When I teach my weight loss classes, I often hear people sharing their frustration over weekend weight gain. When I weighed 305 pounds, I used to love the weekends. I looked forward to Saturday and Sunday all week; because I knew there would be plenty of fabulous opportunities for eating.
Saturday morning trips to the donut store were a regular event for me. After all, the kids loved donuts. What I never told my husband was that although I came home from my trip with 6 donuts – I had actually bought 12 donuts! On the way home from the donut shop I would eat half a dozen donuts in the car. They were so fluffy and soft, and before I knew it, they were gone.
Saturday afternoons brought the possibility for birthday cake at a friend’s party, or perhaps a run through a drive thru restaurant after an exhausting trip to the grocery store. Pizza was often on the menu for Saturday night, and before I lost my 158 pounds, I could eat an entire pizza, 1 slice at a time. Sundays weren't much better with a pantry full of newly purchased food, eating lunch with friends after church, and my weekly Sunday night "let's eat everything I want because I am going to start dieting tomorrow" food-fest.
I now know that I'm not the only one who feels that weekends can be fraught with temptations. I wanted to share with you some strategies to help you avoid the tendency to give up on your healthy eating plan on the weekend. This what I did when I lost all my weight years ago and what I still do today. After all, weekends keep coming around rather you are dieting or not!
Knowledge: You know what activities the upcoming weekend holds. Write down what you hope to accomplish over the weekend, or what places you will be. You probably also know what food temptations you may be faced with during each event or activity.
Planning: As you review your list of activities, think about what food will be involved and plan for success. If you are taking one of your kids to a birthday party, plan on eating something healthy before you go, so you won't be tempted to have a huge piece of cake, some candy from the bowl, and half your child's goody bag in the car on the way home. (Not that I ever did that of course.)
If you know you will be running errands all afternoon, grab a few healthy snacks like apples, a few nuts, and maybe a protein bar to remind you that you have choices other than fast food. If going to dinner at a friend’s house is on your calendar, offer to bring some healthy food.
Choosing: Every opportunity you have to choose the right food is an opportunity to move you further along your weight loss quest. If you choose to eat a donut on Saturday morning, eat 1 – not 6! Remember, just because you make one poor choice doesn't mean the whole weekend is a loss.
By using these strategies, you will be able to negotiate the weekend without losing sight of your goals. Stay strong every day of the week!