Many of us have the same problem when it comes to sticking to a healthy diet. We might manage our diets well during the week, when our days are more structured (and have less opportunity for indulgent treats), but it’s a different story when it gets to Friday night.
Weekends provide us with a chance to treat ourselves. We use sweets, rich foods and alcohol to congratulate ourselves for getting through another long week. It isn’t until Monday rolls around again that we realise the full extent of what we’ve done to our diets. It’s easy to feel as though it has all been ruined.
But is it? Research shows that people who place restrictions on their diet in terms of sugars, salts and fats are more likely to give in to temptation than those whose diets include a balance.
If you’re one of those people who could benefit from a day or two off from your healthy eating regime, check out these weekend rules to keep your diet on-track while still giving yourself space to enjoy the foods you love:
Don’t overdo it
It can be tempting to add chips on the side to your cheeseburger, have that second piece of cake or upgrade your meal size. However, if you don’t really need it, don’t eat it. Save yourself those calories and focus on enjoying what you have, instead of binge eating just because you can.
Avoid unnecessary snacking
If you intend to eat out during the weekend, you’ll likely be consuming larger portions of heavier foods, more treats and probably some alcohol. These larger, more energy-dense meals mean that you should probably forego the entrees and perhaps even some snacks during the day.
Enjoy active socialising
The weekend is your chance to get out there and have fun. When getting together with friends and family, suggest an outing rather than morning tea or lunch. Go for a bush walk or a swim together, visit a weekend market or take the grandkids to the park. You can still enjoy a coffee afterwards and know that it’s been earned.
Start again on Sundays
Don’t wait until Monday to start back on your healthy-eating plan. Your evening meal should be the lightest of the day, so try to kick-start your week on Sunday night with a light, nutritious dinner.