How to enjoy a guilt-free Easter break
The Easter break tends to bring higher consumption of chocolate, sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol due to the influx of chocolate eggs, hot cross buns and social get-togethers. This sends many into a panic when it comes to weight management and healthy eating goals.
First and foremost, I want to remind you that all of the above can be enjoyed as part of a balanced, sustainable dietary pattern. It is what you do consistently that counts, not what you do for a few days here and there throughout a year.
To manage your Easter festivities though, please see my tips below:
- Don’t deny yourself a hot cross bun or chocolate egg (or two). Have a little bit of what you desire, savour it and enjoy it. Then be mindful enough to stop when your “sweet and chocolate-related” desire has been satisfied. Ask yourself the question “do I really need more?” to activate a moment of mindfulness around the food you are eating.
- Include healthy options such as a vegetable-based soup starter, salads, roasted vegetables, vegetable crudités within cheese platters, grilled fish and fresh fruit so you can crowd in the good stuff rather than having too much room for the sweet treats and refined carbohydrates (cakes, hot cross buns).
- Save the chocolate eggs and cakes until after a healthy breakfast or better yet, lunch. Set your Easter day up to encourage children (and adults) to include the necessary everyday foods in their special day first and have them look forward to a sweet treat. The sugar high and consequential low may be less if consumption happens in this manner.
- Aim to drink alcohol in moderation. For women this means no more than 2 drinks per day and for men it is 3-4 drinks depending on body size. To reduce the amount of alcohol you consume try the following; have a water between each alcoholic beverage, drive to a function, have a spritzer, drink water until the meal commences.
- Think about giving non-edible Easter gifts such as toys, books or an experience (perhaps an Easter movie) rather than focusing on providing a gigantic mound of chocolate eggs.
- If you have Easter eggs left at the end of the week following the Easter break, throw them in the garbage bin. It is impossible for most to move back to their usual nourishing dietary pattern, that serves their health goals well, with the temptation of a million chocolate eggs sitting in their cupboard. They will continue to eat them at many stages throughout a day until they are gone. No one needs a substantial sugary treat each day, this is why chocolate is called a discretionary food not an every-day food. So in the bin the left-over eggs must go if you are to quickly get back on track.
Hope these little tips help you enjoy the Easter break without the guilt many people feel after a festive period.