How not to destroy your diet during the weekend

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Do you find weekends the hardest time to keep up with your nutrition? You know, all those events, dinners, parties and barbecues that happen, do they seem to throw you off course? Not to worry! I have some great tips to help you stay healthy on the weekends and still lose weight.

Let’s first take a look at what it takes to lose weight. We must be in a caloric deficit to lose weight, there is no doubt about it. It takes a weekly deficit of 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound per week. This is a deficit of 500 calories per day. Now what seems to happen to a lot of people is that they run a deficit during the week, but they make the decision to have a “cheat meal,” a “cheat day,” or a “cheat weekend.” Calories can add up faster than you can blink, especially when meals are eaten in restaurants. A single meal can have 2,000 calories or more (and that doesn’t include dessert). This could easily get someone out of their weekly deficit and back into maintenance calories. When we consume maintenance calories we will not lose weight. Now this doesn’t mean we’re never allowed to indulge in dieting, it just means we need to be a little more strategic. For example, if you know you have a big dinner planned, keep eating mostly lean protein and veggies throughout the day. This will help you keep your calories low so that when you eat out, you don’t completely deviate from your diet. Another example would be to personalize your dinner by buying a salad instead of fries or by not eating a hamburger bun and saving it for another day or by eating only half of the meal.

Okay, let’s get to that, here are some simple tips to help you stay on track on the weekends.

Tip 1: Treat the weekend as if it were a day of the week. Stay focused on those goals as hard as you do for the entire week.

Tip 2: Fill up on lots of green veggies to keep you full.

Tip 3: Make healthier, lower calorie versions of your favorite treats! (* See recipe below)

Tip 4: Host the dinner or bring your own plate to a potluck that’s in line with the way you want to eat. You will be in control of what is served and how much you consume.

Tip 5: Find other activities to do that don’t revolve around food and get active!

Tip 6: Enjoy today’s moments with your family and friends without so much emphasis on food and eating out.

So now that you’ve got some tools in your pocket to stay on track this weekend, here’s a healthy, low-calorie snack if you’re feeling chocolaty!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding – Makes 4 Servings (Vegan)

They mix:

2 avocados, meat only

4 tablespoons raw cocoa or cocoa powder

4 tablespoons maple syrup

pinch of sea salt or Himalayan salt

Divide into 4 servings of about 1/2 cup each and enjoy!

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