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by Casey McIlvaine

When it comes to a lifestyle change, such as exercising and eating healthier, we are faced with a major dilemma… the weekends. During the week it tends to be easier to stick to a healthy regime and routine, but once Friday afternoon roles around, we tend to “relax.” This is a natural urge, but there are ways you can stick to your diet and be successful without cheating on the weekends.

Preparation is key to enjoying your weekend and still eating healthy. Your kitchen may have tempting high calorie snacks readily available from eating all the healthy ones all week. Be prepared; check your pantry and refrigerator to make sure there are vegetables and fruits for you to snack on. Set yourself up for success, even some whole grain crackers and cheese for snacking on when hanging out with friends is a good alternative.

Weekends are full of getting together with friends and family for any reason such as birthday parties, showers, weddings, etc. where food is a major focal point. The temptation is there, but stick with a single portion and don’t go for seconds! It is easy to eat an entire days worth of calories at one gathering. For example, one slice of cheese pizza can be 200+ calories depending on any toppings. Then you add cake, which can vary anywhere between 200 for a simple flavored, to 400 or 600 for a decadent piece. Add in a few beers with your meal while celebrating, and you nearly consume half of your daily intake of calories in one sitting. So, stick to the healthy snacks and one serving.

More people tend to eat at restaurants on the weekends. Fight this urge and cook instead of dining out. By cooking at home you are able to have full control of the ingredients that go into your meals. If you can’t help dining out, stick with a soup, salad, and stay away from bread refills. Also, don’t feel forced to finish your entire meal, know when you are full, and take the remainder home for leftovers. This can make for a perfect lunch the next day.

If you notice yourself having some cravings, go for a walk to burn off some calories because not only will your distract yourself from snacking, but you will get some exercise as well! Once you learn to stick to eating healthy seven days a week instead of five, you will have full control over your lifestyle change. Enjoy your weekend without completely blowing all your hard work Monday through Friday. You’ve earned it!


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