It's Monday morning, and you struggle to wake up. The week is just starting, but already you're feeling weary and bloated--like you need a vacation.

You thought you were getting a "weekend," but instead you are suffering from WEAK ENDS, departures from the routines that keep you feeling alert, sound, and fit during the week.

For many of us, Saturday and Sunday morph from a relaxing, fun two days into a period that lacks the structured self-care we work so hard to keep in place during the week. The result? You're set up for a whole week of stress and struggling to catch up, lacking the energy and focus that keep you productive.

Especially if you are looking to gain vitality or drop extra pounds, be on the lookout for these common weekend slips that can stall or reverse the results you want.

1) "Weak-End" Sleeping
Resist the temptation of long sleep-ins on the weekend. Staying in bed hours later than usual can be an exhausting luxury.

Often, the pattern begins with staying out late on Friday and Saturday night. This leads to sleeping late on the following mornings, which in turn makes it difficult to fall asleep at a regular bedtime on Sunday night. Sound familiar? (If you have young children, you are excused.) That translates into meeting Monday morning deprived of sleep--and maybe reaching for extra coffee and something too sugary to give you the energy fix you need to think, focus, and perform. If the pattern continues throughout the week, the cycle of sleep deprivation, stress, and overeating deepens come Friday night.

Your Weekend Fix: If weekends mean you sleep more than 2 hours past your regular wake-up time, set your alarm. Consistency in your sleep schedule ensures a good night's rest on Sunday followed by an alert, refreshed Monday morning. If staying up late on Friday and Saturday nights makes this plan difficult, a 20-minute nap (at the most) will help.

2) "Weak-End" Exercising
Though we may set aside time to exercise on Saturday or Sunday, it's easy to get sidetracked with projects, friends, and errands. Before we know it, the day has flown past--along with any possibility of exercising to achieve and maintain better health, stress release, weight loss, and energy.

Your Weekend Fix: Make a realistic plan for weekend fitness, and stick to it. Working out first thing in the morning is usually the best plan. Or, make exercise a social event by inviting friends to join you in going for a walk or trying a new activity. Staying in motion will make a difference in how you feel come Monday morning.

Your weekend is meant to be a time of renewal. Don't let it become a stumbling block instead. Grasp control of your plans beginning this weekend--because it's a sure thing, keeping up the momentum you gain during the week and carving out time for self-care is crucial to overall wellbeing.

3) "Weak-End" Eating
We work so hard practice good wellness habits during the week...but for some of us, that goes out the window with a weekend full of social events. Alcohol, irregular meal times, and a vacation mentality can override good judgment. Lack of consistency leads to indulgence and fluctuating blood sugar, which negate gains from the week before. Often, weight loss plateaus can be traced to poor "weak-end" eating choices.

Your Weekend Fix: Plan ahead. A good plan will let you navigate social situations without encountering those frustrating plateaus or, worse, backsliding.

Being consistent with your eating plan is the key to success, regardless of the day. Enjoy time with friends and family, but take a few steps to limit the damage indulgence can wreak.
- Eat regularly throughout the day, especially when you'll be going out for meals. "Eating before you eat" will keep from being so hungry you overeat.
- Going on an outing? Bring along healthful snacks such as nuts, cheese, and fruit.
- Pace alcohol consumption so you aren't tempted to fill up on bread, desserts, or other foods that sabotage weight maintenance.

Author's Bio: 

Roberta Roberts Mittman, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., M.S., is a nutritional and lifestyle consultant, holistic mindset mentor, and nationally board-certified acupuncturist. Using natural, drug-free techniques, Roberta opens the door to complete mind-body health. Roberta's goal is not only to relieve patients' illness and discomfort, but to help them set realistic goals for physical and mental preventative care and overall wellness. Roberta believes in empowering individuals to be their own best healers.