It’s been a little longer than planned between the last post on getting mum fit and this one. I’ve been so busy growing a human that most of the other stuff in my life has been put on hold. But it’s here, better late than never as they say. This weeks post from Matt is all about keeping on track over the weekend or at least minimising the damage we do to our health goals over our relaxed two days off. So without further ado, here is Matt’s wisdom.
Are the weekends stalling your progress or making you feel guilty?
Most of us live for the weekends. Those 2 golden days away from the 9 to 5 and school runs are what we live for. Yet are our weekends ruining the progress we make throughout the week?
Do we go too far off track from the health goals we have during Monday to Friday?
Is the loosened regime of good food and exercise derailing our progress?
People tend to end up weighing more on a Monday than they do on a Friday. And it’s not just our weight that is affected. It’s also, and more importantly our;
- sleep schedules
- energy levels
These all take a hit from what happens between Happy Hour on Friday and our Sunday Dinner.
So, what can we do to stay on track and possibly even make more progress, instead of undoing it?
Wake up with a buzz
The weekend may be your only chance for a lie in and ditching the alarm is such a great feeling.
Yet could this be having some consequences for our health and energy levels?
“Social jet lag” is the difference between our biological clock and the different sleeping schedule that we have on a weekend.
This difference usually means you end up more tired and in a worse mood than if you maintained a consistent sleep schedule.
Now, this sounds like I’m trying to make you boring but I doubt you go out every Friday night.
So, what is wrong with going to bed at the same time and get up at your regular time too?
Obviously, if you are off out to some kind of social event, you don’t want to be leaving at 10 pm.
But if you’re not doing anything, try going to bed at your regular time.
Make sure you set your alarm and wake up as normal to that irritating buzz.
A better mood over the weekend will also mean you are more inclined to eat better and be more active too.
There is less chance you’ll want to spend all day on the sofa eating tubs of Ben and Jerry’s if you’re in a great mood. Which leads me to…
Get Up and Move
It’s not surprising that the number of people working out peaks on a Monday.
Then gradually throughout the week, the amount of activity goes downhill before it hits an all-time low on Friday’s. Which kind of makes sense seen as, when you’re in a normal routine throughout the week, it’s easy to keep exercise on the calendar. Then as soon as Friday afternoon hits, it’s too easy to swap gym gear for gin gear.
Now I’m not saying spend your weekend in the gym, since this may be the only time you have off and most likely if your a parent will have the kids at home. Instead, try going out for a walk with the kids or the dog, go to the park and run around with the kids or find a free local attraction to wander around. If you’re out and about it’s better than being sat on the sofa watching telly. Not only will you boost your activity levels, you’ll have less chance of spending your whole weekend bingeing on snacks.
Have a cheat meal, not a cheat weekend
Letting loose for 2 days and then being strict with what you eat Monday to Friday is not the way to go. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself at all. We all need a “cheat” at some point, so we don’t end up having a big crash and giving up on the healthy eating altogether. That means you should choose when to indulge.
Be it drinks on a Saturday night, or a cheeky takeaway on Friday. Whenever you end up having your treat, make sure not to go overboard and to stay consistent the rest of the weekend.
Preparing your meals
If you have some time on a weekend, start making a difference to the week ahead.
Start planning or even preparing what you’re going to eat through the week (read my post on meal prepping here. And while you’re there, make a healthy lunch or tea too.
Getting ready for eating well in the week ahead may help you make better decisions as to what you eat on the weekend too. If nothing else, it means that you’re going to have a good week nutrition wise and it’s one less thing to worry about during those busy weeks. So start preparing what you are going to eat.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to surround yourself with Tupperware either.
- Chop, peel and gather the ingredients you need for an easy slow cooker meal and store them in a plastic bag in the fridge or freezer until you need them.
- Write down what you are going to make so you always have a plan and never have resort to buying a meal deal or takeaway. Using your plan, you can do your healthy grocery shopping and make sure you’re fully prepared for the week ahead.
Guess what? If you are going to a party, on a night out or for any kind of social event, you’re not going to be 100% healthy. And that’s fine.
You need to enjoy life alongside staying fit and healthy (it’s not one or the other). So go and enjoy the buffet, have a few drinks and just try to avoid the kebab shop at the end of the night.
I’m not going to suggest much for if you’re going to a party, just enjoy it without going overboard.
Try drinking more water through the night so you’ll end up eating and drinking less (and reduce the hangover). But other than that, enjoy yourself and don’t feel guilty for it.
Hopefully, this is a useful post that will help you make better decisions when you end up at a party or on a night out, or even just try to reduce the impact your weekend has on your health.
There is never going to be a way to enjoy your life as normal and be 100% strict on eating healthily.
So live a little.
And the rest of the time, make sure you are consistent.