‘Are Your Weekends Sabotaging Your Health & Weight Loss Goals?’
By Jaime Rose Chambers
For many of us, Monday marks the start of new beginnings; “the diet begins today!” we exclaim. Typically, this is not hard to follow; we have our routine, set eating times, limited exposure to sweets plus work the next day means cutting out the booze is easy. But something happens to many of us on a Friday afternoon, like a giant switch gets turned on and all rules get thrown out the window.
It often starts with Friday night drinks, maybe some pizza or wedges to go with it, big brunches, lunches and dinners out, cheese plates with drinks at a friend’s place, slipping out for gelato or a frozen yoghurt after dinner. Even with the grandest of intentions, we can overdo it by even just a couple of thousand calories and you’ve either balanced out the calories you worked hard to get off during the week or you might just overdo it enough that as the weeks go on, the weight begins to creep on.
Let me break down the maths for you: let’s say with your healthy eating and gym workouts during the week you manage to shave off 500 calories every day – that’s 2,500 calories you’re down by Friday, or the equivalent of a third of a kilogram of fat loss. Then Friday night hits and the fun begins with the extra food and drinks: a bottle of wine (750 calories), 5 vodka & sodas on Saturday night (350 calories), sourdough & butter with dinner (200 calories), 2 scoops of gelato (500 calories), a little cheese plate at a friend’s place (500 calories) and a row of dark chocolate after dinner on Sunday night (120 calories). That’s a grand sum of 2,420 calories. Just enough to balance out your hard work from during the week.
So how do you minimise the damage and maintain some consistency over the weekend without feeling like the fun police have come to visit? Here are a few tips for you:
- Alcohol – Pick just one night where you enjoy a few drinks and choose a spirit with soda water, which can help keep alcohol calories down. Ask for drinks in large glasses so you’re getting more water to spirits, which will slow down your drinking.
- Eating out – The extras we get in a meal eaten out can really add up. Pick just one meal in the day to eat out or if you eat brunch later, have just the two meals for that day with maybe a light snack in between. Avoid extras like bread & butter, fried entrees, sides like fries, desserts and cheese plates. Base main meal on protein such as fish, seafood or meat and make sure there are plenty of veggies or salad available and order extra if there isn’t.
- Brekkie or brunches – many breakfasts are super nutritious but some are starting to resemble a dessert, think coconut hotcakes, rice puddings, breakfast crumble. Choose protein-based eggs with lots of vegie sides, ask for a good quality grainy or rye bread and if they’re large slices, have just the one.
- Dips and cheese platter – this is tricky if you are the guest, but look out for vegie sticks or crudités, non-creamy dips like salsa, hummus, beetroot dips, rice crackers, figs & grapes. Get carried away and this can almost be a meal so avoid going out and eating more after.
- Activity – you may not have a set gym routine but that doesn’t mean you can’t be active. Go out and about in your exercise gear, walk to the shops, to brunch or the beach. Meet friends for coffee and go for a walk, do some gardening, chores around the house and generally aim to be on foot for most of the day.
Eat Fit Food
By Jaime Rose Chambers | Eat Fit Food’s Dietitian and Nutritionist
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