Health & Wellness

How to survive the weekend

Arm yourself for a healthy weekend with our tips and tactics.
Published 11 September 2017

Weekend dos & don'ts

Feeling challenged about staying in control of your food plans, or waking at night worrying about keeping your exercise and wellbeing habits on track when the weekend rolls around? Don’t fret! We’ve placed seven of the most common weekend temptations under the spotlight, and given you ways to stay focused so you can effortlessly bypass any ‘weekend worriers’ that cross your path.

Don't hit the snooze button

After a big week, we often look forward to unwinding and being able to hit the snooze button. But the alarm clock’s ‘just another five minutes’ can do more harm than help on the weekend.

Do: Prepare your exercise gear before you go to bed. Move your alarm to the other side of the room. It’ll nudge you to get up and get moving – the perfect way to start your weekend on the right foot.

Don't try to fit it all in

It’s amazing how we imagine we’ll somehow manage to fit 12 hours of chores into five when the weekend arrives. No wonder weekend fun quickly turns into stress which, combined with taking your mind off your goals, leads to poor decision making.

Do: Slow down. Taking time to think helps you make smarter decisions. As you navigate challenges, take a few minutes to centre yourself, review your goals and stay connected to the pace of your breathing.

Don't get caught out

You’re out running errands and suddenly four hours have passed. You’ve forgotten to eat and you spy a takeaway shop offering ‘3 spring rolls for the price of 1’. Next, you’re handing over your loose change…

Do: Expect delays, so eat well before you head out and plan your snacks. Have a bottle of water handy and one or two healthy snacks in your bag or glove box.

Don't do that coffee catch up

Catching up with friends is great, but be careful – ‘let’s meet for a coffee’ or ‘let’s meet at the pub’ can easily become a gateway to a world where one drink becomes two, or a coffee becomes coffee and cake. And then before you know it, someone has ordered a side of ‘catch-up carbs’.

Do: Arrange a cardio catch up instead. Meet friends for a walk-and-talk: around the park, along the beach, or – if you need to stay close to home – around the neighbourhood.

Don't be blindsided by ‘that great new place’

A friend announces they’ve heard of a 'great new place’. Their usual preference of ‘fatty and fried’ comes to mind and you’re tempted to object but perhaps you could still make it work with your Points Budget.

Do: Google or call that hot new café or restaurant ahead of time to research the dishes that could fit into your Points Budget.

Don't fall into the ‘just this once’ trap

Sometimes it’s our inner voice of denial. At other times it’s well-meaning words from someone inviting us to join them in their indulgence. Add up all those ‘just this onces’ and there could be a long list of fried food, decadent desserts and creamy cocktails.

Do: Enjoy the occasional indulgence, by all means. Just make it bite-sized (not plate-sized)!

Don't ‘come for dinner’ unprepared

So you’ve been invited to dinner. Sometimes speaking up about dietary preferences can feel as challenging as going for another personal best in the gym. But with a few goes, it’s like working a new set of muscles. Open up when you RSVP and it gets easier.

Do: Tell your host that you’re eating healthfully and enlist their support. And regardless of what’s served, remember that portion control remains your greatest ally.