Ahhh, the Easter Bunny. An adorable fuzzy little guy that delivers delicious chocolate once a year, how could he possibly have any haters? For those trying to stick to healthy eating habits or weight loss goals, Easter can be a stressful time of year. Poor Mr Bunny is treated more like the cousin of Pennywise the Clown.
Chocolate can be purchased any day of the year, but as soon as it comes in a fancy bunny and egg shapes we stock up on 100 times the amount we need, then eat it all in the space of one long weekend. Easter Monday comes around and the day is spent comatose from food overload, feeling guilt at the choices we’ve made. I know I’ve certainly been guilty of this – although it’s usually the hot cross buns that draw me in!
In the words of Shakespeare, “To eat the chocolate or not to eat the chocolate? That is the question.” (Ok, maybe that wasn’t his EXACT words, but it’s what he meant, obviously!)
Here’s my top tips for keeping on track this Easter long weekend:
1. Quality over quantity – buy chocolate that you LOVE, not just like. This means you will be more satisfied with less (Lindt Hazelnut Bunny – I’m coming for you!)
2. Eat mindfully and be aware of how you are feeling. All the pleasure of food happens BEFORE we swallow it – the look, the smell, the taste! Slow down your eating and bring some awareness to these things. Eating quickly without paying attention often leads to over eating, as it takes our brain and stomach 20 minutes to communicate that we are full.
3. Respond to hunger with food, respond to desire with chocolate/ treats. If we are hungry and go straight for chocolate, chances are we will eat more. Respond to hunger with a balanced meal or snack, and then have some chocolate after this to satisfy your desire.
4. Get your family and friends on board with your goals. Being open and transparent about what you would like to achieve is important. Don’t want too much chocolate? Ask your family to just buy something smaller or non-food related instead! Having a good support network makes healthy habits easier to stick to.
5. Remove the guilt – Easter is just one weekend out of the entire year. You didn’t commit a crime – you just ate some chocolate/hot cross buns/ lots of yummy seafood!
6. For meals – be aware of your portions. Try to incorporate some salad or vegetables on to the plate.
Remember – you can eat chocolate ANY day of the year (in moderation of course) – we do not need to eat a years worth of chocolate in one day. Also, chocolate keeps well (in the fridge for us Far North Queenslanders!), so you can always save some for another day.