Weekend Survival Guide

Can you relate to this desperate dieter’s dilemma?
“I'm pretty good about my diet and exercise program during the week.  But when the weekend comes, all of that hard work goes out the window!  I constantly find myself ‘starting over’ every Monday morning. How do I get out of this unproductive cycle?!”
One reason weekends are so difficult is that you fall out of your regular daily routines.  There are always potlucks, dinners, dates and family gatherings, where trouble is lurking in the form of buffet lines or rich desserts.  Weekend menus can also be more difficult to plan - and without a plan, you're more likely to stray from the healthy habits you have been working so hard to develop. 
The “Weekend Survival Guide” is designed to help your diet survive those dreaded weekends.  Keep it with you - in your purse, in the car - wherever you go.  The checklist and helpful tips can keep you focused and on track.  Meanwhile, the inspirational quotes can give you a boost of well-timed motivation.  If nothing else, remember this: when you start feeling the temptation to slip, ask yourself how you will feel about your decisions once Monday morning rolls around. 
  • Plan family activities like bike rides or outdoor games.  This helps you spend time with your family and burn calories all at once!

  • Carry a water bottle with you to your weekend activities.  This will help you get your water for the day and resist the temptation to reach for a soda or other caffeinated beverage. 

  • Set some "weekend specific" goals for yourself based on the realities of what you’ll be doing.  They may look very different than your weekday goals, and that’s okay. 

  • If you are going to be out all day, pack some healthy snacks in case you get hungry.  There is nothing worse than being hungry at the mall, and the only food options are ice cream or pizza. 

  • Set Monday as your weigh-in day.  You are more likely to resist temptation if you have to face the scale first thing Monday morning. 

  • Plan ahead!!  If you are going out to eat, find the restaurant's menu (and any available nutritional information) online.  You’ll have plenty of time to make a healthy choice before you get there. 

  • Don't save all of your splurging for the weekends. Allowing yourself a few treats throughout the week will help you avoid the mindset that the weekend is an excuse to go bonkers. And by spacing your treats evenly, you're less likely to get sudden, irresistible cravings.
With a little extra effort and planning, you can turn weekends into an enjoyable experience and an opportunity to keep your program moving in the right direction!   
Click here to download your own copy of the Weekend Survival Guide!
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Member Comments

Good article. Report
good tips.....so many times I have an all or nothing mentality.....if I mess up just once....I have blown it for the whole week end.....or I am so strick during the week that I tend to think I owe it to myself to "relax" on the week end.... Report
I think it's easier on the weekends for me because we like to sleep in on Saturday - then we have a meal around 10-10:30 and 4:30-5. On Sundays we have our big meal after church so sometimes at night we just have a snack. Report
Remember that if you splurge on Friday or Saturday -- or even Sunday morning -- you don't have to wait until Monday to resume your healthy lifestyle. Report
Great article! I ALWAYS struggle to stay on track over the weekend. Too many temptations to snack and eat meals at odd hours. Good tips! Thanks Coach Jen! Report
true true...the weekend is an opportunity to do more healthy activities!! Report
Good ideas! I love that most restaurant's menus are available online. You can plan ahead for nutrition and get to chat more instead of being busy reading the menu! Report
I have been doing all of those things for some time now except the tip about setting weekend-specific goals. That's a new thought to me, and one that I think is definitely worth a try!!! Report
I sure needed this! SO work 3 on 4 off then 4 on 3 off. Report
I needed to see that. Now I put pizza on my tracker for tommorrow so I am prepared for my nephews birthday party. What a relief Report
I agree with the idea of letting yourself have a treat occasionally. Instead of beating myself up about having them, I figure whatever I'm going to have into my food plan. I find that now I tend to not crave stuff so much....like Dairy Queen's chicken strip basket with the country gravy!!
Blessed be. Report
Its funny but the w'ends are no problem for me. I tend to squeeze in MORE exercise...I even make either Saturday or Sunday what I call my "marathon" day. I jump on the treadmill for 10 minutes every 3 or 4 hrs, I take my dog for extra walks, I do extra crunches here and there. Report
Great article. There's ALWAYS some excuse to go bonkers on the weekend. Keeping a water bottle on hand and planning ahead seem to be the keys for me. Also I avoid taking any sweet leftovers home with me, because I'm the one who has the most difficult time resisting them! Report
Weekends are so easy for me. During the week, I have to eat when time allows and what I have on hand. There's only so much food that I can have/prepare at work. I don't always have what I feel my body needs, so I end up eating more of other things to try to compensate. Being able to eat what I want when I want on the weekends makes me consume much less. I still have trouble limiting myself at parties, but it's much easier to prepare for them when I have more dietary resources at my disposal. Report
The best way to cut down on drinking sodas is-- DONT DRINK ANY AT ALL,DRINK ONLY WATER.Its easy if you make a DECISION.Your body gets used to it and helps you in the process because you no longer crave it.The best way is to alcalize with green drinks and then the taste of sodas will feel sickly in comparison. You will lose weight and feel great ,Go for it ! Report


About The Author

Jen Mueller
Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. A mom and avid runner, she is an ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach and medical exercise specialist, with additional certifications in behavior change, functional training and senior fitness. She is also a RRCA-certified running coach. See all of Jen's articles.