It's that time of year again. The supermarkets are stocked with mountains of golden alluring bunnies, the easter hat parade was a great success and the you've had a Mexican stand off with that hot cross bun sitting on the middle of the staff table for about the last 2 hours.
Here are some tips from our expert dietitian's to help your healthy behaviours around Easter:
1. Don’t fight your cravings:
Studies have proven that if you go out of your way to deny your cravings there is a good chance you will overindulge. There is no point being in denial, it is Easter! Accept that you will be having a small amount of chocolate or an occasional hot cross bun and that is OK.
2. Choose quality over quantity (less is more!):
Your food experience should be one of pure pleasure. Smell, observe, hear and taste your chocolate. Is there a scent of vanilla? Does it sound crunchy when you bite into it? Do you notice the taste and flavour vanish after you swallow?
Why are you popping mediocre Easter chocolate into your mouth if you could be slowly and mindfully enjoying a small Lindt bunny? So not worth it!
Make sure you are paying attention whilst you are eating! Gobbling down easter eggs mindlessly isn’t satisfactory, especially if you can’t remember it.
Too much chocolate on a regular bases can be detrimental to health as it is high in saturated fat and energy. For example a 200g Lindt bunny = 1086 calories, where are the average adult would need about 1500-2000 calories/day to maintain their body weight.
3. Out of sight, out of mind:
Be honest with yourself: If it’s in your house you are going to eat it. Try to minimise how much you bring home from work or give to family members as a gift. After all, “Sharing is caring". Some of our clients find it useful to freeze their chocolate so they are not tempted to eat it or to put it completely out of sight.
4. Don’t skip meals:
Only chocolate for breakfast or any other meal is a horrible idea. Chocolate is high GI as it contains much simple processed sugar and spikes your insulin. This does not fill you up for long, which could result in many other consequent binges later on. Remember to eat 5 small healthily spaced meals (this includes small snacks morning and afternoon) with plenty of grains, fruit, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy omega-3 fats throughout the day.
5. Find healthy alternatives to celebrate Easter:
We need to remember what Easter is about. 100% it has religious connotations but for most people religious or not it also symbolises family. For my example my friend Steph is Greek and she explained their Christmas involves all attending late night mass, having a homemade 12am feast in the kitchen with family and cracking eggs against eachothers heads! (Sounds fun to me). You can check Steph out on instagram @steph.zervos, she's a sprinter training for the Commonwealth Games and an awesome PT.
- You don’t have to eat 20 bunnies to feel closer to your family or friends
- A healthy BBQ, dinner out or another non food based activity with friends or family to celebrate can be just as special
Here are some other healthy ideas
- Painting eggs with children.
- Making healthy food into easter bunnies and chicks, get the kids involved here. The more hands on, the better! (See below photos)
- Making healthy chocolate alternatives: Check Kat's previous blog out for a yummy example: http://bodyfusion.com.au/blog/2016/3/21/choc-almond-easte
- Home made hot cross buns made with wholemeal, rye or spelt flour. We love Teresa Cutter's recipe. Check her out!
- Choosing dark chocolate varieties of chocolate, higher in cacao which in small amounts does has positive links to reducing blood pressure and preventing cancer due to polyphenol conten
6. Adapt a positive attitude: The world isn’t going to ever run out of chocolate
Why do we need to go crazy in one weekend? Reality is, you can still eat chocolate as a part of a healthy diet! Daily in fact. If you do indulge, well tomorrow is another day. Let it go! Get back on the horse or of course check in with a Dietitian if you need some support and direction.
Happy Easter everyone! Enjoy.
Ash and Kat :)