From grocery shopping to weighing yourself, some days are better than others for certain tasks

Photographed by Christiann Koepke
Photographed by Christiann Koepke

Monday - Do the grocery shopping

You're more likely to make healthier choices and be able to resist temptations on Mondays, thanks to something called the 'fresh start effect'. It's a phenomenon that occurs at the start of every week, and U.S. researchers say it's strong enough to motivate people to adopt healthy, self-improving behaviours - like choosing to buy quinoa instead of a chocolate bar.

Go one better: Make sure you shop on a full stomach. If you're hungry you'll not only buy 19 percent more food than you need, you'll find you have 31 percent more high-calorie snacks in your trolley, too.

Tuesday - Schedule a doctor's appointment

On average you're about 30 percent more interested in your health on Mondays and Tuesdays compared to days later in the week. But research shows people are most likely to skip appointments scheduled for Mondays due to the 'Monday blues', so book in to see your GP on a Tuesday instead. The theory is that with your interest in your health at its peak, you'll be less likely to cancel on a Tuesday - great news if you're the one in three Australians who says they're too busy to see a doctor.

Go one better: Prepare a list of questions to ask your GP. People who do this get longer consultations and leave feeling more satisfied with the appointment, according to a review of 33 different studies.

Wednesday - Do some yoga

It's an effective mood lifter, which matters most at this point in the week, with Wednesday being pinpointed by scientists as the day we typically feel unhappiest. The dip in mood is down to the fact that midweek we're furthest away from both the weekend that just passed and the one coming up. But yoga helps by increasing levels of GABA, a brain chemical that regulates nerve activity and has been linked to depression when levels fall too low.

READ MORE: Women sharing pictures of their mental health glow-ups in this Twitter thread is just the kind of inspiration we need

Go one better: Eat some berries when you've finished your class. Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries contain natural ingredients that are very similar to something called valproic acid, which is used as a mood-stabilising medication.

Thursday - Watch your alcohol intake

We tend to do more exercise on Thursdays (a fact that continues through until Sunday) but as a result we also consume more alcohol compared to other days of the week. One reason for the effect could be that we feel like we deserve a reward on the days we've worked out, say the U.S. scientists behind the research.

Go one better: Get into the habit of pouring just half a glass whenever you're serving yourself an alcoholic drink. You'll wind up drinking 20 percent less alcohol overall without even thinking about it.

Friday - Weigh yourself before breakfast

You're most likely to get your lowest reading on the last day of the working week. That's according to Cornell University researchers, who discovered that a person's weight is often heaviest on Sunday night before falling to its lowest point on a Friday morning, after a week of healthy eating to compensate for overindulging on the weekend.

READ MORE: Are more young black women than ever playing "The Hunger Games"?

Go one better: Make sure you step on the scales every single Friday, especially if you're trying to lose weight. Research not only proves that you lose more weight when you weigh in once a week but that waiting longer than seven days between weigh-ins can lead to gaining kilos.

Saturday - Get up early

Or at least at the same time you do during the week. Otherwise you risk throwing your circadian rhythm out of whack, so that rather than feeling refreshed by getting a couple of extra hours of sleep on Saturday morning, you'll feel more tired than usual when Monday rolls around. Plus, you'll be in your best mood all week, have more energy and fewer aches and pains, say New York-based researchers. It's because weekends bring a sense of freedom to do whatever we want, so get up early to make the most of it.

READ MORE: Women get better sleep if they sleep next to their dog as opposed to human partners

Go one better: If you really need to catch up on some sleep over the weekend, try going to bed earlier rather than lying in. New research links hitting the sack early with a lower risk of experiencing negative thoughts, so an early night will boost the weekend's 'happiness effect'.

Sunday - Count your calories

You'll eat up to 20 percent more calories on the weekend than you would on the average weekday, which can lead to weight gain. One reason we tend to eat more on a Sunday without noticing is time - more time means more opportunity to indulge during a meal.

Go one better: Eat as many home-cooked meals as you can on the weekend. A 2014 study proved that people who do that consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who choose to eat out.

Sources: Magazine Features

Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What's your favourite winter style staple?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Outerwear - coats, jackets
28% - 46 votes
19% - 31 votes
21% - 34 votes
Sweats and hoodies
28% - 46 votes
5% - 8 votes