Welcome to the weekend! Saturdays and Sundays may mean relaxed diet and fitness rules during much of the year, but the timing of this specific weekend—right between Christmas and New Year’s Eve—may inspire you to get in a few final acts of health in 2013. If you’re feeling like you could use a health reboot right now, here are 10 ways to have a healthy weekend.
1. Limit your coffee intake. Inherently, coffee is full of all sorts of health-promoting properties. The beverage has been linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers. However, regularly loading up on caffeinated coffee can make you moody and dependent on its energy boosting effects; what started as one cup can quickly turn into three or four if you don’t keep your habit in check. So, if you need extra pep have a single cup, then switch to decaf, which has many of the same health-protecting properties but isn’t addictive.
When 5:00 on Friday hits we let our inhibitions run wild. Adults running from their jobs on a Friday evening looks a lot like the last day of school – mass exodus. We trade our pencil skirts for yoga pants and get 48 hours to just not care. Is that the best approach? Probably not.
Everyone says they’re going to start a diet on a Monday. So why make yourself live in a constant cycle of re-starting every Monday? Here are five things to consider before you uphold your Saturday night cookie bake-a-thon.
1. Stop thinking of it like a diet. If you’re on a diet, then the cyclical nature of five good days and two “bad” days just feeds the machine. However, if you’re just living, just eating well, being active, and being cognizant of your habits, then it’s not about ditching a diet or splurging or rewarding yourself.
2. Keep it all in balance. If you over do it on dessert at your friend’s wedding, then don’t stop for ice cream on the road trip home. If you’re kicking off the weekend by grilling burgers on Friday night, maybe grill chicken on Saturday. It’s OK to give in a little, but you don’t have to throw away all of your efforts just for a little weekend romp with calories.
3. You finally have the time. You spend all week rushing through breakfast, getting to work on time, packing lunches, racing from meetings to soccer games and trying to make dinner. It’s all too much for most of us. So if you’re ever guilty of saying “I don’t have time,” then consider two whole days that aren’t eaten up mostly by work. Hit a yoga class, go for a run, heck, just go play at the park with your kids. Just move!
4. Stop working against yourself. If you’re starting off two days behind every Monday, your goals are just going to keep getting pushed further back. Just keep moving forward. Carrots are a lot easier to chase than to go hunting for.
5. The sweet taste of accomplishment. Imagine waking up on Monday morning and not regretting, not rethinking your weekend, and just embracing the week ahead. That would feel pretty good, right? Not to mention a lot better than a case of the Mondays! Try balancing your goals with your urges this weekend and see how much better you feel come Monday morning.
For most of us who work during the week, how, what and when we eat on the weekends looks drastically different to the schedule we so robotically adhere to Monday through Friday. As much as the weekends are a time for relaxing and unwinding, we often let this philosophy spill over into our eating habits. Fried mozzarella sticks at happy hour on Friday night, Mrs. Field’s cookies at the mall on Saturday, and pancakes stacked to our eyebrows at Sunday brunch- those extra calories will be felt come Monday morning as we zip up our slacks. One of the ways to avoid this is to keep our eating schedule as consistent as we can both in time and in calories despite the day of the week. It may be challenging and it may take a few weekends of trial and error to play with this new system of eating, but hopefully you’ll find it will be well worth the effort.