Many people make the mistake of dieting strictly during the week and then letting loose on the weekend. They allow themselves to unwind too much and find out on Monday that the needle on the scale has moved much farther than they hoped.

According to researchers many people change their eating habits drastically on weekends. All of the parties and excursions out with friends often include high calorie foods and alcoholic beverages. Most people over indulge in both and over time this easily leads to weight gain.

One study on weekend eating habits shows researchers found people take in 115 more calories per day on the weekend compared to weekdays. That extra 200 calories every weekend adds up over time.

While it might seem like an impossible problem, there are some simple ways to put a stop to the extra calories and weight gain associated with weekend eating.

1. Stock up on healthy food.
Make sure you don’t have any reason to reach for unhealthy junk food or call to order a pizza. If you kitchen is well stocked with healthy food you will be less likely to fall into poor eating habits. Check your fridge and pantry on Friday and stock up on healthy foods for the weekend.

2. Don’t skip meals
Many people will skip meals early in the day to “save room” or “save calories” for later meals or going out. This almost always backfires and you end up eating more at night than if you had eaten normally throughout the day. Don’t skip meals on the weekend. If you have a meal at night eat lighter meals during the day that will take the edge off hunger without leaving you famished.

3. Go easy on the alcohol
Most alcoholic drinks have a high caloric content so try not to go overboard with drinking on the weekends. Depending on what you are drinking, just cutting back one drink can save 150 calories. Plus, if you drink in moderation you won’t end up eating the fatty foods that people love to eat when drunk.

It is okay to have an occasional splurge meal or weekend. But if you want to achieve your weight and fitness goals you have to make some restrictions. Eliminating just a few of the bad habits that lead many to weekend weight gain will put you one step closer toward achieving your goals. And if the weekend doesn’t go according to plan, don’t worry. Tomorrow is always a new day and next weekend is always a chance to change your habits.

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