Friday, November 26, 2010


We strive all week to make healthy food choices, control portion sizes and take reasonable exercise. Then along comes the weekend (or a special occasion) and all our good intentions dissolve – whether it’s drinks with colleagues after work, someone’s birthday or Sunday lunch at the in-laws’ place – and the road to healthy eating is forsaken. One weekend of eating and/or drinking too much, or failing to keep up with your exercise routine can undo a lot of the good work you did during the previous week, both physically and mentally.

After a weekend of over-indulgence we may well feel guilty and call ourselves weak-willed, resolving to do better next weekend. But we need to help ourselves keep that resolution. Here’s how:

  • Start with a healthy breakfast, as on any other day. A good breakfast ensures that we will be able to get through to lunchtime without gnawing hunger pains or a headache. High fibre cereal with yoghurt, whole grain toast with a smear of peanut butter or thin slice of cheese, or an egg – all healthy choices.
  • Keep on track by tracking, every day – yes, even weekends. We need to stay up-to-date and honest with our food journal/diary – even if we go overboard. At least we will be able to see how (and maybe why) we did.
  • Going shopping? Eat first. If we’re hungry while grocery shopping, we’re likely to pick up all sorts of food items that we don’t really want, and certainly don’t need.
  • Occasional treats are allowed. Any eating plan that leaves us feeling deprived is sure to fail. There is no harm in enjoying a small piece of dark chocolate or one scoop of ice cream. Occasionally; I said that already, didn’t I? Don't save all your treats to splurge at the weekend.
  • Plan ahead. Knowing what we are going to eat is really important for keeping on track. We need to plan weekend meals, too, and make a shopping list accordingly. And stick to the list. If we don’t put poor food choices in our trolleys, they won’t be in the house to tempt us later. Stock up on fresh fruit instead.
  • Spend some time reading and planning. Reading health magazines keeps us up-to-date with current research and tips on food and nutrition – there are usually some tasty, healthy recipe ideas, too.

Enjoy your weekend. You deserve a break.

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