Get Healthier This Weekend

Everyone loves to see the workweek end and the weekend begin. But often, this extra time we have on our hands causes us to make some unhealthy choices and can wreak havoc on our weight loss plan.

Here are four simple changes that you can make to your regular weekend habits that can give you a large return in better health:

Get The Right Amount of Sleep:

Many of us look forward to the weekends for one thing. More sleep. After all, getting up at 6:00 a.m. five days a week is a drag. Literally. But sleeping in until noon on the weekends will cause your body’s internal clock to go a bit haywire and will usually leave you feeling more tired than if you had gotten up at your regular time.

So, how do you change it? Instead of sleeping until noon, sleep just an extra hour or two. Then get up and have a good breakfast. Since most of us are so busy during the week, usually we will just grab something quick in the morning instead of having a nice healthy start to our day. But on the weekends, you can plan for a healthy breakfast that you actually look forward to. Giving you a reason to get out of bed. Whether you like sweets or savory meals, you can plan a breakfast to get excited about.

For instance, if you like sweets, plan on eating a bowl of oatmeal (not the instant variety). Add some fresh fruit, cinnamon, Splenda, or yogurt to give it some extra sweetness. But if you would like something a little more savory, go for a healthy breakfast omelet loaded with your favorite veggies and maybe some Canadian bacon. Not only will a healthy breakfast help energize you for the day but it will also keep you fuller longer, thus keeping you from eating too much throughout the day.

Have Healthier Social Gatherings:

Many of us love to have parties and social get togethers on the weekend. But most of the time these fun times are centered around food and drink, which can cause a fat and calorie overload and totally wreck your weight loss plan. But they don’t have to, if you plan a little better.

For instance, if you are used to having a few glasses of wine at your social gatherings, you can save 300 calories a night just by turning that glass of wine into a spritzer, using seltzer water and fresh fruit. Or you could opt for a vodka tonic. And today you can find a lot of different flavored vodkas, everything from raspberry to peach and more.

Read More: Grapefruit Diet.

So you will be sure to find something you like. Over a year’s time, this could keep an extra 5 pounds from your bottom line. Now when you are talking about the food, this can be a bit trickier.

Many of us love to have a bunch of appetizers at social gatherings. Which is fine, as long as you do not have an overload. The best thing to do is spread them out over a few hours. That way, instead of having a bunch of stuff to eat all at once, your body will have time to realize it is full, therefore, keeping you from eating an excess of extra calories. Plus, you can choose to offer healthier fare such as veggies like asparagus with ranch dressing. Researchers state that asparagus is loaded with vitamins that will actually help you metabolize alcohol. Talk about a 2-4-1.

Have a Healthy Grocery Shopping Trip:

This weekend try a few tricks to get more healthy items in your basket and out of your home. Researchers at New Mexico State University found that when shoppers divided up their cart horizontally and put fruits and veggies towards the front (furthest away from you) with meat and staples in the back and only put processed junk food in the baby seat, not only did they spend less but they also got more fruits and veggies and healthy items. Not only will this save your pocketbook but also your waistline.

Another thing to keep in mind when shopping is to look high and low for items. Usually those fattening, processed foods are kept at about eye level for adults (and eye level for kids). But if you look to the top shelves or the bottom shelves, it is likely you will come across healthier options.

Make a Healthy Sunday Dinner:

Dinners on Sunday night are usually filled with comfort foods ridden with fat and empty calories. But you can change all of that this weekend. Instead of making fried chicken and potatoes, make a big pot of soup made with beans instead of or in addition to meat. Beans are loaded with folic acid, which decrease homocysteines (the markers for inflammation). Plus beans are loaded with fiber, which will help keep your intestinal tract healthier.

My favorite soup is my Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup. It is loaded with beans, lean chicken, spices, and veggies. Just what you need to keep your weight loss plan on track. And after dinner, you can finish your weekend with a healthy dessert. Make some Strawberries covered in Dark Chocolate to give yourself some fiber, antioxidants, and sweetness, plus you can reap the benefits of the dark chocolate too.