Avoid weekend weight gain with these 4 healthy tips
First, some good news: Today is likely your skinniest day of the week. According to a 2014 study in the journal Obesity Facts, most people weigh their lightest on Friday as they lose weight throughout the course of the week. Give yourself a high-five for all that meal-prepping and those early morning sweat sessions you accomplished this week.
Now, the bad news: The same study suggests we’re likely to gain some weight on the weekends, making Sunday and Monday our heaviest.
Here are some healthy tips and tricks to make sure the weekend doesn’t negate all of the discipline and hard work you logged throughout the week. Trust us, your Monday self will thank you.
Change up your plans
If you keep a busy social calendar, your weekend might be booked with brunch with girlfriends, a dinner date with your husband and a Sunday lunch with your whole family. A study in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing found that we consume more than 400 extra calories on the weekend than we do during week days. So, when you’re making plans with your friends and family, try centering your plans around an activity rather than a meal. A morning hike will give you and your friends more time to chat and salsa dance lessons, for example, will burn calories after an indulgent dinner date.
A key to make sure you’re not overeating: Keep a food journal. We love this whimsical version (above) that lets you log what you eat, when and where you eat as well as make extra notes. (After a few weeks, you’ll be able to note patterns on your weekday vs. weekend eating patterns). A Food Lover’s Journal, $5.95 on sale, urbanoutfitters.com
Make exercise a part of your routine
If you’re like us, you enjoy taking a break from your regular routine on the weekends. (Read: No 6 a.m. workouts on Saturday mornings). Go ahead and separate from the gym over the weekend–but still log cardio in ways that you find fun. Go for a family bike ride, join a recreational volleyball league or teach your kids to roller skate. You’ll feel like you’re playing, but still will be torching calories.
And, with your extra time on the weekend, take a cruiser bike (above) for a joy ride or use it instead of your car when you’re running errands. (It comes with a cute little basket, too!). Huffy Nel Lusso cruiser, $128.57, walmart.com
Host brunch at home
Bacon, pancakes, hash browns, oh my! We’ll admit, brunch is one of our favorite meals. But, when you go out to eat, it’s hard not to consume an entire day’s calorie allowance in one sitting. Control your portions (and save money) by having brunch at home. Bonus? More time in your pajamas!
Instead of sugary pastries, make a sweet fruit salad. For a fun, tropical rendition, cut up some pineapple, mangoes, papaya and strawberries and top with shaved coconut. We love kitchen utensils, like a melon baller (above), that make prep-work easy. The biggest scoop in this three-piece set is perfect for papayas. Scoop Troop melon baller, $12.99, worldmarket.com
While your weight fluctuates throughout the week, it also can vary by a few pounds throughout the day. Experts recommend that, because of this fluctuation, you weigh yourself at the same time and on the same day. If you like to check in with the scale on a daily basis, try one that will give you an accurate measure on your muscle mass and how much water weight you’re carrying to help you maintain perspective.
The is style (above) tracks your weight, along with body fat percentage and BMI. It wirelessly syncs with your devices so you can view stats and online graphs to help you chart your progress. Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi scale, $120.99, bestbuy.com