Avoid Weekend Weight Gain

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Happy hour after work on Friday. Dinner out at your favorite restaurant on Saturday. A home-cooked feast on Sunday.

Before you know it, a weekend of unwinding can turn into a calorie-fest that undermines a week’s worth of hungry to “save up” for a big dinner out. “Saving yourself backfires — you usually end up eating way more than you would have if you ate normally throughout the day,” says Moores. “Have a little bite to eat before you go out to take the edge off your to signal your stomach that it’s full, so take your time,” Moores explains. “Whether you’re at a party or eating out on the weekend, remember to slow down when you’re eating.”

  • Start with soup. “Take your time when you order at a restaurant, and start with soup,” says Moores. “Then, have the waiter come back so you can order an entrĂ©e — you’ll order much less than if you ordered all at once.”
  • Halve your restaurant entrees. “Splitting an entree with a friend is a great way to make a significant cut in calories on the weekend,” says Moores.
  • Don’t skip dessert; share it. “Make it special,” says Moores. “Choose something that is really delightful to you and split it with a friend. Keep an out for portion sizes, and if the dessert you want is huge, ask the waiter to slice it thin or split it with the table — but I’m all for dessert.”
  • Avoid overdoing it with alcohol. “If you can cut out one or two drinks per day on the weekend, that will save you 100 to 150-plus calories,” says Moores. And, she explains, people who drink more tend to eat more as well. So drink alcohol with caution, if at all.
  • Remember your waistline. “Wear a tighter pair of pants when you go out on the weekend,” says Moores. “Wear something that’s not uncomfortable but that reminds you there are limits to what you should eat.”
  • Find a substitute for soda. “Use water to satisfy thirst, rather than soda, which many people drink more of on the weekends,” says Bryant. “Not only are they consuming a tremendous amount of calories, but soda is high in fructose, which stimulates the appetite.”

Beyond that, the experts say, the best way to keep the weekends from torpedoing your diet is to take a commonsense approach to nutrition — every day of the week.

“I think most people are better off from a health standpoint to eat sensibly each day,” says Bryant. “Consume a variety of foods, don’t skip meals, eat individual-sized portions, and whenever possible, substitute a favorite high-fat food or high-sugar food with a healthy alternative.”