I don’t know about you, but weekends have always been one of my biggest struggles when it comes to maintaining my health goals.
Weekends just present themselves as a time to celebrate, and what better way to do that but with food!
Food has always been my go-to when it comes to celebrating anything, and often that meant having a few too many drinks and overindulging on treats, snacks, and greasy take-out food.
Having all of these things from time to time is a part of life. And I am always striving to maintain balance in my own life when it comes to health. There is no way I am giving up ice cream, a celebratory glass of wine, or a good ‘ol burger & fries from time to time. But I do want to tip the scale towards fueling my body with more nutritious food, reducing my alcohol intake, and making sure I get lots of movement into my life because I know all of the benefits they can bring me.
So if you are also striving for this wobbly balance with your health, I thought I would share my tricks for fitting in a little bit of indulgence on the weekend, without losing pace with your current health goals.
If you know you are going to indulge at night time, let’s say it is pizza night, or you are likely going to have a few extra drinks at game night, or Saturday nights often mean snacks on snacks on snacks, plan on eating your regular healthy meals for breakfast and lunch.
One way you can make this easier for yourself is by meal prepping for the weekend. That way you are not tempted to eat out for lunch as well.
Or just buy the groceries for your nutritious meals during the week. So you know you have the nutritious veggies, filling complex carbs, and lean protein in the house. That way you have no excuse not to make a yummy but healthy breakfast & lunch on Saturday and Sunday.
The key here is to fuel your body with high servings of veggies, protein, and complex carbs during the day so that you are not missing out on the nutrients your body needs if you end up eating a less nutritious dinner at night!
Often when we think about 'celebratory foods', foods that are high in sugar, highly processed, and in take-out form come to mind.
But celebrating with food can still be healthy and fun at the same time.
We often have more time on the weekends to make a more elaborate meal. So why not spend that time trying out a new healthful meal rather than ordering in!
Why not try out a fancy salmon dish on top of some green veggies you have never tried before.
Have you ever cooked with broccolini, rapini, or okra before?
This way you are fitting in some great nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids from your fatty fish and lots of phytonutrients from the green veggies, but still trying something new and exciting.
Or why not try to make a new plant-based meal. It is all the new rave, and there are tons of interesting and delicious plant-based recipe ideas that you can try. How about trying to make a plant-based moussaka, spaghetti squash or zucchini “pasta”, a squash-based soup, or oooh how about some ratatouille(see above photo)!
If we want to change our mindset about ourselves, and see ourselves as healthy individuals, we need to start changing our habits. When we start making "being healthy" fun, we make it easier to build those habits into our every day, even on the weekends!
One thing that can go to the way-side on the weekend is our water intake.
We are no longer in our typical work-day routine with our water bottle right next to us on our desk, so we can forget to get enough water in for the day.
Be sure to fill up that water bottle and bring it around with you wherever you go on the weekend. Even if that is just sitting on the couch binge-watching Ted Lasso all day.
And at night, if you plan on drinking, make it a rule that you need to have one glass of water before you can grab another drink. Oftentimes we over-consume just because we are distracted doing other things. So if we grab water instead it can be a way of reducing our alcohol intake, at the same time as increasing H2O intake. Win-Win!
Now you cannot tell me that I am the only one who has mindlessly eaten a whole bag of popcorn while watching a movie on Saturday night.
When we do not portion out our food we are bound to eat more, just because it is in front of us.
One of the easiest ways to avoid this is to portion out your snacks.Instead of just eating out the bag, grab a smaller bowl to portion out your snack for the night.
At bare minimum it will make it just a little bit more difficult for you to eat more than you planned because you will have to go back to the cupboard to get more. But it has been proven that the more friction we add to doing a habit that we are trying to break ( like overeating when we are no longer hungry), the more capable we are at breaking that habit.
I love weekends for moving my body in unique ways - whether it is going out for a long hike with the dog or a skate with the fam.
The extra time on the weekend can make moving your body even easier. And more fun by just simply making it creative and changing up your regular routine.
So if you are feeling less motivated to get a structured workout in on the weekends try one of these suggestions instead. It is a way to keep things exciting but not miss out on your daily movement:
Keep in mind that these strategies that I have developed over the years have worked well for me. We are all individuals and you will find that not all strategies, tricks, and tips will work for you. When it comes to nutrition, things can get confusing and it really is an endless journey of learning. My hope is just that I can make it a little bit less bumpy for you!
if you have any specific medical issues or questions please reach out to a local health professional for help. It is best not to use "Dr. Google" to find a diagnosis. And as always, what I share here at Making Lemonade is for information only, and should not be considered a substitute for medical advice.
For more information please visit our Disclaimers page .