The weekend weight gain curse
iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund
Weekends can wreak havoc on your waistline, when healthy habits like drinking enough water and eating regular meals just seem to fly out the window on your days off, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It. What’s more, many people reward themselves with food for making it through a tough week. The result? “Overeating, inappropriate eating, skipping meals, and drinking more alcohol,” Taub-Dix says. It all adds up: Americans take in about 180 extra calories on Saturdays compared to the rest of the week, according to a study of more than 11,000 adults. No surprise, then, that most adults weigh more on Monday morning than they do first thing Friday. Here, some easy ways to make your weekends as—or even more—waist-friendly than your workdays.
Go out and play!
Weekends are a great time to pack in more physical activity. But don’t think about exercising—that could actually backfire. In one study, participants walked the same one-mile course, but half were told it was exercise; the rest thought they were just listening to music. Afterward, the “exercisers” were more tired and scarfed down more sugary treats at a lunch buffet. Find fun, active stuff you can do during your time off that you can’t do on work days, and you may feel happier and make healthier decisions. Put on music and dance (408 calories per hour). Ride a real bike (543 calories). Take your dog for a long walk (237 calories). Putter in your garden (339 calories). Bonus points for any activity you do outside in nature. A large body of research says that exposure to green environments boosts your mood, and people in good moods tend to eat less. These are 13 more things experts aren’t telling you about weight loss.