Examples of Secret Sugars:
Sue Cunningham, PhD, RD/LD, CDE, FAND
UT Health Services
2012 Texas Outstanding Dietetic Educator
2015 Texas Outstanding Dietitian
Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Fellow, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Don’t Let the Weekends Set You Back
Many people find their healthy groove during the weekday, but come Friday night through Sunday, even the best intentions go out the window. Parties, dinners out, drinking, sports events, spending hours on the couch, and traveling can all interfere with a healthy routine. Enjoy the weekend to the fullest with these simple tips and feel good come Monday morning.
Start the Day off Right
Begin your weekend days with some physical activity. Go for a (short or long) walk or hike, join a gym class or simply do some light stretching shortly after you wake up. Make plans with a buddy or family member to stay accountable. Movement at the start of the day helps regulate blood sugar levels, boosts energy and mood and sets the tone for making healthy choices the rest of the day.
Eating Out and Eating In
Plan ahead. If you make plans for breakfast, lunch or dinner, be sure that the other two meals are especially healthy. Check out the menu online ahead of time and choose three of your top choices. This way when you get to the restaurant you already know what you want to order without the social distractions. Save calories by skipping on the bread or chip basket. If alcohol is involved, limit your- self to two drinks (for men) and one drink (for women) and be sure to drink plenty of water or club soda so you stay hydrated.
If you are staying around the house more during the weekend, try to eat relatively similar to your weekday schedule. Eat three meals and one snack, spaced about 4-5 hours apart, to avoid consistent snacking all day. If snacking during the day is a weakness, eliminate tempting foods and replace with healthy foods. Try to eat without distractions. Studies show that if we eat while we are distracted we eat more because our body doesn’t register that we are full. Turn off the television, put away the books, cell phones, laptops and magazines and just focus on the food. Although weekends are time to get multiple things accomplished at once, try eating meals without any distraction and see if you feel more satisfied with less.
Whether you are hosting or being hosted, make or bring a healthy dish that you know you can eat. Good options include a vegetable platter with light dip, cucumber slices with chicken or tuna salad (see recipe below), a large Greek salad or a fruit salad. If you are unable to bring a dish-make sure to have a light snack (apple and string cheese or almonds) prior so that you do not show up ravenous. Fill half of your plate with the main vegetable dish and fill the other half with food of choice.
Plan for the Week Ahead
Make time for grocery shopping, make a shopping list (and stick to it) and plan meals for the upcoming week. Prep or batch cook food ahead of time so that weekday evening meals and lunches can be assembled in no time at all.