Tips for Surviving the Weekend

Ahhhh the weekend. (Imagine a long sigh of contentment.) Two full days of freedom from 9-5 obligations. If you're like me, weekends are a hard time to stay true to the commitments you've made to your health. An afternoon nap starts to sound a lot better than a workout, and cocktails sound more tempting than a club soda.

I came up with my top ten tips for surviving the weekend without ruining your progress. These tips are the things that have worked for me and helped me stay focused on my goals without the structure of my normal day.

1. Make the most of your free time with a long workout
When the weather is nice, Chris and I will head out on a long hike. We're lucky to live near the mountains where canyon trails are plentiful, but there are so many options to take advantage of your weekend. Rent bikes and see the city, organize a flag football game with friends, or go swimming.

2. Take an active rest day
When you're focused on your goals, there is a temptation to over train. DON'T. Make sure you're taking the time to refuel. Instead of a regular workout, take a walk or take a yoga class to relax.

3. Plan for the week ahead
I take Saturday or Sunday to do my meal planning. When I'm focused on eating healthy during the next week, I find I make better decisions on what to eat during the weekend. Also, include Saturday and Sunday in your meal plan.

4. Follow your plan
Eat the same way you do on the weekdays. Set a timer on your phone to remind yourself to eat snacks so you don't miss a meal and end up over indulging later. If you've made a meal plan, you should already know what you'll be eating over the weekend, so you're prepared and armed against last minute meal decisions. Set an alarm to make sure you eat your small snacks so you aren't ravenous at meal time.

5.  Don't plan a cheat meal for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday
If you have one cheat meal a week, try to have it on a weekday. You're more likely to keep it to just one meal that way. If you eat a cheat on Friday night, you're might end up making it a Cheat Weekend, throwing away all the hard work you put in during the week.

6. Workout first thing
I personally take a rest day during the week, it works better for my schedule. So on Saturdays and Sundays, I make sure to get my workout done in the morning, the same way I do during the week. It sets the tone for my day, reinforces the morning habit, and I don't have to worry about fitting it in later.

7. Take time to reevaluate your WHY
I don't know about you, but for some reason when I'm out of my weekday schedule I lose track of WHY I want to be healthy. It seems like a couple cocktails or dessert won't do much damage. Each weekend I take time to motivate myself, and remind myself why I value my healthy lifestyle, and check in on my personal goals. Remind yourself YOU ARE CAPABLE OF REACHING YOUR GOALS.

8. Treat yourself (just not with food)
Find new ways to reward yourself for your hard work. Maybe it's getting a massage or buying a new workout outfit. Maybe you prefer some alone time to watch a chick flick. Whatever feels good, give that to yourself. You deserve it!

9. Don't make snap decisions
This doesn't just apply to the weekends, but it's when I am the most apt to make snap decisions. If you know you'll be going out to dinner, look at the menu beforehand and decide what you'll be ordering ahead of time, instead of at the restaurant. If you're thinking about skipping a workout, put your workout clothes on and take ten minutes before you let yourself make the decision. Deciding on something in the moment often leads me to make unhealthy decisions because I'm letting what I want NOW take priority over what I want long term.

10. Get enough sleep
Depriving yourself of sleep doesn't just ruin your motivation during the weekend, it can mean your sluggish and tired the first couple days of the week as well. So not only do you slow your progress for Saturday and Sunday, but you can risk having bad workouts Monday and Tuesday as well while you recover.

How do you stay on track over the weekend?

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