You eat a healthy breakfast at your desk each morning and make healthy decision for your lunches. You keep those pieces of fruit on your desk to save your snacking on the office cake. You go to Body Pump and spin after work in the week. And you try and lay off the booze until the weekend.
And yet, you could be undoing all that work in just a couple of days if your weekend habits aren’t up to the same standards. I am a firm believer in living in moderation and not being too strict on yourself – so go ahead and have that takeaway or that dinner out. But watch out for these habits which could be wiping out all your efforts in the week:
I can’t tell you how many times someone has said to me they only drink one or two days a week, then it turns out they have a ‘few’ on Thursday night (because that’s the weekend really), then are out ‘for one’ on Friday night (aka big night out…oops), then share a bottle of wine over dinner on Saturday night, then have a couple of wines with Sunday dinner ‘because it’s Sunday’. When I point out that they are drinking 60% of their week they are shocked.
There’s nothing wrong with letting your hair down and having a drink, most of us do. But have a look at your social calendar and try and ration it. If you have a big night planned on Saturday, perhaps take it easy Friday and keep it to one or two, or none if you can. If you like a glass or two with your Sunday dinner, perhaps treat Thursday like any other and lay off.
I call Sunday my bacon day. It’s the one day where I have my big breakfast and I look forward to it all week. There’s nothing wrong with having a big weekend breakfast. But if it’s every Saturday and Sunday, if it’s always fried and always with lashings of meat you are adding in vast amounts of saturated fat, salt and calories.
Try sticking to just once over the weekend, keeping it grilled and poached, and adding in some of your five a day such as beans, tomatoes and avocado.
Again, nothing wrong with it. But is it every Friday? Or is it both nights over the weekend, all the time?
I understand that cooking over the weekend isn’t always what many of us want to do after a long week, but again these are full of fat and salt so do consume in moderation. Or make healthier takeaway choices such as shish kebabs with rice and salad instead of your donner in a pitta. There are also plenty of quick and easy recipes to replicate your favourite takeaway too if you can just spare a little energy to save a lot of calories.
This refers to both restaurant dinners or being out and about and grabbing food on the go. They are usually full of fats and butters and oils which make them taste so much better than anything you were planning on cooking. There’s nothing wrong with a well deserved meal out – but assess what else you’re eating over the weekend alongside it.
Or lack of. How many of you keep a bottle of water on your desk that you chug all day long, and then have about a glass at home over the weekend? Keep yourself hydrated at home as well as at work, especially if you are eating high salt foods or drinking.
Any of these things are fine here and there…but how many of these have you done all in one weekend, each weekend? I’m not going to pretend I’ve never done it myself. Friday night dinner out followed by too many drinks, followed by a Saturday hangover which consisted of a café breakfast then a takeaway for dinner whilst hiding under a blanket. Not enough water to wash it all down and come Sunday I feel disgusting.
Any of this sound familiar?
My advice then is simply to plan. Look ahead at the weekend, see what events and social gatherings you have and then counteract it by keeping up your healthy habits around this. If you know you have a big night on Saturday, then keep Friday night healthy, get in a gym session the next morning and drink plenty of water…and so on.