After a long week of work, stress, and watching what you eat comes the temptation of the weekend, or more appropriate, the weak-end. Typically on the weekend, we loosen up our routine, catch up with friends and family members we haven’t seen during the week, and live differently than we do during the week.
Unfortunately, unwinding during the weekend has the potential to increase your families waistline. Most Americans eat out of the home more on the weekend, which leads to an increased fat intake and potentially caloric intake1. Children also have poorer eating habits on the weekend, a recent study found that children ate more calories from fat, fewer fruits and vegetables, non-nutritive snack foods and sweetened drinks during the weekends compared to week days2. When trying to lose or maintain your weight, paying attention to the weekends can help you be successful.
Here are 5 tips to help your family make it through the weekend:
Have healthy snacks easily accessible – While cleaning the house or running errands, make sure to have healthy snacks out and ready to reduce the temptation to eat out or pick unhealthier items.
Plan your meals just as you would any other day – Whether eating at home or out, plan ahead to include fruits and vegetables with meals and snacks. Continuing to splurge each weekend can keep your weight loss goals just out of reach.
Keep a food journal – Keep your food journal throughout the weekend to help remember every time you look into the pantry for a treat and know exactly what you are doing.
Learn more about eating out – Check the restaurant’s website before you go to help make an educated decision. There are often lots of hidden calories in sauces, dips and spreads that we don’t realize making a potentially healthy item less healthy.
Catch up on exercise – Not only can exercise help increase calories burned, it can help de-stress and unwind. Go for a walk to relax and help forget about that cookie!
When keeping up with your meal plan throughout the whole week don’t undo all the good you did all week with your weak-end! Keep up the healthy habits while allowing for a few planned splurges or rewards that don’t revolve around food.
By Lexie Timpson MS, RD, CDE
- O’Dwyer NA, McCarthy SN, Burke SJ, Gibney MJ. The temporal pattern of the contribution of fat to energy and of food groups to fat at various eating locations: implications for developing food-based dietary guidelines. Public Health Nutr. 2005; 8(3): 249-57.
- Hart CN, Raynor HA, Osterholt KM, Jelalian E, Wing RR. Eating and activity habits of overweight children on weekdays and weekends. Int J Pediatr Obes. 2011; 6(5-6): 467-72.