Breaking bad habits: How to avoid weekend weight gain

Are bad weekend habits ruining your weight loss goals?  It’s hard to believe that two days can derail a week of hard work and good behavior.  However, when you add up the number of  happy hours, boozy brunches and time spent lazily lounging on the couch, it’s easy to see how our weekends can contribute colossal calories.  Don’t wait for Monday morning to turn back the needle on your tipped scale.  Instead, learn how to avoid the following popular fat traps just in time for the weekend.

Couch Potato.  Netflix has made binge watching impossible to avoid.  We’ve all been there.  You sit down to watch one episode of Narcos, and eight hours, five missed calls and a Domino’s delivery later, you’re still glued to the screen.  This sedentary behavior leads to tight hip flexors, poor posture and restricted circulation.

If you absolutely can’t pry your eyes away from your program, implement mini exercise routines between episodes.  Jumping jacks, planks, walking up and down your stairs - these are all effective ways to increase your heart rate, burn calories and keep your body from becoming a blob.

Subscribing to Imbibing.  There is no happier hour than 5 p.m. on a Friday. Most of us love to celebrate the weekend by paying a visit to a local watering hole, however you’d be alarmed to learn the amount of empty calories in sour mixes and bubbly booze.  Here are the top five drinks to keep off your tab and waistline:

  • Long Island Ice Tea, up to 780 calories per drink
  • Margarita, 450 calories
  • Mai Tai, 300 calories
  • Piña Colada, 250 calories
  • White Russian, 250 calories

Save calories by swapping soda for the diet version, avoiding fruit juices, premade mixers, frozen drinks and sugary ciders.  And remember to monitor your serving size — the bigger the glass, the more calories you are consuming. 

Munchie Mayhem.  A cheat day won’t ruin your weight loss goals, but a cheat weekend will.  Whether you’re grazing on grub, being a couch potato chip chomper, or indulging in deep fried foods, weekend binging contributes to bulk and bloat. 

Try curbing your cravings by exercising first thing in the morning. Try these easy, effective exercises that can be done anywhere.  A good sweat session helps suppress your appetite, and promotes healthy eating habits throughout the entire day.  In addition to exercise, here are a few tricks to help reduce your daily dose of calories:

  • Keep your salads honest.  Opt for salads loaded with veggies and proteins rather than those smothered with dressing, croutons and bacon bits.  Not only will you save calories, the fiber and protein will keep you fuller longer.
  • No cheese, please.  Protect your heart and your belly by limiting the amount of cheese you consume.  One ounce of cheese is roughly 100 calories.  You can shave off a whopping 800 calories per pizza, simply by substituting that cheese lover’s pizza with a tomato pie.  Don’t be afraid to add a few shakes of grated Parmesan on top, as it’s only 22 calories per tablespoon.

Ward off weight gain by becoming a weekend warrior.

Earn it.

----------

Read more Goal Getter for healthy eating, weight loss and more.