As the temperatures start to drop with the autumn season approaching, so too do our inhibitions as we celebrate Easter. For some, Easter is a celebration of rebirth and new life, and for others Easter brings on a well-deserved break and quality family time. Whichever way you choose to spend this holiday, temptation and treats sneak in quickly. Yet the upcoming chocolate feast doesn’t mean you need to bring your healthy eating to a halt. Follow these simple tips to stay healthy this Easter.
Wakey WakeyOver the long weekend, start each day off with a hearty breakfast. Whether you choose a veggie omelette, a warm bowl of oats, or on-the-go FitChef smoothie, this will help fill you up with nutrients and fibre at the start of the day to stabilise blood sugar levels and manage binge eating throughout the rest of the day. Not starting the day hungry will go a long way in controlling poor snacking and large portion sizes for the rest of the day.
It’s Just One Day
It’s important to remember that Easter is celebrated over just one family meal. Yet we open ourselves up to excuses to indulge, turning every single meal over the long weekend into a feast. A whole day of cheat eating sets you up for an all-or-nothing mentality that may do more damage than one cheat meal would. For this reason, cheat moments, as single meals or snacks, are preferred over entire cheat days. Choose one meal over the Easter weekend to have a small portion of a sugary treat like chocolate cake or a version of a less healthy starch like fried chips. The rest of the time, stick to your usual healthy eating patterns that includes a big serving of salad and/or vegetables, high fibre starch like brown rice, wholewheat pasta, quinoa or sweet potatoes, and lean protein like skinless chicken breasts, lean cuts of meat, fatty fish like salmon, pilchards or trout, and plant-based proteins like chickpeas, beans and lentils.
Be IntentionalIf you enjoy your Easter chocolate bunny mindfully and with intention, you will need only a few bites to be fully satisfied. It’s the same if having a cheat meal over Easter. Have a small helping of mom’s favourite lasagne at Easter Sunday lunch while socializing and catching up with family and friends. Pay attention to how the food smells and tastes and remove distractions. Chew slowly in order to fully enjoy the treat in that moment.
Be Conscious of the Chocolate CaloriesAn important part of nutrition education is understanding just how much energy is in less healthy foods, and therefore why we need to be wary of overdoing them. For example, did you know that if you ate one marshmallow egg it is the same as eating 1 slice of bread? Being conscious and aware of the impact of these high energy foods may help you to control your portions.
Get ActiveThe great thing about long weekends is that you have more time on your hands. Spend some of this time active, whether at gym, going for an outdoor hike, or taking a brisk walk with the family around your neighbourhood. Starting the day off with some activity will mentally help you stick to your healthy eating routine as you keep conscious of your body.