By Paige Green, Hy-Vee Dietitian on Monday, October 7, 2019

Don’t let your weekends be your WEAKends

Monday through Friday you are the the poster child of what healthy living should look like. You’ve prepped all of your meals, gym time is always scheduled into your day, and you’ve avoided the temptations of junk food.

Then Friday at 5:00 p.m. strikes, and your weekday routine vanishes, stealing a portion of your willpower and motivation along with it. Between happy hour deals and Netflix binges, all of the progress made during the week is a distant memory.


By Monday morning, well, you’re back to square one. Sound familiar? If so – you’re not alone, so let’s re-evaluate and revamp your lifestyle to give each day of the week a fair chance at balance.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself 

It’s as simple as monitoring how you’re feeling mentally, physically and emotionally during various times of the week. Monday morning is the best time to check in, as it can paint a pretty good picture of how well (or how poorly) you’re handling your weekends: Are you energized during the week, yet sluggish Monday morning? If so, it’s time to see why the weekends are throwing a wrench into your health plan. Did you drink enough water? Stay up too late? Eat too much sugar? Try implementing one change to your weekend routine, whether that means waking up at the same time each day, eating veggies at dinner or simply going for a walk. These small changes may just be the ticket you need for staying on track.

RELATED: The 10 basic principles of intuitive eating

Making excuses burns zero calories

Early bird gets the warm – and the results. There’s a fine line between sleeping in and wasting the day away in bed. An extra hour of rest can be beneficial, but wake and tackle the day with a good workout before your busy day gets started. If you find that you can’t fit in a work-out both days of the weekend, strive for at least one. Do it and do it early before the distractions creep in to set the tone and mood for the day. Plus, once you’ve done something good for yourself, you’ll be less likely to indulge in too many “weekend whatevers.”

MORE: Kick start your day the right way with these healthy habits

Weekdays should NOT be miserable

The secret to not crashing and burning on the weekends? Removing all the food rules you’ve made for yourself during the week. If you only allow yourself “fun foods” on Saturdays and Sundays, you’re more likely to go overboard with these, and essentially, never come out ahead. Start adding some of your favorite foods back to your meal plan during the week. Better yet, nix all the rules you’ve made for yourself that leads you becoming "hangry." Remember, you can’t live a full life on an empty stomach.

HEALTHY RECIPE: Allergy-friendly pumpkin chocolate muffins

Indulge intelligently

It’s time to find a middle ground between moderation and letting the weekend become one big free-for-all. Call them what you want, but "cheat meals" often times turn into "cheat days." Portions come into play when you want to indulge responsibility. Consider sharing a meal with your spouse or friend, or ordering that bacon cheese burger but swapping the fries out for a side salad. No matter how strong your intentions or motivation is, without finding balance at mealtime, everything else goes out the window. 

paigePaige Green received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management at the University of Northern Iowa in 2012. She pursued her passion for nutrition at Iowa State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics during the spring of 2015. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Paige truly sets out to educate individuals on finding a healthy balance in life and her passion for people and nutrition inspires clients of all ages. You can find Paige at the Windsor Heights and West Des Moines (Grand Ave.) Hy-Vee store locations.