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5 Ways to Stick to Healthy Eating This Weekend

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by Tarryn Guttenberg (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer born in Johannesburg now living in Melbourne. I love travelling and have lived in London and Taipei as well as travelling in and around South Africa. I have a great interest in exploring and love to share my finds with others.
Published August 19th 2012
Healthy eating this weekend

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So you've worked hard this weekend and still managed to sweat it out at the gym. You've eaten well and maintained a healthy eating plan. You said 'no thanks' to the office birthday cake and declined Sally's home baked chocolate chip cookies. But now the weekend is approaching and you're at home. The fridge and pantry are readily available and you're set to meet friends at a fantastic restaurant in the CBD.

So how do you ensure a weekend splurge doesn't ruin your healthy diet goals?

Splurge with savvy

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All those with a sweet-tooth raise your hands. As humans we have an innate desire to seek sweet-tasting foods and many of us enjoy that quick burst of energy a 'sugar-hit' can give you. This weekend instead of reaching for a doughnut or cake on the weekend choose your sweet treat more wisely.
Consider sweet fruits like strawberries, papaya, melons or other in season fruits.
A home made smoothie with low fat yoghurt, milk or a dairy alternative like soy or almond milk blended with fruits like banana or mango and a handful of ice.
1 small apple with half a tablespoon of good honey for dipping
Two squares of good dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa), which has been seen to reduce heart disease (abcnews, 2012)
cup of dried fruit

Perfect portions

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When dining on the weekend sometimes it is hard to resist your favourite treat and in fact for some can lead to overindulgence if you totally abstain. So why not allow yourself something special but in a controlled portion? This type of mindful eating with your personal permission to indulge can allow you to better maintain your weight. Great ideas include mini or treat sized chocolates or lollies, shared desserts when dining out or simply ask waiters to provide you with a smaller portion of your chosen treat.

Socialising without the chow

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Mostly as a society we automatically associate socialising with food. This is a great opportunity to try new things and experiences without food playing a central role in your mingling. Instead of a restaurant or coffee date why not join friends for a walk in the local area, an adventure through the CBD, or some window shopping through the local shopping centre or one of Melbourne's famous shopping streets (like Bridge road)? If you're feeling more adventurous, consider a trip to the zoo, or perhaps a museum. Evening activities could include bowling, a stroll along the beach front or Southbank or some exuberant dancing and karaoke.

Don't stop moving

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After a long week of work and gym it can be tempting to forgo the gym in place of a more stationary position on the couch. Exercise doesn't have to be a hard sweat at the gym and it can be beneficial for your training, your body and your mind to keep yourself moving even on the weekend. A gentle walk around the block, a stroll to the shops instead of taking the car, a yoga class or stretching at home, simple vacuuming, dusting or washing the floors, or perhaps a home made circuit can keep the calories burning.

Low calorie alcohol swaps

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Moderation is of course the best course of action when it comes to alcohol consumption. But you can go one better by making wise choices and keeping those daily calories low. Wine is considered the lowest calorie alcoholic beverage with both white and red wines equating to just over 100 calories for 160ml or a medium sized glass.

Spirits like vodka, gin, bourbon and whisky average around 80 calories per standard shot, which is quite reasonable. The calories increase with mixers. When ordering spirits ask for low calorie or diet sodas, low calorie juices or my favourite soda water and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Beer is also a reasonable choice with a 285ml glass (standard pot) of light beer equalling 71 calories, the same of full strength beer being 103 calories and the same of low carb beer being 83 calories.

Stay tuned for more great ideas for healthy eating.
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