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Tips to keep a clean diet at the weekend


Posted by Cags R under Nutrition on 24 February 2013 at 12:00 AM

In a Facebook poll last week, we asked 'Does your diet get worse at the weekends?' - out of the 1204 responses, a staggering 80% of people stated that their diet was worse at the weekend.

Weekend Diet Poll - does your diet get worse at the weekend?There's a plethora of reasons why our diets are different at the weekend compared to the week - whether it's meals out, drinking sessions, celebrations (no celebration is worth attending without cake!) or just a lack of structure to the day, it can sometimes seem hard to maintain a healthy and clean diet at the weekend.

Something which is important to note is that 'diet' and 'nutrition' are synonyms - we're not talking about the 'Special K', 'Atkins' or 'Cabbage soup' style of diets, just your daily nutrition.

So let's take a look at 3 main reasons why your diet might be worse at the weekend and some tips to help you keep a clean diet:

1. Lack of routine - during the working week, it's very easy to have a controlled diet and eating pattern: breakfast before work, lunch at a standard time and dinner once you get home. At the weekends, this structure will depend on your social plans, family commitments and that all important Sunday morning lie in! Variation in sleep patterns will often disrupt your diet and eating patterns - both over and under sleeping can cause a spike in appetite to combat the lethargic feeling caused by disrupted sleep patterns. 

Lack of routine also means you may snack more, especially if you're bored. Check out all the great tips which Kimberly H received when she asked the Tribesports community for tips to avoid snacking when bored.

Pub drinking2. Nights out - now you don't need us to tell you that nights out aren't great nutritional choices! It's important to let your hair down every once in a while but the knock on effect is one of the leading reasons for off-set nutrition at the weekends.

Check out this article on the different calories in drinks and you may be surprised by some of the findings - for example a pint of Coors Light is actually only 28 calories less than a pint of Guinness! 

cranberry juiceIt's not just the alcoholic drinks which can play havock with your diet either; Kirstie M asked What's best to drink on a social night out? when looking for an alcohol-free alternative to have at the pub - juice will often contain more sugar than an alcoholic beverage and sugar-free diet options often contain caffeine (yes, we're looking at you Diet Coke!) which can disrupt sleep patterns.

Let's not neglect the diet habit at the end of a night out - a study of 500 kebab houses in the UK discovered that the average calorie count in a kebab is around 1000 calories - that's half your daily allowance you're 'snacking' on!

3. Treat meals and celebrations - birthdays, anniversaries, weddings or just a general Saturday dinner with friends, it can often be difficult to eat a clean diet when you eat out. Here are some tips on how you can make the right restaurant choices:

  • Pick restaurants which always cook fresh - this needn't break the bank either, even basic street food can be cooked fresh and help you keep a clean diet.
  • Beware the salad option - ever notice that restaurant salads are WAY better than your salad at home? That's probably because your home made salads won't have fried croutons, ranch dressing, fried goats cheese or parmesan crusted chicken on top!
    PF Changs Salad
    If you consider yourself a martyr for choosing salad over what you really wanted to eat, then quit it - just prder what you want to eat!
  • Portion control - all restaurants want to make sure you leave having a full belly, this means they often have ridiculous portion sizes. Don't feel obliged to finish your plate when you're full (even if your mum always told you to!), you can always bag it up and have the leftovers for another meal.

So, where do you stand on the weekend diet? Do you have any tips that keep your diet clean during your free time? Share them now!

  • Encourage

    encouraged this.



    For me it's eating more meals with my family that is tougher on the weekend. My elderly parents have sometimes vastly different ideas of what constitutes a healthy meal than I do. When my mom cooks she believes that you must have a protein (which is usually a major portion), a starch and a cooked vegetable. I on the other hand eat less meat and leaner cuts, eat more raw veggies and have cut a lot of breads, rice and pasta out of my diet. I also like ethnic and highly spiced food and they don't. As mom and I butt heads over the cooking it adds another layer of stress to the weekend.

    encouraged this.


    I love the Aussie tradition of a bbq lunch with salads galore. I have found that I pile my plate with fresh salads, little or no dressing, and then select a small portion of lean meat to accompany them. Yum! This is a traditional way to catch up with friends on the weekend.

    encouraged this.


    I'm so glad you posted this! I wake up later on Saturdays and Sundays so tend to miss breakfast and then not be hungry for lunch... cue inevitable overeat at dinner and throughout the evening. Have started getting up earlier even on the weekends just to get breakfast in, otherwise my eating goes horribly wrong.

    Cags R and Helene C encouraged this.


    I'm so glad you posted this! I wake up later on Saturdays and Sundays so tend to miss breakfast and then not be hungry for lunch... cue inevitable overeat at dinner and throughout the evening.

    Cags R and Rebecca M encouraged this.

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