How to stay on track over the weekend.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, even Friday morning you do great — CorePower, SoulCycle, Orangetheory. We name it, you’ve hit it. You’re following along in your Whole30 or Paleo cookbooks each weeknight for dinner, rotating between surprisingly satisfactory meal options and feeling good about it, too. Then Friday afternoon rolls around and all bets seem to be off, and you find yourself totally off-course. Suddenly, you’re feeling violently gluttonous and resistant to exercise, all while being relatively unproductive and dreading the impending Monday. Though jolly good fun was had Friday afternoon through Sunday night, those seemingly awesome two and a half days took their toll on a week that only has five other days in it.

How do we find a way to counteract these two extremes that are the week and the weekend? There’s a lot of ways to remedy that aggressive low that hits somewhere between Sunday night and Monday morning, and they all have one overarching theme — everything in moderation. We use the term in reference to just about everything, and it’s no less applicable when it comes to our weekends. While you should absolutely continue enjoying yourselves Friday through Sunday, moderation is the key to easing up on your physical and mental well-being during the rest of the week. We recommend keeping a focus on these certain basic but important factors that heavily affect your weekend, and therefore your week:

  1. Eat. Sure, weekends are the time to be indulgent with your diet, but vastly changing that diet Friday through Saturday can be much more dangerous than you realize. You can be a bit “bad,” but going all out is going to make you feel crummier than ever. To prevent you from going overboard, trying eating before meeting your friends. If you’re eating out with the kids, you’re probably finishing their meals anyway, so order something healthier for yourself before scooping up their untouched carb platter. Or if you foresee heavy meals in your future, make sure to eat a healthy breakfast. Or find healthier alternatives to swap out your first choice of the absolute worst thing on the menu.

  2. Drink. These are lessons that we should have all learned in college. These are also lessons we’ve since forgotten about and that we need to be reminded of. Don’t mix alcohols, drink water, be generally thoughtful about your booze consumption, etc. In whatever setting you’re drinking, whether it’s at the club or beside a high chair, these basic rules apply to heed off any level of hangover.

  3. Sleep. The problem weekends create for our sleep schedule is what is referred to as “social jet lag.” Getting less sleep on weekend nights by sticking with your usual wake-up time is actually more beneficial for you than sleeping in. It’s terribly confusing to both your mind and body to throw off your internal clock, regardless of the fact that you’re making up for a later night.

  4. Move. No one wants to hit the gym on a Saturday, but that doesn’t mean you should stay sedentary either. Plan a hike, bike or yoga session with friends that will motivate you to stay active on the weekends. Just because it’s exercise doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, so get outside and soak up some Vitamin D. Even morning mediation will help you stay in tune with yourself and keep you on track for the week to come. Or turn it into a family adventure. If you’ve got little ones, it’s especially important to keep them moving throughout the weekend, since they’re lacking their weekday phys-ed.

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