Avoid Ruining Your Diet with non-food rewards and healthy choices | sixpackforgirls.com


Avoid Ruining Your Diet with non-food rewards and healthy choices

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avoid ruining your diet at the weekend
SO! It’s the weekend – the time where, at all costs, you want to avoid ruining your diet by making healthy choices and using non-food rewards as treats.

You’ve worked hard, you’ve trained hard, you’ve been very diligent and eaten properly all week too. The results are speaking for themselves – all the ways you’re tracking your progress show you’re moving in the right direction; awesome!

Now, where’s your head at?

Has it registered your progress, jumped for joy and already started plotting various weekend food and drink treats to indulge in – after all, you deserve them, right? A little celebration to commemorate your success is always a good thing 😀

Well it is…and it isn’t. It all depends on what you treat yourself with over the weekend and whether you avoid ruining your diet by NOT going completely over the top!

But what does completely over the top mean? Well, let’s suppose you decide to go out for pizza for dinner this weekend…

You kick things off with some garlic bread – 4 slices comes in at 468 calories; if you decide to stay away from the bread and chose garlic mushrooms instead, thinking it’s one of the more healthy choices, then you need to think again and add another 100 calories to that.

Perhaps you’d be better off sharing a starter…perhaps some nachos? Nachos to share contain 1087 calories.

With your starter you decide to have a glass of wine or beer, just a small one – add 125 calories for wine or 150 for beer – then it’s pizza time!

You’re undecided, but it’s a choice between a regular 9 inch margherita (6 slices at 188 calories per slice) or a regular 11-inch stuffed crust Margherita (6 slices at 235 calories per slice); you’re going to keep it simple and just have pizza, not the rest of the side bits and pieces (you’re trying to avoid ruining your diet remember 😉 )

However, as you’ve been so good all week you’re definitely going to have dessert – a piece of chocolate fudge cake (683 calories) and perhaps another glass of wine of beer.

At the end of your Pizza Hut treat dinner out, your waiter brings your bill to the table:

Starter – Garlic Bread: 468 calories
Pizza – Regular Margherita: 1128 calories
Dessert – Choc’ Fudge Cake: 683 calories
Drinks – Two beers: 300 calories

Let’s add some conservative estimates on to that for breakfast and lunch, and perhaps an afternoon snack – 250 for breakfast, 350 for lunch and say…150 for the snack.

In total, your calories for that one day will total just short of 3,500!  <—– This is NOT the way to avoid ruining your diet!

You all know the calorie equation for losing or gaining a lb of fat…

  • Burn 3,000 MORE than you consume to get rid lb of fat
  • Consume 3,500 MORE than you burn to gain lb of fat

If you use junk food and alcohol as your reward, you can easily undo all the progress you made during the week  and will have FAILED to avoid ruining your diet!

healthy choices to avoid ruining your diet
If you don’t want say goodbye to some sort of foody reward then just make them healthy choices – that doesn’t have to mean salad; look at these..

They’re high protien Strawberry and Blueberry muffins and they…

  • don’t contain anything refined
  • don’t contain any artificial sugar or sweeteners
  • contain hardly any fat
  • are packed full of fibre
  • come in at a mere 145 calories each
  • WILL help you to avoid ruining your diet (although not if you eat them all in one go!)

They are one of the recipes in Dave Ruel’s Anabolic Cooking cook book – don’t be put off by the name anabolic in the title, there are some SERIOUSLY scrummy recipes and healthy choices in there.

I can reliably inform you that a couple of those muffins, with a cup of coffee, will make you feel like you’ve treated yourself to something ‘naughty’ when you haven’t.

However, if you really want to get away from using food as a reward, and avoid ruining your diet over the weekend, then consider some of these non-food rewards as alternatives:

  • Buy yourself something small – I love painting my toenails; it’s rare to see them without some sort of colour on them. One of my non-food rewards is to peruse all the different colours and choose a new one to add to my collection – it makes me happy and not a calorie in sight to derail my progress <——- even more happy!
  • Buy yourself something bigger (as long as it’s not a bigger size of clothes!) – if your clothes are starting to hang off you, buy yourself a new top (perhaps, if you dare, that’s slightly too small for you at the moment!) or whatever takes your fancy.  It’ll make you feel good about staying on track and, if you went for that size smaller, will be a HUGE motivator to keep forging on and help you avoid ruining your diet (at any time, not just the weekend!).
  • Go somewhere – have you been wanting to go somewhere?  Perhaps to an art gallery, or something along those lines? Take some time out from the norm’ and go somewhere this weekend – this is reward time, remember – and go and tick these things off your list.  I live near Bletchley Park – it’s the home of the World War II Code Breakers who cracked the Enigma Code – and I’ve always wanted to go but never been.  THIS is one of the a non-food rewards I intend to indulge in over Christmas time 😀
  • Go for a walk – if you don’t live in the countryside, get in your car, drive somewhere stunning and WALK. Not only is that good for the soul, it’s will most definitely see you avoid ruining your diet over the weekend.
  • Go to the movies – this could be a challenge if you’re used to loading up with popcorn and ice cream before you take your seats.  But it’s just a habit and you can break that (yes, you can); if your movie theatres charge as much as ours do for sweets, drinks, popcorn and ice cream you’ll be saving yourself a fortune in the process (which you can spend on something small for your next non-food rewards!).  If all else fails – sneak in your own snacks, just make sure they are healthy choices.
  • Get a manicure – or a pedicure; BOTH, if you’ve reached a big milestone
  • Get a massage – I’ve never had a massage in a spa or salon; ever. It’s definitely going to have to be ticked off my non-food rewards list some day soon.
  • Buy yourself a new book – I love reading and new books have always been a bit of a treat for me. The best place to read your non-food rewards treat book, by the way, is going to be in the bath!

There are all sorts of non-food rewards to treat yourself with and you know what the biggest reward of all is…?

Waking up on Monday morning knowing you did everything you could to avoid ruining your diet over the weekend.

Have a FANTASTIC one, whatever it is you’re doing.

Be strong, be happy, be AWESOME!
Sarah - founder of Six-Pack for Girls

  1. November 19, 2011


    Really good reminder Sarah. The weekends can be a challenge. I’m rewarding myself with a bike ride up the Big Sur coast of California. San Simeon to Raggged Point. Thirty miles of amazing coast line. I think it burns around 1000 calories!! 😉

    • November 19, 2011


      Oooh Karen, that sounds like an AMAZING non-food reward – can I come?!!

      Sarah x

  2. November 18, 2011


    Thanks for the reminder, Sarah! This is something that I need to be more careful about for sure… so easy to just say sod it for the weekend.

    • November 19, 2011


      My pleasure Abi 🙂 You’re right, it is TOO easy to let everything go at the weekend – so the reminder was just as much for me as for everyone else 😀

      Sarah x

  3. November 18, 2011


    Thank for the reminder. It’s so easy to forget (who cares! It’s the weekend!) and eat everything you want.

    • November 19, 2011


      Isn’t it just! And it doesn’t seem to matter whether you’ve had a good or bad week: bad week = comfort, good week = celebration!

      Have a great not-eating-everything-you-want weekend Rose 😀

      Sarah x

    • November 18, 2011


      It’s enough to put you off chocolate fudge cake and pizza for six-pack life!


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