Skip to content

15 Ways to Lose Weight Every Weekend

Don’t let your weekend undermine your weight loss.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

If you're on a successful health and fitness regimen—or even if you are just starting out on one—weekends can make or break your progress. It can be easy to slip into bad habits on the weekends, and undo all your good work during the week. By taking a few precautions and filling your weekend with fun, active, and helpful weight loss routines, there is no reason for your weight loss to slow down. Here are 15 weekend routines to keep you on the weight loss train.

Meal Prep

Close up cropped image of cutting board and couple cutting vegetables in the kitchen together, preparing food meal at home. Vegetarian healthy food

Meal prepping on the weekends helps ensure smart food choices during the week. "Many times unhealthy foods are chosen because of convenience," registered dietitian Silvia Veri tells Beaumont Health. "If we can take the time out to plan meals, write a grocery list and have fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans available, they will become convenient and eaten more often."

Take a Stroll

Young couple strolling in the park

Taking a nice walk when you have time is good for your physical and mental health, and helps burn fat. "A brisk 30-minute walk burns 200 calories," says the Arthritis Foundation. "Over time, calories burned can lead to pounds dropped."

Be Active With Friends

Smiling young woman cycling with her friend on city street. Two young women riding bicycles outdoors and having fun.

Being active with friends is not only fun, it helps you be accountable and more likely to stick to your workout. "When you and your buddy encourage each other, you'll work harder (and get better results!), says the CDC. "And there's nothing wrong with a little friendly competition."

Stick To Sleep Routine

Woman stretching in bed after waking up, back view. Woman sitting near the big white window while stretching on bed after waking up with sunrise at morning, back view.

Don't let the weekend derail your healthy sleep habits. Good sleep is important for weight loss. "Be consistent," says the CDC. "Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends."

Healthy Breakfast

Avocado toast with poached egg on a wooden board. Breakfast concept.

Enjoying a protein-packed breakfast will help you make better food decisions through the weekend. "Protein is a very satisfying nutrient," Allegra Picano, RDN, tells Henry Ford Health. "Getting enough of it in your breakfast may help you eat more healthfully the rest of the day."

Don't Binge Drink

Barman prepares exotic cocktails at the night club

Binge drinking can undermine all your hard weight loss work, so be mindful of alcohol. "Drinking also adds calories that can contribute to weight gain," says the Mayo Clinic. "And drinking raises the risk of problems in the digestive system."

Hit the Gym

Personal trainer to practice sit-ups in the gym

Studies show hitting the gym on the weekends offers significant benefits, so don't be afraid to be a weekend warrior. "If you're able to achieve those guideline-recommended levels over those one to two days of the week, then our findings show that you're getting a similar benefit as people who are able to distribute it more evenly," Dr. Shaan Khurshid, staff electrophysiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, tells CNN. "You shouldn't be discouraged if you are one of those people where that kind of pattern works best for you."



Mediation is a great way to manage stress, which makes weight loss much easier. "Higher cortisol levels can also cause people to build up fat around their bellies," says University of Utah Health. "Learning to reduce stress through exercise and meditation—while also being more mindful about food—can have a large impact on your well-being and help you keep weight off in the long-term."

Work Out First Thing

Female runner checking fitness progress on her smart watch. Asian woman using fitness app to monitor workout performance, while walking through mountain trail.

Begin your day with a workout or a walk to start the day off on a positive note. "Morning workouts help reduce the possibility for obstacles to present themselves," Jasmin Theard, ACSM HFS, tells Piedmont Health. "There is also less opportunity to make excuses."

Get a Massage

Young woman relaxing with hand massage at beauty spa.

Self-care is very important—get a massage to help you with recovery from your workouts during the week. "Massage therapy is safe and effective for people of all ages," Ivy Conrad, M.S.S.G.-L., tells the Mayo Clinic Health System. "It's not only a feel-good way to indulge or pamper yourself. It's a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are looking for a stress reliever."


Woman with cup of beverage reading book at table, closeup

Don't forget to spend time resting and recovering if your weekday workouts are intense. "Experts recommend taking at least one day off from your daily workout routine each week," says UCLA Health. "Taking a rest day after a particularly long or intense workout can be especially helpful."

Visit Family and Friends

Three generation white family on a beach smiling to camera, parents piggybacking kids, close up

Spending time with friends and family is shown to be beneficial to health and wellness. "Stress can actually encourage inflammation in the arteries, which is a precursor to atherosclerosis, or clogged arteries," according to Piedmont Health. "Having good friends and a strong social support network can relieve stress."

Spend Time In Nature

stylish hipster woman walking in grass and holding in hand herb wildflowers in summer mountains, travel concept, peaceful relaxing moment. happy earth day

Spending time in nature not only helps you burn fat, it's good for your mental health. "Getting out into nature can lead us to want to walk, bike, hike, or kayak more often," says UC Davis Health. "People typically engage in regular physical activity when they're in nature. So, stepping outside can help you keep a healthy weight or even lose weight by increasing activity levels."

Drink Lots of Water

Black man at gym, water bottle and relax to hydrate in muscle development, strong body and fitness. Commitment, motivation and bodybuilder with drink in workout challenge for health and wellness.

Don't forget about your hydration goals during the weekend. "Getting enough water every day is important for your health," says the CDC. "Water has no calories, so it can also help with managing body weight and reducing calorie intake when substituted for drinks with calories, such as sweet tea or regular soda."

Cook For Yourself

Happy mature middle-aged couple cooking vegetable vegetarian salad together in the kitchen, helping in preparation of food meal. Family moments, domestic homemade food

Home cooking is known to have benefits for health and weight loss. "We already know that the more people cook at home, the healthier their diet, the fewer calories they consume, and the less likely they are to be obese or develop type 2 diabetes," Monique Tello, MD, MPH, tells Harvard Health. "A growing body of scientific evidence supports teaching patients how to cook meals at home as an effective medical intervention for improving diet quality, weight loss, and diabetes prevention."

💪🔥Body Booster: Support your weight loss efforts by sticking to healthy habits.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more