THE WEEKEND SURVIVAL GUIDE: 10 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE ALL WEEK LONG

It's Friday! Another long week is on the books and I am ready to enjoy the weekend! I've put together some tips to help you enjoy the weekend while maintaining your healthy lifestyle (and your sanity). Spoiler alert: It's not about dieting and exercising all weekend long. 

I often say I wish I was independently wealthy so I could quit my corporate job and live according to my own terms. That sounds great and all, but the corporate life provides something that helps me stay on track in my healthy lifestyle: Routine.

During the week I know if I don't get up in the morning to work out, then I likely won't have time to get it done that day. It forces my hand with a now-or-never decision. I know that if I want to eat a healthy lunch I will have to bring it from home, so I pack a daily salad. I go to bed early to make sure I get plenty of sleep so I can get up early again the next day. Then the weekend comes...

I may stay up too late on Friday night since I know I don't have to be up early on Saturday. I may plan to workout, but a lot of times I just keep telling myself that I'll do it later, until later never comes. That healthy salad? There are too many other options. 

My limited schedule and options during the week actually helps me stick to a healthy routine. I find on Saturdays if I have an appointment in the afternoon, I am more likely to get my workout done early. Now-or-never can be a strong motivator, because it forces you to confront your true intentions. If you don't do it now, you're not doing it. You can't lie to yourself about some future fictional plans.

While my weekends don't have the structure of the weekdays, I do my best to stay on track, even if I miss a workout or a healthy meal here and there. A healthy lifestyle isn't about perfection, it's about doing the best we can in the moment, no matter the circumstances. Weekend circumstances sometimes means birthday parties, chauffeur duties, friends and errands. We can still let loose a little on the weekends without it all falling apart with these 10 tips.

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THE WEEKEND SURVIVAL GUIDE: 10 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE ALL WEEK LONG

  1. Go to bed and get up at the same time on the weekends. It may not be the same times as during the week, but establishing a bedtime and wake-up time can help you establish a healthy weekend routine.
  2. Work to get at least eight hours of sleep. If you have a little more time on the weekends take advantage of it. Sleep is so important for health, performance and weight loss.
  3. If you have plans to eat out at a restaurant, look at the menu ahead of time and decide what you will order. It doesn't have to be the healthiest option on the menu, but it should be well thought-out and intentional. Think of food on a continuum, rather than good or bad. Ask yourself, in what small way can I make this just a little bit healthier? Not perfect, just a little better.
  4. Prepare and eat meals at home when possible. If you currently eat all your weekend meals outside of the home, make a goal to eat just one meal at home this weekend. 
  5. Schedule a workout. Make plans to meet a friend for a class, hike or run. Put it on your calendar. Make a commitment and stick to it. Try to avoid, "I'll do it later." Even a quick 15 minute workout at home will suffice. Make deliberate movement a part of your weekend routine.
  6. Give yourself two or three weekend healthy living goals. Whether it is cleaning out the kitchen pantry, getting in at least one workout, meal prepping for the week or planning your upcoming week, have clear goals and work to accomplish them. 
  7. If you weigh-in weekly, schedule your weigh-in day for Monday morning. It can help you stay on track over the weekend. (But remember the scale is only one small piece of the puzzle.)
  8. Don't save all your nutritional splurges for the weekend. If you allow yourself a few treats during the week, you'll be less likely to overindulge with a "last-hoorah" mentality on the weekend. If you know you can occasionally have a treat whenever you want, you may not feel the need to over-do it on the weekends. All-or-nothing thinking leads to an unhealthy cycle of deprivation and over-indulgence. 
  9. Don't over-indulge in alcohol, especially when fat loss is your goal. Alcohol has seven calories per gram, which is more calories per gram than protein and carbs, but without any nutritional value. Enjoy a drink if you want (a healthy lifestyle isn't about deprivation), but like anything else, drink in moderation. 
  10. No matter what happens, how busy you were, what workouts you missed, or what foods you ate, never give up and make yourself a promise to start over Monday (or any future date). There is no need to wait for a new week or a new day. A few slip ups does not ruin a whole weekend. Perfection was never the goal! Do the best you can in the moment. If you didn't make a good choice, no worries, try to make a better one at the very next opportunity. 

Ready to tackle the weekend? Let's not just survive, let's thrive! Have a great one. We'll catch up again on Monday. 

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