As I finish off the last crumb from the bag of my popcorn and without even thinking twice, lick every single one of my fingers, I think to myself, "okay, I immediately regret that decision." It's Sunday night and I'm left with what I like to call weekend regret. That feeling that I ate way too much crappy food, because somehow on Friday night I managed to justify my future actions with the over-used "It's the weekend, it doesn't count" thought process. Well, Im here to break the bad news to you (and to myself)...it absolutely does count! I'm not saying that you still can't enjoy the food and drinks that you love every now and then, but what I am saying is that you need to realize the actions and choices that you make during the weekend will, without a doubt, have an effect on how you feel during the week.
I'll be the first to admit that weekends are absolutely the toughest for me. I eat clean all week long and when Friday rolls around, I tell myself it's okay to eat this or that, because I worked my booty off all week and one evening of bad eating isn't going to have that big of an effect on me. This is true...if it was just ONE night. Saturday night comes and my head is clouded with the same ridiculous thought "it's Saturday, I'm going to treat myself to some pasta and wine and maybe even get real crazy and have some chocolate cake for dessert." The vicious cycle continues. It's Sunday, "I made poor food choices all weekend, I might as well end the weekend with a bang." Enter: the bag of popcorn. Did I need the popcorn? Was I even that hungry? No. Did I WANT the popcorn, because "it's the weekend and it doesn't count." Absolutely. Did I wake up Monday morning with fingers so swollen that getting my wedding ring off would be impossible even if I slathered butter all over my hands. YES. Let's face it people, the weekend struggle is real! So how do we beat it? How do we make it through the weekend without messing up everything we worked so hard for during the week?
Exercise: Most people have more free time during the weekend. Whether it be going for a longer run, spending a half hour more at the gym or getting your booty to a Buti Yoga class (no excuses ladies, I now teach Saturday mornings at my studio), use this time to get in a good workout without feeling like you're being rushed.
Eat like it's a weekday: Fuel your body just as you do any other day. Don't skip out on breakfast and lunch, just to end up overeating at dinner time. The weekend should be treated just like a weekday, which means you should eat how you regularly eat. No more of the "I'm saving these calories for dinner" line.
Get good sleep: I get it, it's the weekend and you want to stay up past your "bedtime." Think of the times when you've stayed up a few hours later than usual, just to end up getting hungry and going thru the drive-thru to satisfy the growling monster in your belly. Try your best to stay away from any late night Taco Bell runs and get yourself to sleep at a decent hour.
Limit your drink intake: Calories from beverages can add up rather quickly. Whether it be soda, sweet tea, wine, or margaritas, be mindful of the amount you are drinking, as beverages can send you straight to feeling like the goodyear blimp come Monday. *Consider drinking a glass of water between each beverage to help you stay hydrated and feel less thirsty.
Stop mindless snacking: Remember that bag of popcorn? The perfect example of mindless snacking. Try not to eat straight from a bag or package and also wait ten minutes from the time you decide you want a snack to actually eating the snack. Often times, you are not even hungry, you are just bored.
Drinks or dessert?: Try limiting yourself to one or the other. If you are out to dinner, allow yourself to choose which one you'd rather have on that particular night.
It's not going to be easy and I can guarantee there will be times when you want to have your wine and eat your cake too! Don't beat yourself up if you make a poor food choice. We're only human. Recognize your mistakes and the challenges that you faced and get right back at it come Monday. Hopefully by following some of these tips you won't be left with weekend regret, because whether we want to believe it or not...the weekend does count.