It’s all fun and games when the weekend arrives because you get to spend it with your loved ones and do the things that you enjoy. But then Monday morning comes around and you notice a different number on the scale, or maybe your go-to jeans fit a little bit tighter…
Naturally, you give it all you’ve got at the gym during the week to try and get rid of those extra pounds, but then the weekend arrives again, becoming a never-ending cycle. This can get discouraging after a few weeks, which is why we’re here to help you break the weekend weight gain cycle!
We’ve prepared a list of tips for you to have in mind next time the weekend approaches so you don’t have to worry about gaining any unwanted weight. This way, you can fully relax and restart your week without any setbacks in your fitness progress!
Don’t take the weekend off
This one should be a given, but using the weekend as an excuse to eat everything that you want and then resume your fitness efforts the next Monday isn’t going to work well for your weight loss or maintenance goals.
If you eat a bunch of calories during the weekend when you’re not as active as during the rest of the week, it can result in weight gain due to a calorie surplus. And not only that, but this can also mess with your eating habits, making it a lot harder to go back to a healthy diet on Monday.
So, while indulging yourself and enjoying your weekends is always encouraged, you also need to be able to set healthy limits for yourself if you’re serious about your goals. After all, everything in the fitness world is about maintaining a healthy balance!
Don’t deprive yourself during the week
This one goes hand in hand with the previous tip. Monday through Friday are most people’s active days when it comes to working out and eating healthy, but this might cause some to overindulge during the weekend, which isn’t ideal.
To support your healthy eating habits during the weekend, you shouldn’t be too strict with yourself during the rest of the week. Allowing yourself some of your favorite foods and snacks throughout the week will help you have a more positive outlook on healthy eating, instead of it feeling like a punishment and having the weekends as a break.
If you eat enough of what you like during the week – always moderately – then you’ll have no problem keeping those calories off during the weekend too! Healthy eating will become easier and you won’t feel the need to “cheat” every weekend.
Make food-free plans
While having brunch with your friends or a nice dinner out with your family both sound like splendid ideas, not all social events need to revolve around food! If you’re trying to keep those extra calories at bay, food-free weekend plans are the way to go.
There are many different things you can do that don’t involve food, such as going to the movies, visiting a museum, or just walking around sightseeing in a new area. You can even take it a step further and make active plans with your friends instead of the usual workout session, such as practicing sports at your local park or going hiking.
You can also compromise and propose a plan that involves healthy eating instead of fast food, such as cooking together with your friends or doing a picnic. This way, you can stay away from calorie-empty foods for the whole weekend!
Eat at home before going out
If your plans have to involve food one way or the other, then the next best thing you can do is to eat beforehand! This doesn’t necessarily mean arriving so full at the function that you can’t move, but just satisfied enough that if you eat, it’s only a small portion.
Of course, if the plan is to eat before so you don’t overindulge when you go out, then you need to have a balanced meal. There’s no point in not eating when you arrive if you’re just going to stop for some fast food on the way there!
Make sure you eat a nutrient-rich combination of complex carbs, healthy fats, and plenty of protein so you can stick with your healthy eating plan at home and avoid overindulging when you get to the event. And if you want to feel satiated for longer, make sure to add enough fiber to your meal – it fills you up!!
Limit your alcohol consumption
Look, we get it. The weekend is the perfect time to unwind and have some fun after a stressful week, whether you spend it studying, working, taking care of your home, or all three – and for some people getting a few drinks is a great way to do this.
However, if you have weight loss goals or you simply want to keep your ideal weight, then alcohol won’t exactly be your best friend. This is because alcohol has a ton of empty calories – specifically 7 calories per gram – and if you’re a fan of mixed drinks and cocktails, that calorie number will only go up.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should ditch alcohol forever, just that you should find a healthy balance instead. A couple of drinks won’t hurt you, but if you’re a heavy drinker or you spend the whole weekend drinking, then those calories will definitely add up!
Stock up on healthy snacks
Maybe nothing came up or you’re just too tired to leave home for the weekend. Whatever the reason is, a cozy weekend at home sounds like a calorie-free experience… except it might not be!
We all get food cravings every once in a while, and if you’re not leaving your house, then whatever you find in your pantry or your fridge will do, even if it’s not as healthy as you’d like. Fighting off cravings can be very difficult, especially when boredom hits, which is why you should always have healthy snacks ready to go!
Even if you don’t have healthy snacks at hand, such as low-fat Greek yogurt or some trail mix, you can make your own! A fruit bowl can never go wrong, or maybe you can try cutting your favorite veggies into crunchy sticks that you can eat with hummus.
Go grocery shopping
Another great way to avoid weekend weight gain is to be ready at home, not only with snacks but with healthy meals in general!
Cooking at home might feel like a chore sometimes, even for those who enjoy being in the kitchen, but having your fridge and pantry fully stocked can make the experience much easier and enjoyable. Plus, knowing that you have plenty of food and ingredients will help you stay away from food delivery apps!
If you don’t have time earlier in the week, you can set aside some time on Saturday morning to go grocery shopping at your favorite store and make sure you have everything that you might need for the rest of the weekend.
Small changes can give you big results
By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to go back to enjoying your weekends instead of dreading them and worrying about unwanted weight gain. Just remember that small weight fluctuations are normal – we’re only human after all! But if you’re experiencing it every single weekend, then these tips are for you.
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