Whether you celebrate Easter or not, the upcoming long weekend can be challenging for even the most committed healthy eater. School holidays, road trips, long family lunches, disrupted routines, friends offering hot cross buns and enough chocolate to fill Willy Wonka’s factory make it difficult to stick to your usual healthy habits. Difficult, but not impossible. With a few easy tips and tricks, you can enjoy the four-day weekend without undoing weeks or months of hard work in the gym. Read on to find out how to have your happiest, healthiest Easter yet – you really can have your chocolate and eat it too!
1. Go for quality, not quantity
Make the decision to pay more and purchase a smaller amount of high-quality chocolate rather than the cheap mass-produced variety. The better the chocolate, the more you’ll savour every mouthful. When you take time to really enjoy the flavours and textures, it slows down the rate at which you eat, meaning you eat less and consume far fewer kilojoules.
2. DIY your favourite Easter treats
What’s more fun than gorging on store-bought Easter eggs and hot cross buns? Making them yourself! This year, why not have a homemade rule, where all Easter treats in the house must come from the kitchen? Buy chocolate bunny moulds and make your own couverture critters, or fire up the oven to make fresh hot cross buns. You’ll be able to control portion size, what goes into each recipe, and won’t have loads of sub-par confectionery left lying around the house post-Easter.
3. Eat real eggs
Instead of gobbling down on foil-wrapped eggs, celebrate Easter morning by making real eggs for breakfast. Packed with protein, an egg-based brekkie like a veggie omelette or poached eggs on wholegrain toast will keep you fuller for longer, so you’ll be less likely to reach for the chocolate variety later in the day. Not a fan of eggs? Try these five quick egg-free, high-protein breakfast ideas instead.
4. Focus on what’s important to you
What’s more important – indulging in chocolate just because everyone else is, or reaching your weight loss goals? If you are a person who has a strong faith, concentrate on your beliefs over this time to motivate you and guide you in the right direction. If you don’t have strong religious beliefs, channel your focus into the people who are important to you and enjoying time with them.
5. Don’t touch Easter eggs or hot cross buns before Good Friday
The supermarkets might want us to believe that Easter starts the week after Christmas but in reality it’s four days, so leave the chocolate eggs, bunnies and hot cross buns for Good Friday at the earliest. It’s only a few days away now, and your Easter treat will taste sooo much sweeter when you haven’t gorged in the weeks leading up to the long weekend.
6. Continue to exercise over the Easter period
There really are no excuses for not exercising over Easter. Most of our clubs are open over the long weekend, so check your local Fernwood’s timetable for public holiday hours. If you have time off work, take the opportunity to go walking, hiking, have a hit of tennis, play with your children, jump on a trampoline or head down to the park to kick a footy around. Planning an Easter egg hunt for your kids? Don’t just stand on the sidelines, get involved! Running around the yard helping them find eggs is a great way to sneak in some exercise on Easter morning (and is way more fun than being a spectator).
7. Balance your kilojoule intake with other meals
Sometimes the pressures we place on ourselves can feed feelings of failure and deprivation. Be realistic and have a small treat if you choose to. Let go of guilt and forgive your little hiccups so you can enjoy your Easter break. If you’re going to indulge in a bit of chocolate, try to balance out your kilojoule consumption by having smaller and lighter meals throughout the day. Either cut portion sizes, substitute one meal for another (e.g. swap a sandwich for a salad), or go without something you would normally eat (e.g. your regular morning latte).
8. Have healthy alternatives on hand
Ensure any chocolate leftovers are given away, put out of your reach and not eaten after the Easter long weekend. Have a platter of chopped fresh fruit available in the fridge to cater for sweet cravings when they strike, or keep a low-kilojoule hot chocolate drink in the pantry if you think you’ll need something chocolate-y.