Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Weekends and eating right seem to be as evasive as Big Foot sightings!

How many people do fantastic during the week with workouts and eating perfect meals only to have it all come crashing down on the weekend? I think the routine of the work week has a lot to do with it. Each day that the alarm goes off we are set on a predictable path to spend the day. Sure we hit glitches and snags like co workers asking us to join them in the break room for the impromptu birthday cake for Stan or the retirement lunch for Doris but we have our meals packed and planned JUST FOR THIS!

Then along comes Saturday morning. We roll out of bed with no alarm screaming that we are late. We can smell the kitchen...or worse the breakfast buffet even before we get out of bed. This is where the internal dialogue and battle begin. I can have real scrambled eggs this morning, or I can have cream in my coffee...I have been so good this week I can have one little treat...Which turns to another helping then another treat meal then another and soon it is Saturday evening out with friends or family and the inner demon beckons again...Well you blew the whole day what are a few buffalo wings now?

Sunday morning you wake up feeling bloated and tired and guilty. It is ok you say to yourself, I will work it off today on the treadmill! Those 1,500 extra calories won't get me, damn it! Sunday morning begins with a slow start and the demon inside starts whispering, well you said you would work harder today anyway why not have this little.....or that little....and the battle ensues again today...for another 1,500 or so calories. So over the weekend despite your honest intentions, despite your commitment you ate 3,000 calories more than you wanted, more than you should have and more than was needed. There are 3,500 calories in one pound, did you know that?

For the start of the new work week, all that commitment and workouts are spent just working off the weekend. So realistically you have Thursday and Friday to make new dents after training and dieting off the splurge of the weekend. MAN! Just seeing it typed out here in front of me is like a slap of ice water. WHAT? Is that what is happening? Now look back at the weeks, were they all perfect? If they were not perfect add those added “treats” to the weekend surplus. Imagine all week long the sweating at the workouts, the "no thanks" at the luncheons all for what? The binge we do on the weekend? We work out to eat Buffalo wings on the weekend? I bench press till my arms are ready to turn to useless appendages hanging at my sides because I want to eat pizza and ice cream Saturday night? Yikes...no....um..I do it to be fit and lean...leaner than I am now but if I look at it this way I am slowly walking in circles waiting to be thin..I do not want to walk in a slow circle I have a direction and a goal for this!

How do we get out of this trap? Wait, we know this answer! How will this food I am about to consume get me towards my goal? How will this "treat" affect all my hard work I put in this entire week? Imagine working so hard, your dedication is dead on, your heart and soul are poured into this project....you hand it to your very best friend, soul mate, partner in life only to have them say OH perfect then cut it up in tiny pieces and throw it in the trash. I made that for you!! I did that ALL FOR YOU AND THIS IS HOW YOU TREAT IT!! This is what we do to ourselves when we over “spend” on our calories thinking we deserve it for all our hard work during the week.

Fail to plan the weekend and you are planning to fail. So, what do you do? Education on calories is a fantastic way to avoid junk. Let's look at some calorie busters here:
1 slice of pizza is about 300 calories. Ok 300 calories is not too bad, but do we eat one piece? You can help yourself here by ordering a salad and eating it before the pizza. The fiber from the salad will help fill you up as well as help you absorb less fat from the pizza. Another good tip is order the pizza with half the cheese; this will cut the fat and calories somewhat, probably close to 100 calories less. Another tip is to drink that water! Before it arrives drink a full glass and after it arrives drink a full glass, fill yourself up before the food has a chance to over power you!

4 pieces of Buffalo wings are 210 calories. Ok 210 calories sounds ok, right? Really, though, only 4 pieces? How many eat 4 pieces? How many skip the blue cheese dressing that comes along with it? One serving of dressing to go with your measly 4 wings is also about 200 calories. So in a 4 wing with dressing treat you have eaten the caloric value of a full meal, and predominately fat. Don't forget that beer to drive those wings right to the heart, literally. Beer can be anywhere from 100 to 200 calories a mug, bottle, glass, stein or however it is you picture it being served in. All those calories are a complete waste.....drink water. The alternative for the wings, order a salad with grilled chicken. You can request some hot sauce on the side to sprinkle over the salad and a small side of lite dressing to drizzle over the salad. Here again there is that magic fiber to help prevent the digestion of the fats and to fill you up. If your buddies want to mock you for choosing a salad over the 6 alarm wings, tell them after their beer and junk food you will arm wrestle them....or better yet tell them to meet you in the gym!

Anyway, that is just a glimpse of the caloric waste we can do to ourselves over 48 hours time. We can spend the next 72 to 96 hours of eating right and working out making up for those poor choices or we can look at things realistically. Sit back for a moment before you make your weekend food choices and really give it thought.....will these wings, pizza, ice cream, beer or whatever battle food you may face...are they really worth walking in a slow circle for? What is it you want for yourself? Do you want the 15 minute meal or the life time of satisfaction?

Nothing tastes as good as keeping your word to yourself. Nothing feels as satisfying as putting on those "thin pants" and having them feel loose on you. Nothing matches the "head turning" you will create when YOU are the fit one in the crowd. When people look at YOU and think “wow I wish I looked like that!"

Before you order that food, or make that choice....what is it you really REALLY want?
Make a plan for the weekend.

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