Weekend Weight Gain: How to Avoid It

by Suzanne Hiscock

After a long, hard workweek it’s completely understandable that you’d want to relax, unwind and enjoy the couple of days off you have over the weekend. This includes making a pit stop at the grocery store for stuff to cook on the grill, drinks to ice up in the cooler, and extra munchies to help pass the time since you’re not in nose-to-the-grindstone work mode.

This is like an American pastime—using our weekends to meet and eat with friends and family. It gets even more indulgent on holiday weekends when meals might include an entire smorgasbord of potluck goodies everyone brought by your house while they swim in your pool.

Even on non-holiday weekends, we tend to consumer more calories because we drink calorie-laden alcoholic beverages and we eat out in restaurants and ignore portion guidelines, ending our meals with desserts that have names like Death By Chocolate.

You don’t have to let your free time that you spend on the weekends ruin all of the hard work you do to achieve or maintain trim figure during the work week. Pick one of these tips to help you whittle down your waist if you’re prone to splurging from Friday night through Sunday:

Exercise more to make up for the additional calories. It’s a simple equation – calories in versus calories out. Burn more than you eat and you’ll lose weight! So if you ate a loaded baked potato, then you’d better load up on some extra steps that week.

Vow never to ignore portions again. You can eat out in restaurants on the weekends and still enjoy the food – just stick half of it away in a to-go box and have it for leftovers come Monday afternoon.

Choose healthier fare at home or on the go during the weekends.  If you have friends coming over for a pool party, you can stick a boneless, skinless chicken breast on the grill while they have their plates piled high with fat-laden burgers. If you’re going out to eat, don’t be afraid to ask the chef to prepare your fare with low calorie cooking instructions.

Drink low calorie alcoholic drinks.  If you imbibe liquor on the weekends, try to make it a low calorie option. If rum and Coke is your usual, use Diet Coke instead. Ask for diet juice (such as Cranberry) if that’s the poison you usually pick. Avoid drinks heavy on the cream or sugar.

Many men and women keep on track Monday through Friday and then pig out on the weekends. You don’t have to let it botch your entire diet plan. Just compensate for the indulgence and you’ll continue losing weight or maintaining your weight loss without any damaging side effects. Make plans for the weekends ahead and stave off these off the wagon diet failures for good!

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About the Author

Suzanne is the owner of FitWatch. She's had strong interest in nutrition and exercise for over 20 years, and is an ACE-certified Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach. Back in 2002, she started FitWatch.com because she wanted to help people lose weight by creating helpful tools and calculators. A huge fan of calorie counting, Suzanne created the FitWatch Fitness Tracker to make it easy for people to count their calories.