Many people are diligent about sticking to their exercise routine and healthy eating habits during the workweek, but by the time the weekend rolls around, these values seem to go out the window. It is not uncommon for people to binge on the weekend to relax and unwind, but eating unhealthy foods during this time frame can undo all of the progress gained throughout the week.
According to Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise, "People tend to think of the weekend as their time to relax and recover from the hectic workweek. What they should do is really try to make an effort to become more active in their daily pursuits over the weekend days."
A study published in an issue of Obesity Research in 2003 found that calorie intake dramatically increases between Friday and Sunday. Americans between the ages of 19 and 50 consumed an average of 115 more calories per day during the weekend compared with the workweek.
Although the temptation to binge on snacks can be hard to combat, there are ways that you can stave off these urges and live healthier on the weekends.
- Start each day with a large breakfast. Eating a nutritious meal in the morning before you head out can help you maintain your appetite throughout the day. It is just as important to get a running start with a hearty breakfast on the weekend as it is during the week.
- Portion control is a must. Many people prefer to save up for a big meal out on the town, but experts encourage healthy snacking throughout the day to curb appetite and prevent overeating. Fruits and vegetables are ideal snacks that can provide you with the energy you need during the weekend. Read: Portion Distortion
- Steer clear of excess alcohol intake. Although it may be tempting, cutting back on alcoholic beverages can save you hundreds of calories over the weekend.
- Replace unhealthy beverages with more nutritious choices. Instead of opting for sugary soda when dining out, order water. If you choose water with every meal, you'll also cut your daily caloric intake.
Taking just a few of these habits to heart can help you maintain a healthy diet over the weekend.