It seems like Christmas has just passed and we’re finally getting on track with healthy dietary patterns when Easter appears out of nowhere – another opportunity for over indulging for 4 or so days!
In fact, the indulgences will likely draw out over coming weeks due to the abundance of chocolates received and the need to ‘get them out of the house’ as quick as possible which results in the consumption of copious amounts in short time periods.
So what pointers can you follow to lessen the impact but still enjoy yourself?
1. Watch the chocolates!
Buy only a small amount of chocolate and don’t get sucked in to the sales. Many people receive chocolate from friends and family without having to buy it for themselves. The chocolate seems like a bargain once Easter is finished but avoid temptation at all costs. People almost panic when they realise that Easter chocolate will be gone again for the next 12 months but chocolate isn’t going anywhere so there is no need to stock up.
Just one small, solid Cadbury Easter egg = 36 calories.
It may not sound like much but it’s very easy to eat a lot of them! Ten would give you 359 calories and 19.4g of fat.
One Cadbury Crème Egg will provide you with 172 calories, 6g of fat and 25g of sugar (6 teaspoons)
2. Choose wisely
As seen in the examples above, chocolate is extremely energy, sugar and fat dense. If you are going to indulge a little, it is best to opt for hollow chocolate instead of the solid varieties. You tend to feel just as satisfied but you often end up eating less of it.
Avoid the options that have ‘creamy’ filling as the cream is usually packed full of sugar.
3. Avoid temptation in the office
Easter eggs often make an appearance in the office as well and there can be a lot of it. Avoid going back for ‘just one more’ because over a day, this will really add up and one here and there may have ended in 20 eggs consumed. It’s hard to avoid when everyone around you is eating it but stay strong and have just small amounts.
4. Don’t go overboard for the whole weekend
It’s popular to start celebrating the long weekend from the Thursday evening with drinks and dinner and then this continues throughout the whole weekend. My advice would be to ensure you have groceries done before Good Friday or there’s a good chance they won’t happen and lunches and dinners will be mainly takeaway! The key is to always be organised.
If you are catching up with a lot of friends and family, try to have at least 2 regular meals each day and then you can indulge a little for the remainder of the time e.g. porridge for breakfast and a wrap for lunch with a special dinner/ dessert.
Watch alcohol consumption as well. Remember, the recommendation is to stick to 1-2 standards drinks per day and no more than 4 standard drinks at any one time with at least 2 alcohol free days per week.
5. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander
Only buy a small amount of chocolate for children. They certainly do not need baskets of it and this will only be bad for their health, teeth and will strengthen their sweet tooth! A little bit of chocolate will be a nice treat for them and not over doing it will teach them good portion control.
Try other fun ideas that aren’t focused just around sweets – make Easter decorations. There are many creative ideas on pinterest and other websites. This draws the focus away from chocolate and can help children to realise that holidays can be about fun activities rather than just food. It’s also a good opportunity to bond with children by getting involved yourself.
Enjoy Easter, don’t dwell too much on your less than perfect diet but try not to extend the indulgences too far past the long weekend!
Contact us for results focused nutritional advice
This article was written by our dietitian Belinda Elwin who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Nutritionist. If you have questions about nutrition, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today!