Eating healthy and meal prepping during the week is relatively easy. We have a routine, a schedule, and dedicated work hours. We can make all of our meals on a Sunday and know we will have breakfast at 7:00 AM, lunch at 12:00 PM, an afternoon snack at 3:00 PM, and dinner at 7:00 PM. No problem!
Then the weekend comes around….
Maybe you like to sleep in a bit? Maybe the kids have soccer practice and then you wanted to go to the stores? Maybe you had a family trip planned? In fact, rarely will two weekends ever have the same set time schedule. Even more difficult is that not everyone may have the same goals as you. Your kids may love a certain lunch spot in town. Or maybe your friends want to catch up over drinks one night?
So, do you really have to give up your weekends with family and friends to be successful? The answer is emphatically NO.
Food isn’t just calories. Food is social and cultural. It’s part of how we connect with our loved ones. If you are cutting out quality time with friends and family to reach a number on the scale, you may achieve weight loss but you’re not creating a healthier and happier lifestyle. Instead, it’s important to learn how to achieve our goals and weave them into these weekend rendezvous with friends or into a Saturday date night with your partner.
Below are some key steps you can take to stay on track with your meal plan during the weekends!
Here’s an example of how you may plan a Saturday out with friends and family when you’re eating out for each meal!
You leave the house early in the morning to get the kids to soccer practice. You grab an Obvi Meal Replacement Bar and a medium apple. Quickly, you’d scan the Obvi bar and track the fruit in your tracker. It adds up to 360 calories. Your total for the day is 1500 calories so you have another 1140 calories left to enjoy.
For lunch the kids want to stop at Chipotle. Normally, you’d be a little concerned about going off track. However, now you have guide rails. Instead of winging it, you decide to go on the Chipotle website to use their nutrition calculator. You quickly create a burrito bowl with chicken, brown rice, black beans, guacamole, and lettuce. It’s only 755 calories! Even better, you notice that sour cream is 120 calories less than guacamole...You make the swap and your meal drops to 635 calories. SCORE! Now you can enjoy your meal and still have 505 calories left for the day.
For dinner, you want to have a quick date night with the hubby. This time you are going to a local restaurant so there’s no barcode to scan or nutritional information available....No problem! Look at the menu and choose what you’d normally eat. In this case, you’d normally get a grilled chicken salad. So, let’s look online for a large chain that offers a grilled chicken salad. You learn that Chili’s has a grilled chicken salad that is only 430 calories! Great! That’s well within your caloric goals. Though, to be safe you should order the dressing on the side to limit your portions.
So, despite not meal prepping, you’ve managed to eat on the go three times, enjoy yourself, and still be well within your calorie goals. Remember, if you forget a meal or can’t meal prep for a day, it’s okay! We aren’t aiming for perfection. We are aiming for real. You will always have days where things don’t go as planned. The key is learning how to use the tools at your disposal to be successful in any environment!