By Martin Ebner
It's Friday, You've been training mean and eating clean all week. The drag of the mundane 9 till 5 work week is almost over... until Monday at least and you're raring to go!
Before you digress into a weekend of poor health and potential diet-crashing decisions, make sure to read this article on how not to throw all of your hard work out of the window this weekend.
Chances are you may eat out this weekend. If you're following a strict diet and don't want to stray too far from it, here are some simple guidelines to follow.
- Eat something light an hour or two before arriving at the restaurant. If you arrive empty, you're much more likely to overindulge.
- Bread is almighty when it comes to defeating willpower! Politely ask the waiter to remove it from the table.
- Skip the starter and go straight for the main.
- Chose boiled, steamed or baked over fried where possible.
- Avoid carb heavy dishes like pizza, pasta and potato based dishes.
- When asked if you would like to see a desert menu, don't even entertain the idea, just say no!
- Drink water with your meal.
- If you order wine, do it by the glass. You'll drink less!
You're probably going to drink something alcoholic this weekend. Beer and wine are great choices when enjoyed in moderation (A glass a day) but, if you intend on intoxicating your insides with litres of the devil's water, better to at least chose something that will be less detrimental to your waistline!
Drinks to avoid:
- Cocktails - As delicious as they may be: Margaritas, long island ice teas, piña coladas, Amaretto sours and white Russians can pack up to a whopping 500 calories per drink.
- Lager and cider - Given their carb content, you'd be better off eating a loaf of bread.
- Baileys - At 327 calories and 13g of fat per 100ml, this is the worst of the bunch.
- Energy drinks + alcohol - Asides from mixing a stimulant (caffeine) with a depressant (alcohol) they are absolutely loaded with sugar (the number one cause of obesity). Adios six pack!
What to drink instead:
- Vodka soda - Dreadfully boring but light as a feather.
- Whisky neat or on the rocks - I'm Scottish, enough said.
- Wine - Contains iron, potassium and magnesium. Just stick to a glass or two at most.
- Guinness - Guinness used to have a slogan "Guinness is good for you!" Well they weren't lying. It's loaded with nutrients and has been shown to have similar antioxidant properties to red wine. Again, a pint or two will do.
- Bloody Mary - Very low in calories and packs a nutrient filled punch!
Don't say i didn't warn you!
You had one too many the night before and you've woken up to a hangover. Don't fret - what's done is done! This, however, is not an excuse to glue your ass to the sofa and watch endless episodes of Narcos whist overindulging in junk food. Instead, do the opposite. Scrape yourself out of bed before midday and pretend you don't have a hangover. Eat a healthy breakfast and get right back on track with your diet. Go for a walk or get some fresh air. Your body will thank you for it and your hangover will fade faster than a cheap mascara during spin class.
By all means take a rest day but make it an active rest day. As contradictory as that sounds, active rest limits muscle pain and lethargy after a tough week. It also keeps you mentally focused and energised and prevents your metabolism from coming to a complete standstill. Light gardening and house work, walking and moderate paced cycling are all great forms of active rest.
A weekly “cheat meal” is what all dieters wait for all week long. By allowing yourself to "cheat" on your diet, you'll boost your metabolism and stamp out feelings of deprivation, allowing you to lose more weight and stick to your diet plan.
That being said, If your idea of a cheat meal is an entire double cream chocolate cheesecake (I just made that up but you get my point), I think it’s time you rethink your weekly reward. The key to cheat meals is to be realistic. Sugar-laden, nutrient lacking foods will get you nowhere and could ruin your week’s hard work. Instead, eat a well-balanced high-calorie food that packs some nutritional punch.
By all means snack, but as you aren't partaking in any strenuous exercise this weekend, stay away from carbs heavy foods and Instead reach for high protein and fibre foods like nuts, yogurt and fruit. Protein fuels lean muscle growth and repair, boosting metabolic rate and fibre improves digestion, preventing you from binging on fatty and sugary foods.
Good luck and have a super weekend peeps. TGIF!!!
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