Aaaaah TGIF! Say hello to happy hour, Saturday night
dinner reservations and lazy Sunday mornings.
Hmm…no wonder we have such a tough time sticking to our goals on the
weekend. Think about it; the work week
is typically structured and you probably follow some sort of routine. The weekends are usually hectic, less
scheduled and packed full of activities you just didn’t have time for during
the busy work week.
So how exactly does one stay focused, on track and actually
motivated to achieve their goals
Friday through Sunday? In my experience
as both a Nutrition Coach and long time, committed follower of the VN Plan, it
comes down to three things; getting real
about your goals, having a plan and having fun! Even though your weekends are jam packed, you can still stay
true to your personal goals without investing a lot of time or sacrificing the
fun. Here’s how.
1. If you feel the
urge this weekend to skip your workout or start the day with a doughnut, it may
be time to take a peek at your goals…literally.
I’m hoping by now that you’ve taken the time to break out the pen and
paper and write down both your Short and Long-Term goals, along with your “Why” (your real reason for achieving those
goals). And if you haven’t? Make the time for it today! Sometimes all it
takes is a quick peek at your goals in writing or even a glimpse of the bathing
suit you can’t wait to wear to remind you how important your goals really are
2. Plan your “off”
meal….and love every delicious bite of it!
Take a minute to visualize your favorite meal. Is it steak and mashed potatoes? Pasta and garlic bread? Mmmm…and what about dessert? Right now I’m thinking about White Chocolate
and Cherry Bread Pudding with Whiskey Caramel Sauce. And guess what? I might just have it this weekend!
Here’s the thing. When you eat clean all week, having an “off
meal” of your choice one time a week is a great idea! In fact, we recommend it. Doing
so will help to keep you from feeling like you’ve deprived yourself and it’s so
much more satisfying than mindless munching.
Just make sure that you’ve eaten balanced meals all day leading up to
the “off” meal and you get right back on track at the following meal to
re-stabilize blood sugar levels.
Notice too that we said “off meal” and not off day! It’s a misconception to think that taking an
entire day or weekend to eat whatever you’d like is okay, even if you’ve eaten
well all week long! A whole day of
eating whatever, whenever will only lead to erratic blood sugar levels, moodiness,
and ultimately fat storage. You’ll also
notice that an entire day or weekend of indulging in unhealthy food will cause
you to want to eat unhealthy for days after due to unstable blood sugar levels.
And this makes it so much more
challenging to get back on track.
3. Take the time
to journal your meals, timing, water, supplements, and exercise for two
weekends in a row. Then take a few moments
to identify where you are falling off track…you’ll notice that the challenges
you are having are consistent weekend to weekend. Once you are aware of where you might be
going wrong, it’s time to create a solution.
For example, are you going too long without meals during the weekend
days because of endless errands and plain forgetfulness? Pack a protein bar in your purse or car so
you never skip a meal. Are you running out of healthy choices by
Saturday and relying on whatever’s lying around? Make an adjustment in the amount of food you cook
in bulk for the week, such as adding a few extra chicken breasts or more veggies
to have on hand…. If it’s there, you are more likely to eat it. My point is, if you take the time to discover
where you are going off track, you can then create a solution that may make all
the difference in the world when it comes to your results.
4. Make the time
to exercise at least one day over the weekend.
Many people like to work hard and work out hard Monday through Friday
and then take the entire weekend off.
The better choice is to pick at least one day over the weekend for some
kind of exercise, particularly one you enjoy if you have been incredibly active
all week long. It could be as simple as
playing a game of golf, taking a power walk with a friend or even a yoga
class. If your body is sore and fatigued
because of a strenuous week, aim for a calming activity like yoga or a
walk. And always take the time to
stretch, even on your off days. The
extra day of activity will help to keep your metabolism pumping and your body
limber and mobile (ie. injury free).
It’s also the perfect motivation to keep up other healthy habits all
I know how important your weekends are to you. Taking the time to relax and enjoy is a critical
component of a balanced lifestyle. Following
the four tips above will keep you on track towards reaching your goals without
taking up your entire weekend. Here’s to
a fun and healthy weekend!
Valerie Cogswell, Lead Nutrition Coach and Head Chef