For some of us, Monday through Friday can be quite a blur. Getting kids off to school, making the morning commute, spending all day in meetings, then coming home to make dinner, help with homework and squeezing in a PTA meeting makes for a full schedule, just to wake up and do it all again.
Despite a busy weekday routine, weight loss doesn’t have to fall by the wayside. Make it a priority when you have time and can fit it in. A great time for this is the weekends. The daily routine is typically less structured, and while there’s still plenty to get done, there’s likely more time to sneak in a workout than in the middle of the week when you’re balancing carpool, kids’ projects and deadlines at work.
Here are some weekend weight loss tips you can try to carve time out for yourself and make losing weight an attainable goal.
Plan a Workout Date
Meeting up with your old college roommates this weekend? Make it an enjoyable, yet productive visit. While catching up, take a stroll through the park so you are all staying active, while not losing long-overdue time together. Rather than chatting over burgers and beers, you will get in some physical activity and skip the guilt trip later of overspending and overeating. Plus, if you have the plan in place, you are less likely to skip it since it’s a chance to see old friends.
Drink More Water
Make sure to have bottled water on hand if you are out and about, and keep a glass of water with you if you’re at home. The weekday routine may make it hard to keep track of how much you’re drinking, so make it a priority on the weekends to get your recommended daily amount in on the weekend. It could inspire you to be more conscious of your water intake during the week, too!
Turn Errands and Chores into an Exercise Opportunity
When going to the store, walk a few more steps by parking farther from the entrance. Burn a few extra calories by taking the stairs instead of the escalator. Wear your gym shoes out and speed walk through the aisles of the grocery store. While waiting in line, flex your ab muscles for 10 seconds, then release. Rather than driving through the car wash, grab a bucket and wash it by hand. Use a push mower rather than a rider. Any of these tips can help you get through your regular weekend routine while still getting in your exercise.
Be Smart About Your Choices
By 5 p.m. on Friday, you’re ready for happy hour. Your Saturday soiree is filled with decadent treats and cocktails. Sunday brunch is meant to be savored. While you still should be able to enjoy these things, do so in moderation. Treating yourself helps you from giving up your weight loss efforts completely, and gives you something to look forward to. Limit the number of drinks consumed at happy hour and on Saturday night, which will lead to less late-night snacking later. Enjoy your brunch without overindulging — have one muffin instead of three, and opt instead to fill up on fruit.
Get Enough Sleep
Busy schedules can easily cut into the amount of time we get to sleep each night. But sleep is directly linked to weight gain, so be sure you’re getting enough each night. Not only does being tired make you feel less motivated to work out, being tired can stimulate your appetite and affects the hormones that regulate hunger. Although the amount of sleep needed per night varies by age, it is an average of eight hours for working adults. If you’re not getting as much sleep as you should be during the week, make sure to catch up over the weekend so you can recharge.
Weight loss is a journey, not a destination. It requires ongoing maintenance and care to achieve success, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Some have more time than others to devote to fitness, while the motivation to stick to a diet is stronger in others. What’s important is to make a regular, conscious effort to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight and prevent becoming overweight. If you feel your diet and exercise efforts have been unsuccessful, you may need the help of a physician to achieve weight loss and reduce health risks.