The Weekend

the weekendI’m guessing this is an issue that most people deal with.  You’re great at sticking with your workout and nutrition plans throughout the week.  Then the weekend comes… You have social events, you’re hanging out with family or friends, you’re up later than normal, you’re traveling, etc.  You get the picture.  The point is that your routine is thrown off, and when that happens, often times your nutrition plan can go out the window or you might skip a workout.  And since one cheat meal can take 2-3 days to recover from, you can’t really afford to be off track all weekend and expect to make progress.  So what can you do to make sure you stay on track through the weekend?

Plan Ahead

This is my number one tip for staying on track during the weekend.  You have to plan ahead!  If you know you’re going out for the entire day, if you’re on the road, or if you’re going to a social event where you know the food is not going to be healthy you need to prepare for that!  If you’ll be out all day make sure to pack some food and healthy snacks, just like you would if you’re going to work.  Same goes for if you’re going to be on the road for a long time.  Most fast food places don’t have options that are going to help you stick with you plan.

If you’re going out to eat with friends or family pick the healthy options on the menu!  Research it a head of time so you know what they have.  Most places have something like a grilled chicken salad or other options that are healthy.  It seems like most places even have a whole “healthy” part of their menus.  Stick to that section, and if you get a side, order the fruit or vegetables!

Family gatherings or getting together with friends can be harder.  But if your’e going going to dinner at someone else’s place, there’s a great thing you can do to stay healthy and the hosts should appreciate.  Bring a healthy dish!  It would most likely be a side, but that can go a long ways.  Bringing a healthy side dish is not only polite, but it makes sure you have some control over the food you’re eating.

Stick With Your Routine

One thing I try to do that helps me a lot is stick with my routine, even on the weekend.  I workout in the morning during the week and make sure I get up early on the weekend to do the same.  I might not get up as early as I do during the week, but I still make sure I get up early enough to get my workout in before we have other things to do.  I think the hardest thing about the weekend is that your routine is completely different, but if you can make sure you at least stick with your workout routine that can help keep things consistent.

If you’re not a morning workout person, then become one on the weekend!  Don’t rely on getting it in sometime during the day because it can be easy to get caught up in other things and then miss your workout.  I say it a lot, but the morning is the easiest time to control.  Get up while other people are sleeping and you won’t have any interruptions to getting your workout done.  Then you can get it out of the way and not worry about it for the rest of the day.  I love that part.  Before most people are even awake I have my workout done for the day.

Don’t Go Overboard

If you’re at a party, then you don’t go overboard.  I know for some people alcohol plays a role in their weekend plans.  I wrote on that topic a little while ago, so you can read about my thoughts here: Alcohol and Exercise.  My advice is that if you want to enjoy a drink, just keep it to one.  Those are all empty calories and that’s really what you want to avoid.

Same goes for food.  If you end up somewhere with no healthy options then you still have portion control.  Don’t overeat, stick with reasonable portions.  This can help you minimize the damage and won’t set you back as much.  Basically, if you’re going to eat or drink something not on your plan then be reasonable and don’t completely ruin all the work you’ve done during the week.

I know the weekend is hard, it’s hard for me too.  I’m totally a creature of habit, which is why the workweek tends to be easier for me.  I know exactly when I’m getting up, getting my workout in, and when I’m going to eat.  I pack my meals for at work and eat at pretty much the same exact time every day.  I have a plan and stick to it.  The weekend is different and more ambiguous.  The structure of the workday isn’t there to plan around.  But planning ahead, sticking with my routine and not going overboard are all things I do to make sure the hard work I put in Monday through Friday isn’t ruined by Saturday and Sunday.  Be prepared and know what you’re going to do and you should have no problems sticking with your plan even on the weekend!

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Great article! Strangely, weekends aren't my problem. It's just Friday. After a long week at work, I'm less than motivated to workout on Fridays - that's when I just want to have dinner and relax for tehe evening, maybe watch a movie or play some on the Xbox.

Coach Tom
Coach Tom

Thanks Yung! That's great that the weekend goes well for you and i can totally understand where you're coming from about Fridays. Friday after work definitely is a tough time to be motivated to workout. I would definitely recommend working out in the am if possible!

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