It’s Friday night — you’ve had a great week, you’ve eaten well, stayed hydrated, and your workouts felt strong — but the weekend is here and you know this is when things start to fall apart…
So you ask yourself, “How do I keep myself on track if I am out of my routine?”
It’s not uncommon for us to spend our weekends running errands, going on outings with the family or hanging out with friends — all of which may not be our norm during the weekday. Odds are you don’t have your prepped meals and snacks on hand, but we can’t let this be an excuses to overeat and get in the mindset of “I already messed up my macros, no use in trying to stay on track now”.
If you aren’t able to hit your macros, the next best option is to aim to meet your daily calorie goal. Over indulging on the weekend might literally outweigh all of your hard work from the week. Let’s break it down: If you eat around 1,800 calories on weekdays and then go out and eat 3,000 calories on Saturday and Sunday, you are at an average of roughly 2,150 calories for the week — 350 calories/day over — that adds up, especially if its happening every weekend. And then you wonder why the scale is stuck where it’s at…
In an effort to avoid this, try using some of these tips so you can enjoy yourself on the weekends, but still get the results you want:
- Keep ‘easy to grab’ snacks in your bag so you don’t go hours without eating. Having nothing to snack on when you’re out and about is usually what leads to a trip through the drive through. This is when protein bars, trail mix, fruit, granola, etc. are great options. They travel well, can be eaten anywhere, and you can pre-track them!
- Stay hydrated by keeping a full water bottle with you. The bigger, the better! Find a 60oz water bottle and keep that handy — two of those per day and you are sure to be plenty hydrated.
- If you do end up grabbing food while out, be diligent about your food choices. Refer back to our Restaurant Tips & Tricks blog for guidance on staying within your macros when eating out. A go to option for us might be Starbucks because we know we can quickly search the nutritional value of a sandwich and easily fit it into our macros. The turkey bacon sandwich, spinach feta egg wrap and egg souffles are all great options! Jimmy Johns, Chipotle, and Potbellys are all options that you can make work. Stick to lean meats, hold the cheese, and skip the bread/tortilla if you need to!
- If possible, try planning a stop at home in your day so you are able to eat a healthier meal. You will stick to your macros better (especially if the food is already prepped) AND you will save money by not eating out! WIN WIN!
- Always track food ahead of time (do we sound like a broken record yet?!) Let’s say you know that you are eating breakfast at home, you know what your pre and post workout meals will be, and you know you are grabbing lunch with a friend. Since these are predictable, you can track them and perhaps make them less macro dense so that you can give yourself some more fat for dinner and carbs for drinks that night. Plan ahead and stick to it!
- If there is no way of planning ahead for a night out, then we always say eat “lean and green” during the day (lots of lean meat and green veggies). Save a good amount of fat and carbs for the night and be mindful of what you are choosing to eat and drink. You should still make mental notes of portions and drink choices so you can track as you go. Enjoy the night guilt free by making this work for you…ultimately you are the one in control!
At the end of the day, we want you to enjoy yourself on your days off of work, but above all, we want to help you reach your goals. Let yourself indulge for a meal but don’t turn it into a binge weekend — when Monday rolls around, we don’t want you wondering why the scale is up and then spending the next 3 days trying to shed the weight you gained over the weekend. If you set limits at the start, you will be more likely to stick with them and achieve the success you want.