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Surefire ways to keep your weekends healthy(ish)

6 Surefire Ways to Keep Your Weekends Healthy(ish)


Thank goodness for that, am I right? Now it’s time for a break from work, from getting up at the crack of dawn, and from the run around and stresses that kept you on your toes all week.

Instead, it’s time for dinners out, cookouts with friends and family, big, calorie-laden brunches, and running the kids around to all their activities.

And, very likely, the abandoning of all the healthy choices you made all week long.

You know what I’m talking about: Monday morning ushers in a new wave of determination and resolve, filled with salads and sneakers. You ate healthy breakfasts each day, cooked dinner most nights, and made time for the gym or at the least some long walks with the dog.

But after your long week, you’re ready to unwind and really enjoy your weekend, which probably means capping off Friday with a bang: appetizers, cocktails, the bread basket, an entrée, and dessert at your favorite place.

Then, when you wake up Saturday, it’s easy to just keep on going, throwing your healthy weekday staples to the wind in favor of a greasy breakfast sandwich on the run. The busy day keeps you from sitting down to a proper meal, so you fill in the gaps with drive thrus and convenience foods, and dinner is at a friend’s and includes plenty of party food and alcohol, but there’s nary a vegetable in sight.

Sunday is no better, not to mention you haven’t put on your sneakers a single time all weekend. You know you’ve got to get back on track, so you get yourself all set to make great choices…starting Monday morning.

And then you do the same thing the next weekend, and the weekend after that.

So how do you find the balance between enjoying your weekends and not ruining your diet?

6 Surefire Ways to Keep Your Weekends Healthy(ish)

  1. Plan Ahead. You know what your weaknesses are, you know yourself best. If eating a decadent meal on Friday night always sets you up for failure, try cooking at home and eating out on Saturday night. If getting to the gym is way too much of a chore, plan something fun that you’ll actually want to do, like meeting a friend for a walk or going on a family hike.
  2. Pick up some groceries during the middle of the week so you have fresh stuff on hand for the weekend. Let’s say you normally shop Saturday mornings. Well, by Friday night your house is probably devoid of anything edible, especially the fresh produce variety. Make it a habit to pop into the grocery store on Wednesdays after work to refresh your fruit selections and maybe buy a loaf of whole grain bread and an already-roasted chicken, just so you have some options when Friday night rolls around.
  3. Menu surf ahead of time. If you do decide to go out to eat on the weekend, check the menu online ahead of time. Decide exactly what you’ll have, and stick to it. It doesn’t matter if you indulge sometimes, just decide ahead of time so there are no feelings of guilt or anxiety about it.
  4. Provide healthier options for barbeques and get togethers. Gathering with friends to watch a game or barbeque in the backyard is a guaranteed good time, but make sure you’ve got something to eat that will keep you on track. If you’re going to a friend’s house, bring a Greek Salad or brown rice with cranberries and cashews (or other healthy side dish), and if you’re hosting, make sure you have plenty of chopped up fruits and veggies to serve alongside everyone’s favorites.
  5. Enjoy meals at home when you can. Eating at home allows you to control your calories and know exactly what you’re eating. You can still make it special by cooking a new-to-you meal with your spouse or getting the kids involved.
  6. Incorporate family activities that will up everyone’s heart rate. Maybe you guys love snuggling together on the couch for family movie nights, but why not add other, more active options to the weekend mix? Go fly a kite at the park, take the kids to a roller skating rink, play Frisbee, search for gold in a stream. Whatever works best for your family.

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