We all know that on weekends anything goes, including our healthy-eating intentions! The great news is that nutrition experts say we can relax a bit on the weekends if we buckle down during the week. We’re not talking about a two-day full out or even anything close to a binge but one decadent dinner out on the town, an especially delicious Sunday breakfast, or a tub of popcorn out at the movies can be fine, if we plan ahead and keep our calorie balance in line, says Pete Maughan, RD, a volunteer for the American Dietetic Association.
It all comes down to the numbers. If the numbers game boils up to a number more than we can handle, then it’s not working, but if we cut 4-600 calories each day of the week — through adjusting our diet and exercising appropriately– we’ll “bank” 2,000 to 3,000 calories in time for Saturday. So even if we’re the type to enjoy an extra 1,500 to 2,000 calories over the weekend, we’ll still come out on top.
And here’s another way to look at it: If we changed nothing about our calorie intake during the whole week and still did a little splurging on the weekend to the tune of only 500 more calories (for example that could mean a big ole slice of New York-style cheesecake or a nice, big slice of delicious pizza), we’d gain 7.5 lbs per year doing this. And further, if we treat ourselves to 1,500 calories extra on the weekends then we’d pack on a whopping 22 pounds. But listen, we’re not supposed to be looking for a reason to punish ourself on weekends. If we stick to our plans we can treat ourselves to enjoyment– without treating ourselves to the standard side of guilt.
Step One: Manage Our Meal Calories
The average American female is 5’4″ tall, weighs in at 166.1 lbs and consumes almost 1,900 calories a day, according to the CDC. With only a modest slice down to 1,600 calories will not leave us tired, hungry, or even irritable as we might fear. We can stay on course with non-calorie beverages like water or diet drinks. (I don’t even want to hear it right now that you think they cause cancer or who knows what. Do you know what causes cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and a whole slew of other things? Obesity! Now that’s a real, true proven fact, so don’t get me started about diet sodas!)
This plan gives us slightly larger lunches and accordingly smaller dinners because most of us women tend to be on the move during the day and do our winding down in the evenings. Liberal snacks are a part of the fight-off-hunger plan but remember not to go crazy with this. We can use the same principles we put together more meals. The menus are based generally on the USDA My-pyramid while we’re remembering that if the focus is weight loss, we shouldn’t use the fact that we haven’t had enough of our “fruit” or “grains” as a reason to eat more if we’ve already reached our limit. 1,600 is our goal and specified calorie plan.
Step Two: Burn 300 Extra Calories per each weekday
Stock up the rest of your weekend calorie bank by just hitting an extra 30 minutes of moderate-intensity workout per day. This might include taking a brisk walk around the neighbourhood and enjoying the fresh air for 20 minutes to burn half of that 300 (144 calories in 20 minutes brisk-walking). Then consider a 10-minute stair-climb session to burn 110 more. Then just do the unthinkable, do a few push-ups or take a little jog around the neighbourhood for even just 10 minutes. You’ll find it refreshing! And voila! Our daily total: 356 calories.