6 ways to make your weekends healthier
You’ve done three weights sessions, a 5km run, you’ve eaten more veggies than you can count, avoided wine all week and you’ve made it to Friday. You’ve achieved the coveted perfect healthy week but there’s just one problem– it’s the weekend and everything is about to unravel.
If your working week is full of green smoothies, yoga classes and 8 hour sleep only for the weekend to be jam packed with movie marathons, fatty breakfasts and an entire meat lover’s pizza, we’re here to make your weekends a little more wholesome (and keep your perfect, healthy streak rolling).
- Keep your eating routine
While the weekend can be a reason for sleep-ins, brunch and the absence of vegetables in most meals, keeping your eating routine doesn’t have to be difficult. “A long morning sleep in often means skipping breakfast, then we’re usually out and about so snacks are forgotten and healthy lunches rarely get prepped and packed. Then the nibblies come out, which are often high in refined sugars and saturated fats, along with alcohol,” says dietitian, Rebecca Gawthorne.
“As a dietitian, I recommend that my clients continue their eating routine on the weekends, like they do during the week,” says Gawthorne. “This might mean waking up an hour earlier to eat a proper breakfast and taking snacks with you when you’re out for the day. Health snacks like fruit or homemade bliss balls are perfect because they are portable and quick to eat, but will also keep you fuelled between main meals,” Gawthorne explains. That means skip the chips and fill up with delicious, filling wholefoods.
- Be active
Scheduling a gym session or outdoor workout on Saturday or Sunday will keep you feeling your best and give you a hit of weekend endorphins. Plus, you’ll feel like a part of the badass, super motivated weekend exercising crew. Do an early morning spin class on a Saturday morning to get the weekend started off on the right foot or plan for a Sunday yoga class for a zen hit.
- Don’t mess with your sleep schedule
Staying up until 2am for a Netflix marathon can be tempting on a Saturday night but getting into bed within two hours of your normal bed time will help you to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. We don’t expect you to be all tucked in by 8pm on a Friday but getting to sleep at a reasonable time will ensure you don’t sabotage yourself for the week ahead (and makes you a lot more productive on a Sunday).
- Limit your cheat meals
“If you use the cheat or treat meal strategy, that is eating healthy majority of the time and once a week treating yourself to a not-so-healthy meal, then you need to limit your cheat meal to just one meal,” says Gawthorne. Having a treat at the end of the week can help to maintain our sanity (and satisfy our sweet tooth) but don’t let a little treat become an all out feast. “Choose one meal and stick to that,” says Gawthorne.
- Get creative with your catch-ups
Weekend plans with friends often revolve around food. Do something different with your pals and plan a walk (with a coffee or smoothie at the end for a reward), make tea in a thermos and head to the park or invite a friend along to the gym class you’ve planned on doing.
- Walk more
Increasing your incidental exercise on the weekend will keep your metabolism kicking. Go for a Sunday afternoon walk or leave your car at home and walk to the supermarket for grocery shopping. Getting more steps in on the weekend will leave you feeling refreshed and helps to balance out that extra glass of wine we had on a Friday night.