You can blame your Monday morning muffin top on your weekend indulgences! A study from the University of North Carolina found that we generally eat an extra 222 calories per day over the course of a weekend. That means our Friday, Saturday, and Sunday pig-outs could result in a weight gain of almost 10 pounds per year! So here’s how to keep your weekend calories in check.

  • Let’s start with Friday night happy hour. 40-percent of the extra calories we consume on the weekend come from alcohol. And today’s margarita is three times the size of a margarita served 30 years ago. So between drinks and bar food, you could easily be consuming a thousand calories in one sitting. And according to the UCLA Center For Human Nutrition, alcohol stimulates your appetite, and at the same time lowers your inhibition, and that double whammy ends up in a beer and hot wing binge. The fix? Save a lime wedge from each drink. And save every chicken bone. Studies show that having a visual cue of how much you’ve consumed, can help you eat and drink less.

  • Another weekend fat trap? Sleeping in! People who wake up late, tend to skip breakfast and move straight into brunch. But breakfast tends to be the lowest calorie meal of the day, about 300 calories. But when it turns into brunch, it becomes 600 calories. The fix? Eat a little something when you wake up, and wash it down with coffee. The caffeine will stimulate your nervous system, and torch 100 extra calories. 

  • The final weekend pitfall: ‘I don’t wanna cook’ syndrome. The USDA found that the average meal eaten out is 150 calories more than something you would prepare for yourself. And according to the National Restaurant Association, weekends are the most popular days for dining out, and we typically do it more than once. The fix? As we’ve said before, start with a broth-based soup or a salad with oil and vinegar dressing. You’ll eat a lot less of your main course thanks to the water content, fiber and healthy fat.