You’ve had a good week so far. You hit the gym as many times as you intended. Your results are good, even though you started out Monday bloated from last weekend’s intake. Too much salt, alcohol, and food volume makes Monday feel greasy.
This is how it goes. During the work you’re busy. You’re eating smart. Then Friday comes. Despite your best intentions to hold the line over the weekend, someone brings treats to work. Then you stop for one drink on the way home.
Before you know it, it’s Sunday afternoon and you’re lying around in sweats and your favorite t-shirt. You have a case of the effits. I’ll dial it back in tomorrow, like I always do, then do a better job next weekend, you tell yourself.
cra•zy (ˈkrāzē): Doing the same thing twice expecting different results.
It’s not your intentions. Those are fine, but you have no plan. Instead of proving yourself wrong, demotivating yourself again, try something new. Here are five cold hard weekend realities and what you can do instead.
It’s Never One Drink
By noon, if someone hasn’t invited you to a drink at the end of the day, you’re wondering if anyone ever loved you.
Friday carries a special sense of entitlement: I’ve worked hard all week; I deserve one drink. Yup, you do. In fact, you deserve more.
The problem is you know and I know it’s never one. It’s one more, and then oh-is-that-fresh-guacamole?
You’ve tried paying cash for your drink, so you can leave right away, but someone always buys a round. You’ve tried telling them the one-drink deal, but they just laugh.
The easy solve is to skip. If that’s too depressing, eat a late lunch, as late as possible. That will help you keep your faculties longer. On an empty stomach, that first drink will rob your resistance faster than you can say “round two.”
Put your foot down. Leave after one, even if they buy another for you. You teach people how to treat you. If they had fair warning, not your problem.
Free Time Is Dangerous
The advantage of your work week is your occupation. You have deadlines, meetings, conference calls, whatever.
Many people find they don’t have enough hours to get it all done. It gets easy to skip meals or go without. If you’ve packed your food, then you can only eat what you’ve packed unless you cheat via vending machine.
The weekend brings long hours of sunlight reading and idle nothingness. Food makes an easy, but evil filler. To combat this, get busy. Fill your weekend with projects.
Even have your meals set up beforehand, the way you do during the week. The busier you get, the better. Gardening or shoveling snow are wonderful activities. A good long hike works too.
Everyone Else Is Doing It Is A Child’s Logic
This one is gonna sting. If you’re eating socially, there is nobody who will stop you from shoveling chip after chip in your mouth. For better or worse, food autonomy is part of being a grown up.
By the way, not that there is anything wrong with chips, except when they don’t fit into your nutrition plan.
Be aware that social events will not generally provide healthy food options. Bring your own. Celery is a great way to feed your nervous hand-to-mouth issue.
Your Saturday Workout Isn’t Enough
The killer Zumba class you take Saturday mornings is not carte blanche for eating what you will all weekend. It’s the same dang class you take Tuesday nights, but you don’t lose your scruples on Tuesday.
It’s great that you have the motivation to workout on the weekend. The more you feed your habit, the less it will bump you to do it.
You Saturday workout does not buy you a get out of jail card for Friday night. It doesn’t buy you one for after class on Saturday. It doesn’t for Sunday either.
Your Sunday workout means you get it, exercise is a lifestyle, not a penance.
Your Cheat Meal Has Swollen
If your goal is to get swole, then, by all means, cheat your weekend away. In my experience, the getting-swole crowd is a sliver of the population.
The rest of us are trying to manage our intake without feeling like we live an oppressed existence. We’re looking for ways to balance the joys of food with our fitness goals. It ain’t easy.
Some of us find a cheat meal helps bridge the gap of our weekday. Some find a cheat day does an even better job. Some of those cheat meals turn into cheat-Thursday-through-Sundays.
If that’s you, the cheat meal isn’t working. There’s a good chance your non-cheat days are too strict. You’re denying yourself something that you want or need. It may help you to introduce small amounts of whatever that is during the week instead of keeping a cheat meal.
Try these tricks. See if you can’t plot out your activities and meals for the weekend a little better. Maybe it’s time you worked some of that naughty food into your normal diet so you don’t feel so restricted.
You’re gonna figure this out. I know it.