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We like to think that our semi-saintly weekday diets balance out Saturday splurges, but Health.com shows you three weekend food traps you need to avoid.
It happens to the best of us: We try to eat healthy Monday through Friday, but then blow it on the weekend.
"The structure of a weekday routine makes it easier to stick to a healthy eating plan, but on weekends there's less structure, and temptations are everywhere," says nutritionist Joy Bauer, M.S., R.D., author of Slim and Scrumptious: More Than 75 Delicious, Healthy Meals Your Family Will Love.
Food trap No. 1: Eating like a kid
Chili-cheese fries would never cross your lips on, say, a Wednesday. But there you are on Saturday afternoon, treating the kids (and yourself) to a drippy, decadent post-game snack. "Healthy" goes out the window as you finish off that leftover bacon slice on their plate at breakfast, join them for a post-soccer ice cream cone and help yourself to that extra slice of pizza at dinner.
Food fix: BE A PICKY EATER
Food fix: CHOOSE SMART SIDES
Food fix: BYOS (BRING YOUR OWN SNACKS)
Food trap No. 2: GRAZING AT PARTIES
Weekends can easily turn into a buffet of mindless nibbling and drinking. It doesn't matter if you are dining on buffalo wings or swanky canapés—soon you've inhaled countless calories.
Food fix: RUIN YOUR APPETITE
Try two cups of lentil or black bean soup, an apple with two tablespoons of nut butter, or a chopped salad topped with a can of light tuna and tossed with a low-cal vinaigrette.
Food fix: TALK MORE, EAT LESS
Food fix: DRINK MORE
Food fix: BACK AWAY FROM THE BRIE
Food fix: BREAK A SWEAT
Food trap No. 3: Hibernating at home
After a full-throttle workweek, it can be tempting to make weekends about vegging out. We're all for kicking back, but the danger is when you slack off on smart eating too.
You have nada but java for breakfast, then fall into nonstop-grazing mode (cookies, tortilla chips, olives) while you watch your TiVo-ed shows, read and catch up on Facebook.
Chilling out may mean indulging in foods you avoid all week long, like a thick malt from your neighborhood ice cream shop, or spending a leisurely day baking and cooking—sampling as you go.
Food fix: EAT "UNLIMITED" FOODS
Food fix: HAVE A HEALTHY SNACK FOR BREAKFAST
Food fix: KEEP YOUR MOUTH BUSY
Food fix: DO MEALS
And getting those leftovers out of sight is the easiest way to ensure that you don't blow precious calories on more of the same when it'd be much more fun to end the meal with a bite of chocolate or a big bowl of berries.