Staying healthy at the weekend

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How many times have you done it, eat healthy all week long, delighted with yourself, feeling great and then the weekend comes, maybe eating out, a few drinks and everything goes out the window? You let your hair down, have fun and end up feeling absolutely awful and it takes till Wednesday to recover and get back to normal and you are left thinking ‘never again!’ or ‘its not worth it!’. You put up a few pounds, have a breakout, feel the Monday blues! What about if you could have all that fun at the weekend and your few drinks, letting your hair down and end up feeling fantastic, full of energy, hopping out of bed Monday morning, ready for the week ahead and managing to keep your weight stable along the way. Well there is hope….

A great starting point is to do a bit of listening to your body. Really try and zone in on what foods makes you feel good and what foods don’t, what makes your jeans feel a little tighter, what leaves you feel bloated, tired or stodgy and what leaves you feeling nice and light and ‘clean’. A great way to do this is to keep a food diary for 2 weeks and weekends, writing down everything you put past your lips, and in addition writing down how you felt after eating it. Doing an exercise like this can really get you thinking about food and it may become very clear what foods agree with you or not.

So when shopping for the weekend or planning your meals, chooses unlimited veg, fruit, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds as much as possible as your ingredients!

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When eating out choose from fish, meat, veg, salad, ask for no bread basket, fill up on plenty of veg, opt for lighter desserts including fruit, choose starter or dessert instead of both

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Have your few drinks by all means, but remember to drink plenty of water in between, your head with thank you in the morning!

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For a great weekend outing head to a local country market or to a restaurant with a focus on healthy eating, and using local produce.

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Most restaurants now have a good range to accommodate people with different eating requirements, and are usually very open to people requesting different things. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the menu, enquire where the food has come from, how it is cooked. And gluten free options are now widely available when eating out, and they are not just for coeliacs, if you feel wheat and gluten leave you feeling very bloated or tired, why not opt for the gluten free option while it is available, you may just feel a lot better at the end of the meal.

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Take your time when eating, try to employ some mindful eating while you have the time at the weekend. Taking the time to prepare a meal, sitting down relaxing, focus on what you are eating, enjoy the tastes and the flavours and chewing your food well. Your digestion will thank you!

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Plan ahead for meals, whether you are eating in or out. If heading out you could plan to have meat or fish with veg and salad, or maybe opt for a starter or a dessert, instead of both.

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We all love a treat at the weekend, so have a stash of healthy treats at the ready or play around with recipes of sugar free, snacks made with dark choc, fruit, nuts, seeds, dates, coconut oil, nut butters etc

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Have some fun cooking at the weekend while you have the time. Get all the family involved, it is a really great activity to do together, the smallies love it and the biggies too! Try some of your old favourites, using some healthier alternative ingredients. Pancakes, waffles, french toast, cooked breakfasts can all be enjoyed by both you and your body with a few simple tweeks!

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Top tip – The morning after the night before, try to override your brain when it is telling you to reach for salt, sugar and trans fats, you eat these and end up feeling worse as a result. You think it is last night’s drinks making you feel so bad, but dehydration and rubbish food just add to the problem. So grab a large glass of water and keep hydrated for the day and when it comes to food, if you could reach instead for fruit or veg, or a nutrient packed smoothie or juice, or an omelette packed with veg or some flourless banana pancakes would be great packed with potassium, good to settle the tummy, and plenty of protein, will keep you full for longer. You will see a few changes like this and your hangover may not be as bad!!

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