“I’m good during the week but the weekends are so hard!”
Sound familiar? One of the most common challenges I hear from those trying to eat clean is how the weekends are so much more difficult that the week. They stick to their plan for only five out of seven days a week and unfortunately that just doesn’t work for long-term results. In order for this lifestyle to work you need to find ways to overcome the challenge of the weekend.
Why do we go off the rails on the weekend? I feel there are a few major reasons.
1 Mindset. We see the weekend as an opportunity to let loose and relax after the busy and stressful work week. This isn’t bad in and of itself, but we shouldn’t see our clean eating habits as something that we want and need to relax on the weekends while we are relaxing everything else. As part of a balanced clean eating lifestyle we are able to have occasional treats, but that shouldn’t extend to nearly every meal on a weekend. That just isn’t healthy and won’t help you reach your goals. And the constant battle around “trying” to eat clean on the weekend and constantly failing just puts extra stress on you when you should be recharging for the next week. Just like you changed your weekday diet you can change your weekend diet as well. Save yourself the stress of “starting over” every Monday and eat clean all weekend!
2 Activities. Most people’s weekends go one of two ways. Either very relaxed without much you have to do or very busy with commitments and lots of running around to various events. Either way you are often out and away from your kitchen and your clean food. And since the activities you are participating in are for your enjoyment they are often associated with indulgent food. Popcorn at the movies, drinks out with friends, cake at birthday parties and large portions of everything at family dinners often go hand in hand. But these activities are not any less enjoyable without the food! Try sneaking healthy snacks into the movies or bringing a healthy dish to family dinners. Also try new weekend activities with a healthy focus.
3 Routine. 7am breakfast. 9am work. 10:30am snack. 12:00pm lunch. 3:00pm snack. 5:30pm workout. 7:30pm dinner. 11pm bed. Our week is usually made up of some sort of consistent routine. Then the weekend might look something like this. 10am breakfast. Snack throughout the day, no real structure. 7pm out for dinner and drinks with friends. Sleep in the next day until 10am or later, then go out for brunch around noon. Eat such a large meal that you aren’t hungry again until dinner time. So you go from a consistent clean eating schedule, eating regularly throughout the day to two or three heavy, large meals a day on the weekend. It is more difficult to establish a clean eating routine on a weekend because they are irregular and usually different every week. The week is easier because our schedule is often dictated by our job and we can work our meals around that. But that just means you need to make more of an effort to keep a regular eating schedule during the weekend. Set an alarm to remind yourself to eat and prepare your meals in advance just like you would for the work week. If you are going to be out and about, bring snacks with you so you are prepared when hunger strikes. Create a “weekend routine” that may differ from your weekday routine but still lets you keep on track.
With clean eating, consistency is a huge part of your success. Use these strategies to help stay on track on the weekends and improve your results!
This article was researched and written by Follow @DaraCoxPT
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