As a personal trainer, the most common factor I see preventing most people from achieving their goals is how they spend their weekends. Generally speaking, people are great at staying on the course Monday to Friday as our lives are largely structured, busy and work centric. Let’s face it, routine certainly makes it easier to conform.
However by the time the weekend arises, our routines relax and we are often physically and emotionally spent. We find ourselves quickly starting to justify trading our Nikes for stilettos and our green smoothies for a champers – right girls?
We tell ourselves that we have earned a little fun and a gentle bender, that it won’t undo all our hard work during the week. But will it?
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but YES… IT PROBABLY WILL. In fact, one weekend of crappy food and alcohol and you can quickly see yourself tipping the scales and the body fat reading back in entirely the wrong direction. Let’s face it, we don’t eat chicken and broccoli when we are drunk or hung-over, do we? More like a fried breakfast or McDonalds.
So how do you get back control of the wayward weekend? I mean, we certainly aren’t advocating that Oxygen girls strive for total perfection but rather serious progression. Trust me, with a few careful tweaks in your program, you can learn how to keep momentum strong.
Six tips for getting control of the wayward weekend
- Train on the weekends
I prefer to schedule my rest days on Wednesdays and Sundays and train on the other days. This means I train on Fridays and Saturdays and minimise any loss of progress over the weekends from the odd treat here and there. I also like to schedule my HIIT cardio session on Saturdays to maximise calorific burn and to keep my metabolism firing over the weekend.
- A CHEAT meal, not a cheat weekend
Whilst a cheat meal can be a great way to keep motivation for the long term, a cheat weekend will simply undo all your hard work. So keep it real girls and aim to stick to your nutrition strategy on the weekends with either one cheat meal or a couple of treats, but that’s it. Serious change takes serious effort. Not Monday to Thursday, but Monday to Sunday.
- Limit the booze
You should consume no more than two standard drinks over the weekend. Let’s get something straight, whenever you consume alcohol your body’s number one goal is to burn it off and process the toxin/poison i.e. the alcohol. So any fat burning that is happening at that point in time CEASES to be and your body uses the alcohol calories as fuel instead. In fact, you can kiss goodbye your goal of lean abs if you spend every weekend bending your elbow at the bar.
Here’s a few stats that may make you reconsider your drinking too:
- To burn off one cider you would need to go for a walk for 50 mins or dance for 45 mins.
- To burn off a single glass of wine you would you need to walk for 2.5km or take a whopping 4,167 steps.
- Be prepared and make healthy choices
As an Oxygirl chances are you have mastered the art and importance of food preparation for the working week. So let’s just extend your talent into the weekends and make sure that when you are out and about you always have some healthy snacks on hand e.g. nuts, fruit, water or a protein bar. When you’re eating out, simply make the right choices and ask for menu modifications, e.g. “can I have salad instead of chips”, “can I swap the mash potato for steamed greens or sweet potato”. If it’s a brunch order the poached eggs and ask them to do it on one slice of wholegrain bread and to add avocado and spinach leaves. It’s easy once you get the hang of it!
- Feed your passion
The weekend is when you finally get the time to feed the passion for your health and fitness. It’s the time you can research and test new recipes, update your journal, read Oxygen Magazine or try a new activity such as tennis or hiking. In fact, do whatever affirms and feeds your desired lifestyle.
- Ditch the excuses and the justifications
Human beings are wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain, which is why lifestyle change can be so tough for many people. The weekend is a time when our excuses and justifications will come out in full force and are so elaborate and believable that we almost have ourselves fooled. But to make serious progress you have to get good at MANAGING YOU and calling yourself out on your BS! Be brave enough to admit when you are totally ‘spinning it’ and reframe the thought so that you stay focussed and keep moving forward.
Karen is a personal trainer and life coach with over nine years of experience embracing a mind, body and soul approach to lifestyle change. During this time Karen has worked with hundreds of clients to help them achieve lifestyle, health and fitness goals. She has shown plenty of creativity and innovation in her approach, launching her transformation challenge culminating in an annual calendar and achieving recognition from major fitness media.