Is the Weekend Your Roadblock to Success?
Do your weekdays look the same as your weekends? For a lot of our clients, the weekdays aren’t so bad. Meals are prepped, workout routine is in place, and they have a schedule. However, it’s the weekend that is likely unraveling their progress. Traveling, eating out/takeout, alcohol consumption, and no plan are some of the factors that can influence the level of success (which is subjective) of the weekend.
Honestly, though, the weekends DON’T have to be this way. A little diligence and a bit of planning go a long way! Here are our 5 favorite tactics for tackling the weekends, seizing control of your wellness, and being mindful of what you want your weekends to look like!
1. Set clear expectations for what you want your weekends to look like, and what you are willing to give up in order to reach your goals. If it helps, write down your goals for the weekend regarding movement, nutrition, connection with others, mindset, and recovery.
2. Once you have expectations, make a plan. If you are focused on staying on track with your nutrition, don’t go into the weekend with an empty cupboard/fridge. If you are doing a long run, schedule with your running buddy in advance. If you are eating out, research the restaurant and determine what is on the menu that fits within your goals. If you haven’t been on track nutritionally during the week, research recipes to prep on Sunday so you are prepared. Create a plan and get ready to follow through.
3. Avoid going into the weekend feeling stressed. It is okay in many weight loss or weight maintenance circumstances to eat a little more on the weekends as long as you are eating well the rest of the week. Most of our clients follow an 80/20 rule, where they eat in their designated caloric range 80% of the time. However, if you feel like weekends are a free-for-all and they leave you feeling stressed or guilty, consider asking yourself these questions:
Am I being too restrictive on weekdays?
Is my caloric deficit too low during the week?
Am I taking care of my body and mind all week? Am I providing good self care consistently, or are my weekends my only “escape” time?
If you find that you are struggling with your nutrition, it may be a good idea to reach out to a dietician for help.
4. Avoid perfection. Having a nice meal or two out of the ordinary (such as takeout or eating out) won’t completely derail your progress. We often place too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. Make simple, nutritious swaps at mealtime when you can. For example, try a burger and salad instead of a burger and fries. Or swap two beers for one. If you complete one workout instead of two, give yourself credit for what you achieved! Remember that something is better than nothing. More on that here.
5. Enjoy your weekend the way you intend to! If your intention is to kick back and enjoy time with friends and/or family, do it! If you want to eat out one less time than last weekend, do it! If your focus is to make a few nutritious swaps, go for it! Find that healthy balance of goal getting and enjoyment.
If you feel like you’re doing everything right during the week and you still are not reaching your goals, your weekends might need to be dialed in more. Even if your goal is not weight-related, making healthier swaps here and there (like trading 10 lounging minutes for a 10 minute walk), can go a long way.
If you found these tips useful, please consider sharing to your social media, or send us an email! We read every single email that comes our way.
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Jessica Corkin is a certified personal trainer at Begin Within. She holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science and has spent the last eight years working in the fitness and wellness industry. When she is not virtually training clients, she enjoys strength training, running, being outdoors, and spending quality time with her husband and dog.
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