22 March 2023
My Muscle Chef Advanced Sports Dietitian
Keeping on track over the weekend and special occasions
If you’re smashing your goals during the week and letting it slide over the weekend, you’re not alone! Weekend activities can make acting on healthy choices a challenging feat. We hear you! That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to get you through an enjoyable weekend with no regrets.
When you’re trying to lose or maintain weight, eating good quality protein is always a good idea. Protein helps you stay fuller for longer, which can reduce the chance of overeating or reaching for unhealthier choices. Pasta dishes tend to include very little protein, so even if you’re at an Italian restaurant, look out for a higher protein dish (something with fish or chicken) to help you stay full. If you’re not sure, ask your waiter to help you out. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
To break it down, this is what to look out for in a nutritious meal:
High-quality protein source (chicken breast, beef fillet, seafood, tofu and legumes)
Filling carb source (baked potato, pumpkin, brown rice and legumes)
A good portion of vegetables (salad, stir-fry, roasted veggies and steamed veggies)
When the weekend comes around, so do the social events and catch ups with family and friends. Whether you’re at the local pub or restaurant, there’s always going to be an array of tempting high-calorie beverages at arm's reach. But don’t worry, we’re here to tell you that it is possible to still enjoy these occasions without harming the efforts you have put in during the week.
The best alcohol to drink while dieting is a low-calorie beverage, and of course, all in moderation. The golden standard for a non-calorie drink is water; it keeps you hydrated, fuller and away from high-calorie alternatives. No one needs to know what’s in your glass! You can always spice it up by opting for a seasonal fruit-infused mix.
When choosing between drinks on the sweeter side, try avoiding sugar-sweetened drinks and juices. If you are drinking alcohol, the best alcoholic drinks for weight loss are lower-calorie alternatives. Try swapping a regular beer for a Pure Blonde Ultra Low Carb Lager (almost half the calories), or opt for a low-sugar mixer with your spirits! There are so many great spritzers and seltzers these days – it definitely makes low-calorie drinking a lot easier (and more enjoyable!).
There are heaps of ways to burn extra calories across the weekend, even if you’re not planning on an intense workout. Try going for a walk, bike ride or swim! These are all activities you can do solo, with friends or with family (and not to mention, they can be a lot of fun and burn a load of calories).
Aside from the enjoyment of being outdoors, being physically active over the weekend has many benefits, and not only for your body. Working out in the morning creates structure and sets a tone for the rest of the day. It also does wonders for your mood and will reduce the temptation to overindulge later.
Taking your social plans away from restaurants, bars and pubs is another handy way to effortlessly keep your weight loss goals on track. If you regularly take to a Sunday session with friends on a weekend, try different activities such as a hike, a day at the beach or a group training session. These are great ways to catch up with friends and be active at the same time! Win-win.
As much as it can feel like it, a few bumps in the road doesn’t completely derail your efforts or set back your goals, so don’t be disheartened if this happens. It’s all about balance and moving forward. Completely avoiding all Friday night catch-ups can lead to overindulging later on and could potentially harm your overall wellness (friends are also vital for our health!). Enjoying a balance between eating well, staying active and having a good time with family and friends is super important to achieve your long-term goals.
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