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It’s no secret that the weekend can be a challenge to your diet. You don’t want to seem like a stick in the mud but if your friends are eating out, it may be hard to watch your calories if you join them.

That doesn’t mean you have to stay at home, though, and there’s even room to indulge yourself a little, just make sure not overdo it. Also, remember that if you indulge yourself every single weekend, it can turn into a habit, and bad habits are the sort of thing that can break your diet so, let’s look at some ways you can stay on that diet over the weekend.

Plan in advance

If you’re going out with friends and family, get an idea of where you’re going so that you can check out the menu in advance. If you do this, you’ll be able to find the diet-friendly options and can stick to it when you order. Not only will this help your diet but it can also help avoid the anxiety and temptation involved about being forced to choose from a menu on the spot while staying faithful to your diet.

Workout at the weekend

Working out at the weekend doesn’t make you a weekend warrior, as long as you workout during the week as well. In fact, it might be a good idea to schedule some less intense workouts for the weekend so you don’t overdo it. It’ll help make your food choices clear as it’s just no fun to eat a big diet-busting meal and then hit them gym because you’d feel sluggish and counter-productive. It’ll also help you structure your time over the weekend, giving you a strong reason to remember why you started the diet in the first place.

Leave food out of your social plans

Everyone loves to meet up with friends, and if you make destination suggestions ahead of time you can make sure to avoid planning your social life around eating. Good options include going for a walk, getting a coffee, visiting a museum or going to a workout class instead.

Watch your alcohol intake

Alcohol isn’t necessarily banned but it’s worth remembering that drinks may contain a lot of calories, so they’re best in moderation. It’s also a good idea to choose alcohols without high-calorie mixers, such as a seltzer or go for a wine spitzer to dilute the calorie content.

Keep up your food diary

Food diaries are a popular way to stay on top of what you’re eating, but it’s not uncommon to find people neglect their diary over the weekend. Tracking your food consumption is a winning strategy to help you keep on your diet, so don’t neglect it and make sure to keep it up to date.

Don’t have a cheat day

Splurging on food can take you places you might not want to go. It’s quite easy to break a diet by allowing yourself a specific time when you can indulge and overdo it. One way to avoid this is to have small indulgences throughout the whole week. The reasoning behind this is that small indulgences remove the temptation for a big splurge at the weekend, and also help to remove the idea of guilt, which can affect your motivation. Just make sure to keep the indulgences small and aim for low-calorie alternatives such as nuts instead of chocolate bars.

Three bites and you’re out!

Another interesting trick to short-circuit any self-defeating psychology is the three-bite rule. It’s a good way to practice moderation by only taking three bites from an indulgence rather than eating the whole thing. Fancy a chocolate bar? Take three bites then throw the rest. Share a desert with a friend? Three spoons and then pass it on.

Be prepared

One of the reasons people lapse at the weekend is that they don’t have healthy options in the fridge. That often leads to ordering takeaway, which can in turn lead to overeating. You may have run out of ingredients by Friday, so one way around this is to break your shopping into two smaller amounts, and shop at the beginning and end of the week. This way you’ll have plenty of fresh ingredients for the weekend.