The week is going perfectly fine with the healthy meal routine. Then you hit the weekend. The options are endless. You give into your cravings and indulge. End result: All the efforts of the week has gone into vain. Sounds familiar? Don’t lose heart. We have all been there. A few changes to your routine can maximize the effectiveness of your healthy diet regime. • Cheat meals or Cheat days? Allowing yourself to indulge here and there actually helps keep you healthier in the long run. It also makes you less likely to get to the point where you give up and eat an entire tub of ice cream or a bag of chips. But how you indulge is the key. Cheat meals are scheduled meals that include indulgent foods that wouldn’t ordinarily be permitted on your diet. A cheat day is when you allow yourself to consume any foods you want over an entire day. Keeping your cheats confined to one meal and not going off the rail is always the suggested option. Rewarding yourself a day of cheat meal just for sticking to a weight loss plan is not a healthy thing to do. It’s better to have just one cheat meal and have wholeheartedly whatever you like. • Stay active Even though it’s your day off, you need not skip fitness altogether. Engage in some outdoor activities like a walk or jog around the Corniche for a great start to the day. Go for cycling in the Aspire Park or Al Biddah Park which has bike friendly trails. Even a good swim at the beach or pool can energize you. If you are feeling adventurous, you can go kayaking in the mangroves near Al Khor. Plus it’s a change from your daily grind at the gym. • Avoid skipping breakfast It’s a weekend and you sleep in for a few hours. Or sometimes you just think it’s better to make it a brunch. Whether it’s a weekday or weekend, there’s no denying the importance of breakfast. A healthy breakfast kick starts your metabolism, gives you the much needed energy after morning fitness activities, controls your appetite all day preventing you from overindulging the rest of the day. • Eating out Eating out with family or friends is an integral part of weekends. But that doesn’t mean you have to stuff on the burgers, fries or desserts. You can go for healthy yet tasty options like grills, salads, momos or sushi. Look for food that has been steamed, boiled, poached or roasted. Having a light and healthy snack before going out is also a good way to avoid overeating. Opt for water or herb teas instead of sugary drinks. Some restaurants also offer healthy alternatives in their menu. So next time you decide to dine at The Cheesecake Factory, check out their ‘Skinnylicious’ menu or try the ‘Guiltless Grill’ at Chili’s. • Pamper yourself After a long and busy week, weekends are the time to unwind and relax. Either you can pamper yourself to a luxurious day at the spa with a massage (relaxing, rejuvenating or energizing- the options are countless), manicure, pedicure, facial and body treatment. Or you can settle in the comfort of your home for the simple pleasures in life like grabbing a book, spending time with loved ones or enjoying a movie,reruns or music. If you are feeling outdoorsy, shopping at the Souq or even a desert safari will give you that much needed freshness. Anything that suits you.