I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of it: the clock strikes 5 pm on a Friday (or maybe even Thursday!) and a mental shift occurs – freedom, relief, happy hour! All willpower is out the door. That healthy dinner, that Friday night yoga class, that weekend detox quickly gets pushed aside because it’s much easier to let loose … which usually leads us to indulging in excess.
The good news? We all know that moderation is the key to health and fitness success. News flash; weekends (sadly) aren’t an exception to this theory. To put things into perspective, if you’re going out and indulging Thursday – Sunday (which some classify as the weekend), we’re indulging four of seven days a week – more than half!
If you’re struggling to see results, or feel like your weekends are major setbacks to your healthy weekday lifestyle, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you stay on track on the weekend.
The 80/20 rule
We’re all for indulging and relaxing but stick to the 80/20 rule. 80 percent of the time you’re eating healthy, balanced meals; 20 percent of the time you’re splurging – and enjoying every bite of it! What this means is, if you eat three meals a day, Friday through Sunday, that’s a total of nine meals. Of the nine meals, allow yourself to cheat on your healthy ways for one or two of them; not breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.
In order to abide by the 80/20 rule, take a look at your weekend and recognize potential temptations before they’re right in front of you. Doughnut Friday, boozy brunch, Saturday bar crawl, bridal showers … so many weekend plans involve sweets, booze and overly processed foods. Devise a plan with yourself: pass on doughnut Friday in order to splurge on pizza for your friend’s birthday; or tell your crew you’ll be at brunch late so you can get a workout in beforehand. It’s ok to show up late to a gathering and skip the food if you can’t possibly resist the smell of cinnamon rolls without taking a bite (bonus: you’ll save money too).
Be realistic and recognize that if you have a friends gathering where mimosas will most likely be served, you’re not leaving the party any time soon much less in a mindset to go conquer your best gym session. Hear us out, don’t skip the party! Rather, plan to get in an early morning workout before fun destroys your gym plans. Take it one step further by planning a night in (the night before) to make getting up to work out that much easier.
Leverage willpower at its peak
Don’t kid yourself – Saturday morning rolls around, you brunch and run errands, don’t act like the last errand you’re going to run is to the gym. Tap into your willpower when it’s at its max, which for most is probably first thing in the morning. Set the tone for your day (and weekend) by sweating first-thing Saturday.
Alcohol can initiate a snowball effect of poor decision making starting from over consumption, to late night eats, to sleeping through your alarm, to lacking energy for a workout the next day. Experiment with pacing yourself and finding a drink-limit personal to you that keeps your inhibitions in check. This will allow you to pick up where you left off after a fun night out by getting to the gym and still seizing the next day.
Build a community
We all need to adopt healthier habits so enlist a community or crew that supports you, and maybe has a similar mindset. Plan a fitness get-together rather than brunch, or host dinner “in” so you know the prepared food will be healthy. Find people who appreciate and value your goals and are willing to support you. If your friends aren’t about supporting your healthy habits, perhaps it’s time to reconsider your crew.
Now cheers to the weekend, in moderation, with some workouts sprinkled in. Finding balance will ease stress, tension and anxiety –leaving you more refreshed come Monday.