There are plenty of disadvantages created by winter and few advantages.
We’re very familiar with the disadvantages, short cold days, long dark nights, increased hedonic hunger signals and that’s during the week when we have the structure of kids in school and work. On the weekends the structure is gone, we have greater proximity to highly palatable food and nothing to do which only make the food harder to resist.
If you don’t want the weekends to undo all the weight loss advances you made during the week, here are some effective ways to keep losing weight on Saturdays and Sundays during the winter. The 3-day winter holiday weekends can be particularly odious.
Know your challenges
What is it that makes it hard to stick to your diet on the weekend? Is it boredom? Is it kids driving you crazy telling you “they’re bored,” and expecting you to fix it for them when you’re not even able to beat your own boredom? Is it being in your own house with your fridge and cabinets and the treasures within? Maybe all of those things and more I haven’t mentioned.
Address your challenge with a plan (or several)
If it’s boredom how about looking forward to spring and plan a garden. You can involve the kids in this too. Let them give input on what to grow and help you start and care for the seedlings. If this is a new adventure for you Crystal Sands offers advice for starting a vegetable garden.
If you have a hard time being in around your fridge and kitchen cabinets all weekend long make your plan to conquer the urge to eat by starting with the end in mind.
- What is your winning outcome for when you go to bed Sunday night? Maybe this sums it up: When I go to bed on Sunday night, I want to feel good about my weekend eating and physical activity.
- After identifying what you want work backwards to determine the steps you’ll take to get what you want.
- Remember, “if it’s not in the house you can’t eat it.” This doesn’t mean you should throw away everything in the house you believe you shouldn’t eat. It means a good weekend plan is to head to the supermarket early Saturday morning to buy what will satisfy you and keep you on track.
- Instead of trying not to eat, lay in a supply of tasty foods that are naturally low in calories and high in nutrients. In addition to fruit and vegetables, don’t forget lean protein, and even nuts and avocados. Focus on feeding yourself nutritiously and satisfyingly instead of depriving yourself of food.
- Replace thoughts of food with physical activity. There is a lot of snow on the ground. You can sit inside and curse the snow and let boredom drive you to overeating or you can try some of the fun ideas Hailee Morin shares in her blog, 12 ways to snowgasm.
- Give yourself a “diet day off” on the weekend. Since it’s easier to stick to a diet during the week, take a little extra care to follow it closely. By being very careful during the week you earn a special treat on the weekend. If you make it a point to get extra physical activity – through work or play – you earn some extra wiggle room for a really special treat.
Weekends are like waves in the ocean. You can’t stop them from coming but you can learn to surf.