The August Bank holiday is just a few days away, cue weekend trips, barbeques and plenty of eating and drinking with friends and family. All that socialising is brilliant fun, but it could spell disaster for your diet, so we’ve put together our top tips for enjoying the weekend without derailing your diet.
Bank holidays are great for relaxing but what if you swapped a few days of lounging around the house for trying some new, energetic activities that also burn calories. You could go bike riding, roller skating or swimming – all of which would burn over 300 calories per hour. If you’re on a budget, why not try an hour’s hike in the countryside which is equal to 430 calories burned. Fancy trying something new? An hour of rock climbing would burn between 500 and 900 calories and visiting your local dry ski slope is 360 calories in an hour. Keep moving and stay on top of your goals.
Eat your greens (first)
When you get to a BBQ or party the temptation is to load up on carbs, snacks and fatty foods as soon as you get there, but a great tip is to head for the salad first. That way you will fill up on some of the healthier, low-calorie offerings first and will be able to hold back on the unhealthier options. Go for protein next, trying to choose lean meat and fish over fatty burgers and sausages. Then finally, you can have your carbs, but by this point you’ll hopefully be full of good stuff that you’ll hardly want to touch the bread, chips and pasta. Another tip is to watch the sauces as these can be packed full of sugar and fat.
Treat yourself (but not with food)
Often, people look at food as a reward for working hard all week, and when it comes to bank holidays that’s dangerous territory – it almost gives you free reign to eat as much as possible. A simple psychological tip is to try to reframe what you think of as a treat. Ruining your diet isn’t a treat or ‘reward’ and will only make you feel worse once the weekend is over. Instead say to yourself ‘if I keep my diet on track this bank holiday weekend, I will allow myself to buy that new dress/lipstick’ or whatever it is you’ve had your eye on. Or book yourself a facial, manicure or pedicure that’ll help you feel even more fabulous!
Beware of empty calories
Drinks are one of the biggest culprits, but there are plenty of foods that offer little or no nutritional value while also stacking up to a large percentage of your daily calorie count. The average milkshake has 356 calories, while a can or bottle of tonic water is 124 calories and that’s before you’ve even added the alcohol. Focus on foods that are going to fuel you and fill you up while offering a good range of nutrients and vitamins.
So, be sure to enjoy yourself this bank holiday weekend, but don’t look at it as a weekend off, simply substitute some of the foods and activities you’d usually choose with healthier alternatives and you can still have fun while keeping your diet on track.