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How To Avoid Weekend Weight Gain

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You can easily gain 10 pounds over a three-day weekend. If you skip your weekend workouts, you could be on your way to wasting all the hard work you did in the weightroom during the week.

Make plans for the weekend just as you do for regular week days. It is crucial that you make plans for what you are going to eat, especially if you are traveling. Hasty eating decisions often lead to high-calorie fast food or overeating.

What about your workouts for the weekend?

I recommend you work out at least two of the three weekend days. Since time is at a premium on weekends, intense 30-minute bodyweight cardio sessions work well because you get the dual benefits of strength and cardio in one workout.

Bodyweight exercises like squats, squat jumps, pushups, pullups, burpees, inverted rows, triceps dips on bars, jumping jacks, planks, bridges and back extensions are exercises you can do anywhere.

But, you must plan to do it or you probably won’t.

In the following excerpt from a Medline Plus article, “Can't Find Time to Exercise? Schedule It, Experts Say,” it says:

"A lot of it has to do with time, said Michael R. Bracko, a sports physiologist and director of the Institute for Hockey Research in Calgary, Canada. Not just the amount of time people have, but also the amount of time they think they have.

" 'In this day and age, with all the stuff we have going on, probably the number one reason is perceived lack of time,' Bracko said. 'People don't view exercise or physical activity as important enough to schedule it within their day. They can't find the time to work out. They've got kids, they're driving around, they're working, they're commuting.' "

If you are traveling for a long four-day weekend, take extra steps to manage your weight. Follow my three tips:

1. Walk 30 minutes every day.

2. Exercise at your hotel.

3. Plan your menus and pack your food. You can also plan healthy meals at the restaurants you will be visiting. This will help you avoid the fast food trap and binge-eating.

An excerpt from a Mayo Clinic article, “Travel workout: Fitness tips for business travelers” states you should pack for fitness:

Before your trip, contact the hotel and ask about on-site or nearby fitness facilities — then pack accordingly. Your travel-workout essentials may include:

· Athletic shoes
· Exercise clothing
· Swimsuit
· Jump-rope
· Resistance tubing
· Tennis racket
· Music and headphones
· Exercise video or DVD
· Weightlifting gloves

Here are some more of my tips to help you manage your weight during the weekend:

1. If you aren't exercising, the weekend would be a great time to start. I have a goal of at least trying to maintain my pre-weekend weight during the weekend.

2. Stick to your normal meal plan as much as possible during the weekend.
You will gain weight if you maintain a caloric surplus (eat more calories than you burn).

3. If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation. Alcohol has seven calories per gram.

4. Don't graze during the weekend. Grazing is eating haphazardly without purpose. The calories will stack up quickly if you do this.

5. Stay active as much as possible. Walking every day would be a great start. Housework, yardwork and pet-walking also fit the bill.

6. Take half your weight in pounds and drink that many ounces of water every day. If you weigh 120 pounds, drink at least 60 ounces of water every day. This will help you eat less.

7. Get your rest during the weekend to keep your metabolism functioning properly. If you are exhausted after the weekend, your work week and exercise will probably suffer.

Manage your weight this weekend with proper planning!


Medline Plus article, “Can't Find Time to Exercise? Schedule It, Experts Say”
A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health
Michael R. Bracko, sports physiologist and director of the Institute for Hockey Research in Calgary, Canada.

Mayo Clinic article, “Travel workout: Fitness tips for business travelers”

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES, CPT is a Certified Personal Trainer and former NCAA Division I athlete. Mark is the owner of My Fitness Hut, Her Fitness Hut and Sports Fitness Hut. Mark’s Fat Blaster Athletic Training System has been proven to give his clients the fit, sculpted and athletic-type bodies they want. Visit Mark’s main site:

Your Fitness University http://yourfitnessuniversity.com

Reviewed September 30, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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