It’s that time of year again where the supermarkets are lined with hot cross buns, chocolate bunnies and Easter Eggs covered in bight shiny wrappers of temptation. Another over advertised food related holiday which brings fear of adding to the waist line, but I’m here to tell you how you can enjoy your Easter treats whilst being nutritious and avoid adding on a couple of extra kilograms. How is this possible? Well let me introduce you to one of my favourite dietitian concepts, all foods are ok in MODERATION. Now by moderation I don’t mean a bag of Cadbury eggs every few days I mean being mindful of what counts as a serving size and not going overboard on the amount consumed in one sitting or the amount consumed in a week. Easier said than done especially when 2 mini caramel eggs counts as a serving size (if you can stop at 2 then I applaud you!). But if you follow these simple steps, I guarantee that avoiding overindulgences this Easter will be made a little easier.
1. Know your servings.
On the back of the packet there will be an ingredient panel, which will state the serving size of the food item. This information empowers you to be aware of how much you are putting in your mouth. This information can be used to ensure you are only consuming those Easter treats in moderation and help you avoid overindulging. Also listening to your stomach and being aware of when you’re actually full. Buying smaller Easter eggs/bunnies and sharing packets of hot cross buns and Easter eggs are also a great way to prevent over indulging.
2. Don’t let Easter drag on
Are you guilty of eating your holiday food for weeks or hoarding it and eating it over a long period of time until it has all disappeared (into your belly)? Well this has to stop. Set yourself a time period where you are allowed to have a small amount of Easter treats for and after that date, get rid of what is left. I suggest no longer than 4-7 days for this. Allow yourself in these 4-7 days to enjoy (in MODERATION) your Easter chocolate and Nutella hot cross buns, but after those days are up enough is enough. No buying products on sale and eating Easter eggs for weeks. Draw the line. Also avoid buying in bulk.
3. Keep chocolate only for dessert
After a well-balanced meal made up of protein, carbohydrate and healthy fats your body should be pretty full with food and nutrients therefore a smaller amount of chocolate should be more satisfying as you won’t be binge eating on an empty stomach. Eating chocolate on an empty stomach will also cause high spikes in blood sugar, this causes a rush of energy which lasts for a short amount of time and is followed with a crash. Eating chocolate after a main meal is a way to assist in avoiding this energy rollercoaster.
4. Give in to your cravings
Easter is a special occasion and it is okay to eat some chocolate. Studies and personal experience (who hasn’t been in this situation before) have proven that if you deny your food cravings, you are more likely to overindulge. So enjoy, but remember MODERATION.
5. Ensure you eat mindfully
This comes back to being aware of what you are putting in your mouth and how much you are putting in your mouth. Have you ever sat in front of TV and after the movie has finished look down and realise you just at an entire packet of chips/biscuits/something. Easy to do when you’re mindlessly putting your hand to your mouth. So this Easter when you’re eating try and sit at the table, turn off the TV, don’t eat on the run and think about what you’re putting in your mouth. Take the time to enjoy conversation, appreciate the flavour and texture of the food, and actually notice when you are full. You will find that if you do this you will be satisfied a lot sooner.
6. Try Swapping for some healthier options
Try homemade hot cross buns (or at least fruit/fruitless) instead of choc chip and try topping with banana or a small amount of peanut butter instead of regular butter.
Try dark chocolate instead of regular or milk as it has a lower saturated fat and lower sugar content as well as being higher in antioxidants.
Try making some of your own healthier Easter treats out of ingredients that provide your body with vitamins, minerals and fibre such as coconut, dates, nuts and dried berries.
Chocolate coated strawberries and bananas. Even dip them in crushed nuts or coconut to add extra texture if desired.