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How Weekends Can Hold Us Back From Reaching Fitness Goals

We all look forward to the weekend or free days off. Enjoying a break from work and personal R&R can't come soon enough sometimes, right? The weekend actually allows us more time to work on our fitness programs, but many of us don't look at it that way.

The weekend typically includes three days (counting Friday night) of social drinking, parties, and indulgence in unhealthy foods. Many of us completely abandon our fitness goals. We somehow think what we do on the weekend doesn't impact our efforts and healthy lifestyle. This is far from the truth. Every choice made affects our fitness in a positive or negative way. Weekends seem to lean more toward the negative.

I admit to letting my hair down a bit on the weekend. However, I don't agree with living an unhealthy lifestyle for three days. How could I exemplify what living healthy means to my clients, you, myself and family? Actions speak louder than words and living the life is what maintains my fitness goals.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for having a cheat meal or even day. If not done correctly and in moderation is when fitness goals can fail. Moderation is knowing how to moderate. A treat day doesn't need to turn into a cheat weekend nor should it. Those partaking in this yo-yo behavior often feel guilty for eating off track all weekend and mad at themselves for gaining a few pounds.

Enjoying a few indulgences in life is realistic, balanced and considered healthy. When done right and in moderation, a cheat meal actually helps our body burn fat more effectively and maintain our hard earned muscle. Living a healthy lifestyle includes knowing how to moderate cheat meals, not feel guilty, and getting back on track after the indulgence.

Studies show mixing up the nutrition and throwing in an occasional splurge meal benefits the body similar to how muscle confusion works performing a different exercise program. Long-term caloric restriction can deplete our body of essential nutrients and muscle glycogen. Enjoying a cheat meal or day can benefit both physiologically and psychologically. Supplying our body with additional energy from extra treat calories is shown to boost our metabolism, hydrate our muscles, and create a better physical working environment.

Regardless of where you are in your fitness program, learning how to moderate splurges will make or break the success of reaching goals. How we think about food intake and what we eat will be the primary reason we're fit or fat. Eating healthy should be a lifestyle and not looked upon as a punishment or burden. If we see eating healthy as unenjoyable, this can drive us to those unhealthy rebel weekends of mindless eating.

The weekend isn't a free pass to make unhealthy choices over a three day period. If we're truly eating well and performing regular exercise, we would feel strange not to continue over the weekend. Our fitness brain should always be on directing us to choose nutritious food, not empty calories. If you're struggling with eating right and getting off track over the weekend, it could mean taking a look at how you're preparing food. Does your healthy food taste good?

Healthy foods not only taste good but are great for you. Enjoy the texture and flavor of vegetables, fruits, and raw nuts. Indulge in lean proteins on the grill like salmon and chicken breast. Learn how to cook with herbs, spices, and marinades. Eating right doesn't mean eating bland.

Eating right along with the occasional splurge meal is what will enable you to reach and maintain those fitness goals.

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Be well and Stay Healthy



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