Weekend Warrior

Working toward eating healthy and exercising seems so much easier during the week. The weekend just SCREAMS- let’s go out! Let’s eat delicious food! Grab drinks! Food- Fun- Friends- etc. etc. Let’s parrrr-tay!

This post is for those of you trying to keep your calorie intake in check and slightly freak out about how to manage it during the weekend. We all know it’s a hell of a lot easier to overload on calories you normally wouldn’t consume after a few drinks or the strong playful encouragement of friends. Birthdays and truly special occasions are definitely a time to splurge a little BUT for the average weekend I present to you…

Ten Weekend Warrior Tips:

1. If you’re going to drink, do so more efficiently:

  • Don’t drink what calories you have in sugary mixers- ask for diet sodas or get my classic drink: a vodka soda with lemon (all the calories are in the alc).
  • NOTE: Tonic is not soda water and has calories. It’s also full of sugar.
  • Just stay away from flavored shenanigans like coffee liqueurs and schnapps.
  • Basically, a typical 1.5 oz. shot of vodka, rum, whiskey, other hard liquors has 100 calories soooo what you mix with it REALLY matters.
  • Not all beers are created equal! It will blow your mind looking at the calorie count on some beers. You can look any/all up online- look up your favorites before going out and pick the best of the bunch in terms of calories and ABV (my go to? Rolling Rock)
  • You can assume a glass of wine will have around 120 calories (red or white). It’s a safe calorie number to guesstimate on (but its numbers are also all online).
  • Basically, the simpler the better. PLUS drinks that focus more on the alcohol itself and less on the mixers/sugar will make you look more like a badass.

2. Do your research

  • Know you’re going out to eat? Try to suggest places with friends so you can maybe figure out ahead of time where you’re going and what you’ll order.
  • Wherever it is your going- movies, baseball game, etc.- look up calorie counts ahead of time on food you might buy that won’t have nutrition labels so you don’t feel anxious and have a better idea of what you’re eating.
  • Researching and just thinking about what you’re doing later will make you more conscious of what you’re throwing in your body.

3. Pace yourself, child

  • Eat slow, enjoy your food, focus on the conversation and the people you’re with.
  • Baskets of chips at Mexican places can be hard to avoid so if you can’t or honestly don’t want to, eat sparingly. There’s no need to woof down half a basket of tortilla chips before your meal. Load each chip UP with salsa (that’s the healthy part).
  • Baskets of bread at Italian places- similar situation- eat sparingly if you can’t or don’t want to avoid them. Your meal will be MORE than enough food. Be patient.
  • Don’t chug those drinks. They’re not going anywhere. Drink at a good pace and intersperse water occasionally between drinks (your body will REALLY thank you- especially the next day).

4. Have relatively healthy snack foods on hand at home or don’t drunk eat

  • (Ughhhh depending on your level of drunkeness, this one is so hard sometimes)
  • WALK AWAY from McDonalds. Stahp. No. I mean it. Go home.
  • I dare you, DC residents, to look up the calories in Jumbo Slice.
  • If you need/want something once your home, eat some pretzel crisps or low cal chips you have on hand, drink some water, and go to sleep.
  • Craving something more substansive? If you have something like lean pockets or low cal ice cream treats, I’ve found they’re a good save (and better than a lot of the things you could be throwing down).

5. Don’t open a tab at bars

  • It’s a lot easier to add to your amount of drinks when you can just throw it on your tab- the process of signing for your card or waiting for your change every time might just be annoying enough when you’re drunk to make you think… hmmm is it worth it?

6. Give/Take/Swap

  • Going out to eat AND then getting drinks? Get something pretty healthy at dinner and then splurge on the alcohol. Or eat something you really love at dinner and then only get one or two drinks when you go out.
  • Try and sneak in snacks to places you go. Especially at long baseball/sporting games. Get that hot dog! Get that pretzel! But try and bring in some snacks to supplement that so you won’t cave and polish off a 1,000 calorie bag of peanuts or chili cheese fries on top of that.
  • Compromise with yourself and make fair tradeoffs. All good relationships are based in give and take- this includes the one with yourself (ex. eat that cupcake or dessert now, nix one of your drinks you normally would have had later- swaps like this make a difference!)

7. Eat healthy when you can 

  • On the give and take note- if you know you’re going out for a meal or drinks or whatever, eat healthier at your other meals that day.
  • If going out for alcohol, eat a a nice, quality meal that’s good for your body.
  • Pay extra attention to little snacks here and there- save up for the extra calories you’ll be spending later.
  • Vegetables- order them. Just try and get them steamed and/or don’t be afraid to ask your server how they’re cooked.
  • Eliminate some aspects of the meal, ask your server for light cheese, no bread, light sauce, etc. etc. Again, don’t be afraid to pull a Sally of When Harry Met Sally and customize/ask questions.

8. Water and lots of it

  • I pointed this out in the pace yourself tip- buttttt water fills you, hydrates you, and keeps you consuming at a slower pace.
  • People overeat all the time without realizing their body was actually satiated- dehydration can also mask itself as hunger.
  • Drink water throughout the day, at dinner, and out wherever.

9. Exercise!

  • If you have the time (or can make the time)- workout that day!
  • Don’t kill yourself or anything, but working out revs the metabolism. When you’re working out regularly you can consume more without packing on the pounds.

10. Walk or dance it out

  • Walk to destinations when possible.
  • Stand at bars! Stand at concerts! Take that 7th inning stretch literally. Walk up stairs.
  • DANCE and move your body when you can!

Final notes:

  • While I really mean everything I just advised- DO NOT beat yourself up for indulgences.
  • At the end of the day, that extra drink or small splurge at dinner won’t make you gain anything worth noting BUT remember that slippery slopes happen and don’t let your indulgences get out of control.
  • IF you do get out of control and feel like crap the next day- remember- it’s a new day. Drink a big glass of water, breathe, be rational, go for a walk, and eat well that day. If your body will let you, exercise. If not, relax and plan a fun workout for the next day.

As I’m getting older, I’m realizing my body cannot handle what it used to. I went from zero hangovers to always having a slight hangover at the very least. boo. Sophomore year in college Allison is judging me REAL HARD.

These tricks will not only keep your waistline in check but will make you feel more like a real person the next day. Yay for being able to go out on the weekends and not feel awful!

Send me YOUR tips and tricks- I always need em too!

*This post was made possible because of Martin Cizmar’s Chubster: A Hipster’s Guide to Losing Weight While Still Looking Cool. See his book for more (and better) advice 🙂


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