and don’t let you get into a way of eating that is conducive to you either building muscle or losing weight because throughout the rest of the day you’re just waiting to cheat. And cheat days, normally taking place on the weekend, can easily become cheat weekends before you know it.
And this brings us to our next point…
Don’t be too restrictive during the week
A restrictive diet is something that many people who want to lose weight go on, and over a short period of time it really does work. You should see rapid weight loss and may even feel more energised, but this is only because you are limiting the amount of calories that your body is used to by a long way.
And that’s all that restrictive diets are good for – short term results. It is almost impossible to keep that up for your entire life and after a while, that restriction can do more harm than good. You’ll find yourself desperately craving the foods that you have cut out and coercing yourself into trying out the cheat day method where you binge and, as a result, ruin your diet.
Another way of looking at dieting is not from the uber-restrictive perspective. Rather, the best course of action is to eat foods that you enjoy and stick to a healthy way of eating that you can keep up for your entire life. Don’t think of it as a diet, but a way of eating that doesn’t restrict foods that are going to push you over the edge and slowly introduce healthier options into your food choices – it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and you want long term success.
Make meals that you like
What you might find when you adjust your diet is that your food options and meal options actually expand because you are opening yourself up to eating more types of food that you wouldn’t normally have eaten. For instance, instead of ordering your usual burger or greasy breakfast on the weekend after a night out, you should look at healthier options and find out what tickles your taste buds.
Instead of lazing around and eating pizza in front of the television all weekend, claiming your own cheat-day-parlay, take the time during the weekend to learn how to cook, and explore what foods excite you.
By making your health and your diet entertaining, you’ll be adding another layer that will keep you on track. And you’ll have something to do on the weekend that doesn’t involve being unhealthy because we all know what idle hands mean when it comes to our decision making.
Stay active on weekends
And while we’re at it, you don’t only have to fill your weekends cooking for yourself and learning more about making healthy food great tasting, but with active adventures as well. The problem with the weekend is that you aren’t stuck in an office or busy with clients all day, but finally have some time to relax – too much time!
Instead of lazing about, why not try something that you have never tried before like abseiling or hiking, or even fill your mornings will a power gym session or a jog around your neighbourhood. The weekend offers so many possibilities because if you aren’t working or busy with other commitments then you don’t have the same time constraints as you do during the week.
The weekend is the time for experiences and these experiences can not only be fun, but a way for you to bond with the people closest to you. Being active with friends will encourage you all to get into a groove where you feel good about the way that you enjoyed your weekend and will prepare you for the work-week ahead.
Avoid the “big night out”
Lastly, the main criminal for everyone when it comes to the weekend is alcohol, and it is robbing you of valuable time spent in the gym and eating right leading up to the weekend. We all like to have fun in our own way and enjoy ourselves the way we like to enjoy ourselves, but alcohol is harmful to our health and diets.
This is not to say that you should cut it out completely if you drink it. Again, you shouldn’t restrict yourself from the things that you enjoy, but you should keep in mind that everything should be done in moderation.
Cutting down on your alcohol consumption and late nights on the weekend will mean that you get the most out of your training and healthy eating. A hangover only means two things: sitting in bed, inactive, watching series and poor food choices. It’s impossible to keep on track if you’re spending all weekend nursing a hangover from another bender, so look after yourself out there. There’s nothing wrong with socialising and going out and having fun, but if your diet is your main focus then be responsible when doing just that.
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