Wicked Weekends: How to Avoid Them (And I Don’t Mean Wicked in a Good Way)

Katy Perry’s song “Last Friday Night” brings to mind images of that type of wicked weekend that bears repeating.  This type just bears eating.  I’m talking about the dreaded “weekend eating”.  You know, the kind where you veg. out and eat.  It’s the weekend.  It’s harmless, right?  Unless you attend the occasional BBQ or party, but otherwise stick to your calorie guns, this habit is what stunts a lot of diets, and keeps you from your weight loss goals.

Why is weekend eating so hard to overcome, anyway?  It’s not your 9-5 normal routine.  You’re around the house all day, for two days, with cupboards filled with cookies, candies, ice cream, and potato chips.  Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration.  I don’t know what’s in your cupboards.  A lot of the time, I don’t know what’s in my cupboards.  And who puts their ice cream in the cupboard anyway?  Back to the point.  Wayne’s World do-le-dos; time for a scenario:

Picture this:  you roll out of bed around 11:00 am on a Saturday, refreshed, after you have replenished your stores of beauty sleep, which had been diminished from getting up early enough for you to make it to work on time all week.  Just kidding, it’s really 8:30, and your hyper significant other is bouncing on the bed, waiting for you to wake up, so you can start your day.  For those of you with kids, it’s 6:30.  Now we’ve got the whole day ahead of us.  What do we do with it?  Eat.  All day long.  Well, that’s probably an exaggeration too, but I do make pancakes, or French toast.  Because it’s Saturday, right?  Then it’s off to do some grocery shopping, or other shopping, and whoops, you’re hungry now.  It’s time for a trip to Buffalo Wild Wings, because who doesn’t love Buffalo Wild Wings?  And now we’re off to a child’s sports event, a bridal shower, the brewery for a beer, or the football game is on, etc.  And now you don’t have time to cook dinner.  Or you don’t want to.  Take your pick.  So you go out to dinner again.  This time to HuHot Mongolian Grill, because it’s fun.  And it’s all you can eat.  Now it’s off to the movie theater, or your favorite video rental store, and both options comes with popcorn and chocolate.  Or some after-dinner drinks.  Maybe a bottle of wine after you put the kids to bed. Lather, rinse, re-eat the next day.

I’ll be the first to admit I have a bad relationship with food.  I feel that food is a means to socialize, and if you’re out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, that’s having fun.  First you start with the fun before dinner drinks, then the appetizer, then your entree that you’ve so carefully picked out, and of course you must have dessert.  Bloody marys for breakfast, while lounging on the deck makes me happy.  It’s fun, but so unhealthy.  I’m not saying you have to give up these things.  Please!  Moderation is the magic word here.

When I started doing research for this post, the biggest thought that popped out at me was that most of these do’s and don’ts are easier said than done.  Yes, I’m going to a party later, and I know there will be a ton of good food.  I absolutely want to eat a whole bunch of celery before I go, so I’m not hungry when I get there.  Not.  Or, no, I don’t want to skip breakfast and lunch that day, so I can save up for the 1200 calorie meal that is Thanksgiving.  I want to eat healthy, and restrain myself when the stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy come around.  Don’t forget the rolls, and the sweet potato casserole that’s covered in brown sugar and marshmallows.  (Of course I want to skip the other meals, so I can eat all I want.)

Parties are special exceptions that you can save up for during the week.  But what about a normal Saturday, when all you have on the agenda is a 6 hour marathon of Arrested Development, Big Bang Theory, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer?   (That’s right, I own it.)

Keeping it simple is best.  Here is our list to help keep you on track.  We hope these tips are as easy to do as they are easy to say:

1. Plan your menu – and stick to it.  If you stick to your menu, this should ensure that you stick to the calories you’ve allotted yourself.  But we know things come up. That’s why you need to:

2. Keep up your exercise routine – and remember, as soon as you fall out, the harder it is to start up again.  I know this from experience.

3.  Treat this day like a normal day, and continue to count your calories.

4.  Limit your alcohol consumption – Ok, so this part might be easier said than done, and it kind of sucks.  But, you’ll feel better in the long run, and when you do go out for the occasional celebratory drink, you’ll be a really cheap date.  And that’s good for everyone involved (just make sure you are safe, because we are kind of fond of you).

5.  Plan Ahead:  Save up a few extra calories during the week to use for parties and make sure to get some extra exercise on the day of the party.

6.  Make sure to Keep Busy – If you feel hunger start to creep up, do something, e.g. go for a walk, or scrapbook (because everyone likes to scrapbook, right?).

We all know change is hard, so if you need to, take these suggestions/tips and implement them one at a time.  When you’re comfortable enough, move on to the next one.

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