Most of us who are on diet to lose weight schedule our “cheat meals” on weekends because that’s when we drop our guards and meet up with our friends and socialize. However, without us even realizing, cheat meals often get converted into “cheat day” and a day full of overeating and snacking. More often, weekends tend to ruin our progress and get us off the weight loss wagon. Uncontrolled eating during weekends can undo the week’s worth of clean eating and exercise. In this post, we would exposure on tips to stop weight gain on weekends, and instead continue losing weight on Saturday and Sunday.
Why Cheat Meal is Important?
Cheat meal is an important factor in weight loss because when you cut calories by a great degree to lose weight, the body tends to lower down metabolism to hold on to fat storage more tightly. Over a period of time, you would hit a weight loss plateau where the body slows down its metabolism to preserve fat. To avoid such situations, cheat meal once a week is necessary for tricking the body and making it believe that food is available and it’s okay to continue burning fat. Cheat meal helps to reset a sluggish metabolism, so do indulge in a cheat meal when you are out with your family or friends to continue losing weight at a faster pace, but do make sure that weekends do not turn into a binge party.
How To Stop Gaining Weight on Weekends:
1. Research Healthy Food Options Before Eating Out: If you are eating out with your friends, check the menu of the restaurant online and zero in on healthy food options so that when you are out with your friends, you do not get influenced by what they are ordering and have healthy options already available with you. Most restaurants and hotels put out their complete menu online and on food delivery apps, so it would hardly take 10 minutes of your time to dig out healthy recipes from them. In any case, order a big plate of salad in the beginning. Other healthy meal options are whole wheat pasta, fish curries, steamed fish, chicken salad, chicken with roasted vegetables, paneer-based curries, multigrain brown bread, etc., are some options.
2. Avoid escalators, lifts on weekends:
If you have been avoiding climbing stairs through the week because you are busy and running short of time to reach office, make it a point to use stairs compulsorily on weekends. Whether you are out shopping in the mall or running errands at home.
3. Plan Saturday night movie snacks:
Netflix binging and movie nights also means frequent snacking which can not only stall your weight loss progress, it can increase your weight considerably. Keep healthy snacks in your refrigerator so that whenever you are making trips, you are picking healthy options like apple and peanut butter, not a piece of cake or a packet of chips. Also, unflavored popcorn without butter wouldn’t cause a steep increase in calories as much as butter-filled readymade popcorn packets.
4. Indulge in NEAT activities:
NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis and it is the amount of energy we use for everything we do in our day-to-day life except for when we are sleeping or exercising. Using the stairs instead of the lift, squatting on the floor to lift something up, walking while talking on the phone, every activity we do while being on our feet, comes under NEAT. All these activities help to burn some amount of calories and these bits of calories spent here and there, add up to a considerable amount when you are trying to lose weight. On the weekends, do not be a couch potato, move around, do household chores, organize wardrobe, and get your calories burning through Saturday and Sunday. Here are some examples of NEAT activities that you can indulge in.
5. Makeup for the sleep on weekends:
Sleeping for 7 hours or more every night is extremely important for losing weight, but how many of us manage to get 7 hours of sleep every day of the week? Use weekends to catch up on sleep and recharge and reboot for the gruelling week ahead.
6. Pack an apple or a tin of nuts in your bag before you go shopping in the mall:
Weekends also mean going out for shopping and it also comes with high probability of indulging in unhealthy food because we go to the malls hungry and then order whatever catches our eyes to calm down the hunger pangs. Never go out shopping on empty stomach – have a good breakfast or lunch, and pack a tin of nuts to munch on when you feel hungry in between shopping sprees.
7. Lift weights on weekends:
Forget cardio, pick up the dumbbells on the weekend to torch fat. Lifting weights will continue to burn calories through the day.
8. Include an outdoor activity during weekends:
Include in outdoor activities during the weekend – gardening, cycling, walking, outdoor games, all help you to burn calories.
9. Practice preloading:
Water preloading is a healthy and almost effortless way to aid weight loss. In this strategy, experts recommend to consume 500 ml of plain water half an hour before each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Such a quantity of water before the meal will significantly stretch your tummy and as a result, there would be lesser release of the hunger hormone “ghrelin.” This means you would feel full with less food and fewer calorie intake. It is an effective strategy to tackle overeating. It’s a fact that most of us do not consume enough water through the day, and most of the times, we are just thirsty and not really hungry. Frequent hunger pangs are most probably caused due to dehydration and if you can provide your body with more H2O, you can lose weight rather effectively. However, if a person suffers from heart or kidney ailment, water preloading should not be practiced without the approval of the doctor because it lead to fluid retention and shortness of breath in such individuals.
10. Use the time on weekends on meal prep:
Use the extra time on weekends to prepare healthy meals for the week ahead. This meal prepping will reduce the stress that you put yourself into for preparing healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week. This will ensure that you are clean eating through the week and not going off the track on any day of the week.