According to one study, people eat 37 more calories per meal on the weekends than on weekdays, which can add up to more than a few unwanted pounds. Watch for these common weight-loss landmines and swap in healthier activities instead.
Instead of drinking at happy hour...
Try: Pouring seltzer in a champagne glass, or having a glass of red wine
Here's Why: A sneaky source of calories (it's just liquid after all, right?), alcohol in excess can really slow down weight loss. Did you know that margaritas and mojitos pack over 150 calories a drink? Multiply that by two or three and you've got a recipe for fat creep. To get in a festive spirit, go for seltzer in a champagne glass and add a fun garnish like a pineapple chunk or a maraschino cherry.
Vino lover? Happily, wine and weight loss can go hand in hand. Red wine contains resveratrol, an age-fighting nutrient that may improve exercise endurance and shield against weight gain. Women should stick to a four-ounce glass, where men can go up to six ounces. In a large study of nearly 20,000 middle-aged women of normal weight, the ones who were light to moderate drinkers had less weight gain and less risk of becoming overweight than those who abstained from drinking.
Instead of staying up late...
Try: Hitting the hay
Here's Why: It's natural to want to stay up later on weekend nights, since you don't have the alarm blasting come 7a.m., but keeping your sleep schedule as consistent as possible will keep your diet on track for two reasons. First, the later you stay up, the more vulnerable you are to midnight snacking. Second, sticking to a routine helps lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and the less stressed you are, the less likely you are to overeat.
Try: Taking small breaks to walk around
Here's Why: Carving out two or three hours on Sunday morning to read the paper might be great for your brain, but it's better for your body to get up and get moving frequently. Research shows that people who take frequent mini breaks had slimmer waists and lower levels of a protein that signals potentially dangerous inflammation than those who skipped out on taking short breaks.
Even better? Try reading the newspaper or your favorite magazine while taking a walk on a treadmill or on a stationary bike.
7 more ways to avoid weekend diet dangers >>
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