Updated: April 21, 2021
Long weekends are a real treat, especially when you can get together with friends and family — perhaps for the first time in a long time! They're a time to relax, kick back and enjoy the extra time off.
If you're trying to lose weight, barbecues and weekend gatherings can often be challenging to navigate since they are often centered around food. But don't fret! Use these strategies to stay on track with your health goals and continue your weight loss over the long weekend.
1. Eat your greens and bring a veggie tray
If you're a Jenny Craig member, load up on as many Fresh & Free Additions as you'd like! Make these non-starchy vegetables the stars of your meal. Because they're loaded with vitamins, low in calories and high in fiber, they're an excellent choice to keep you on track with your weekend weight loss goals.
Enjoy: Bring a crudité platter of carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, celery, peppers or other vegetables that provide a crunchy bite. If you’re looking to enjoy something from the grill, create a kabob of zucchini, onions and pepper, or bring some Portobello mushrooms to create a juicy “veggie burger” that you can wrap in lettuce.
Avoid: Watch out for sauces and marinades often used on the grill which can be high in sugar. Avoid fried foods and opt for grilled versions instead.
2. Remember that fiber equals fuller
Eating fibrous meals and snacks allows you to feel fuller, longer. Eat a fibrous breakfast before you go out for the day or barbecue at home.
Enjoy: Add a dollop of salsa to your Cheesy Egg and Bacon Skillet or heat up a bowl of Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. When you’re at a barbeque, vegetables, such as broccoli and snap pea, and fruits, like blackberries and raspberries, are high sources of fiber. However, all fruit and vegetables contain fiber, so you can’t go wrong.
Avoid: Foods made with refined carbs are typically low on fiber and can have you feeling hungry soon after eating them. Try to steer clear of white breads, pastas and sugar-filled treats like cakes and cookies.
3. Let fruit guide your sweet tooth
When it’s time for dessert, delight in some strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew or pineapple— just make sure to watch your portion size. If you're a Jenny Craig member, check out your Getting Started Guide for helpful tips.
Enjoy: Besides fruit, you can always enjoy your favorite Jenny Craig dessert as well! From rich, creamy Vanilla Caramel Swirl Reduced Fat Ice Cream to Chocolate Chip Cookies, these perfectly portioned treats will support your weight loss efforts and help you feel good while staying on track over the long weekend.
Avoid: Typical premade desserts are loaded with added sugar and fat. Avoid store-bought cupcakes, brownies and other treats. If you have an absolute favorite dessert that you just can't pass up — like your mom's homemade cookies — choose one and stick to a smart serving size. You can always indulge in your favorite foods, just be mindful of your portion sizes and the other foods you're eating throughout the day so you can continue to lose weight over the weekend.
4. Get enough sleep
It’s important to make sure that you also allow your body to recover and recharge so that you can actually enjoy all the activities you planned over the long weekend, so aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Not only will you feel well rested, but you’ll be clearer headed, too, which is important to continue making rational versus impulse decisions.
Set yourself up for restful night's sleep with these 10 sleep hygiene tips.
5. Sneak some extra movement into your day
Whether you’re getting dressed, tidying up, or preparing a side dish to bring to a barbeque, you can get some extra steps into your day by taking 10 minutes to crank up the music and have a dance party in your home!
Any kind of movement can add up quickly over the day and it doesn't need to be strenuous, either. Check out these 5 ways to increase your activity without breaking a sweat!
6. Use the PRP technique
When someone offers you food that doesn't support your health and weight loss goals, don't feel pressured to eat it! The PRP technique stands for Polite, Reason, Polite, and allows you to remain in charge of your choices. You can politely acknowledge the food (“Thanks, that looks great!”) then state your reason for refusing it (“I’m already full from these delicious vegetables!”) then politely get out of the offer (“Maybe next time!”).
7. Let your friends and family know about your goals
Be upfront with your friends and family about your weight loss and health goals. Anyone who has your best interest at heart will understand and want to be supportive of your efforts and choices.
8. Talk to a weight loss expert
If you're a Jenny Craig member, your coach has got your back! Your coach can help you create countless strategies for your activities and support your weekend weight loss goals. The best way to success is to rehearse your anticipated scenario to make a plan (and maybe even a back-up plan!) to stay focused on your weight loss goals while still enjoying your time surrounded by family and friends. Feel free to schedule an appointment at any of our local Jenny Craig centers to connect with a weight loss expert over the phone or safely in person. Being prepared for your day allows you to fall into the rest and relaxation long holiday weekends provide.
Enjoy your time with friends and family, and we wish you happy, healthy weekend!
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