What’s your plan for the weekend? The same as always, right? You’re going to relax and recover. And eat. Relaxation, these days, seems inextricably entangled with food. You eat out because you have the time to do so. You relax with a book and a snack. You meet friends over dinner…
A study recently revealed that we take in an extra 222 calories on weekends (including Friday). Over a year, that adds up to 11,544 extra calories. This small amount of weight gained every weekend does not come off on its own – in fact it keeps adding up. Here’s how to escape the weekend weight trap.
It’s party time!
Friday dinner. Saturday movie (with popcorn and soft drink) and lunch. Saturday night drinks. Sunday brunch. Eating out leads to two things. One: you eat richer food than usual. Two: you order more because you want to spend time with your friends.
Counter strategy: Balance things. If you’re going to indulge at dinner, have a salad and soup lunch. That apart, if you’re going to eat out, stick to lunch – it’s easier to eat lightly (and you’ll drink less). And, when you go to a restaurant, start with soup. Only then order your main course. You’ll order less after you’ve had the soup.
I’m going to lounge
True, weekends are about not working. But if the couch is your best friend, make sure snacks are far away. Constant munching is a consequence of couch potato-dom.
Counter strategy: Revive an old hobby. Or begin learning something new. Long stretches of inactivity can inspire compulsive nibbling, so keep yourself pleasantly occupied always.
Face it. Gulab jamuns and banoffee pies eaten on weekends are NOT magically less calorie rich than when eaten on weekdays. Weekends are the time to indulge, but not that much!
Counter strategy: By all means eat dessert, but share it with other people. Take one bite and put your fork down. Savour it slowly.
I’m a water balloon!
When you eat a lot of sweet things, the body responds by spiking insulin levels in the blood, which makes it hard for you to excrete sodium. Accumulated sodium causes water retention.
Counter strategy: Wear a tighter pair of pants over the weekend. That’ll help keep your food intake in check. Also, cut down on refined carbohydrates and consciously increase your fibre intake.
I (don’t) like to move it, move it
Who exercises on weekends? We all like to lie in late, perhaps go shopping, eat out and meet friends. The gym? No way. So not only do you eat more, you exercise less!
Counter strategy: Join a salsa class, or aqua aerobics. Play golf or tennis. Once you find something you like, you’ll keep active – and have less time to snack and eat out.
— The writer is a nutritionist
- From HT Brunch, March 6
Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch