How To Stay Healthy And Avoid Weight Gain This Easter

With supermarkets stocking chocolate eggs and chocolate rabbits and tons of Easter candy, we are given plenty of time to overindulge in sweet treats in celebration of Easter.  A holiday that is firmly associated with eating vast quantities of chocolate, as well as being a time to eat, drink and celebrate with friends and family, it can easily lead to an expanded waistline.  To avoid gaining extra pounds over the Easter holiday, try these helpful hints.

1.        Go for quality over quantity

If you are going to indulge, make it really worth it.  Rather than buying a huge bag of poor quality Easter candy at a bargain price, treat yourself to something a little more expensive, higher quality and smaller.  You may not get as much chocolate for your money, but what you do get will be far more enjoyable and you will eat far less of it.   Make sure to take time to enjoy and savor your treat, rather than munching away while doing other things.

 2.       Share the chocolate (and the calories!)

If you are given, (or accidentally buy too many), chocolates or other less healthy foods over Easter, share them with family and friends.  This lightens the calorie load and avoids the pitfall of having tempting foods sitting around the house just waiting to be eaten.  Your friends and family are not likely to mind helping you out!

3.       Get moving

It’s normal to consume a few extra calories around holiday time, especially when, for most people, the holiday now centers on giving and receiving candy.  Counteract this extra food intake by using the time to get active and burn some of it off.  Go for a family walk, play catch in the backyard or take the time for a long walk.

Bear in mind that to burn off a crème egg would take about 45 minutes of fast walking. This may motivate you to move more and eat less!

4.       Avoid bulk buying

Buying in bulk may seem like good value for your money, but more often than not you will end up with more than you need and feel compelled to eat it to avoid wasting it.  Avoid this by buying smaller bags of candy and leaving bulk purchasing for healthy foods like fruit, vegetables and whole grains.

5.       Fill up on nutritious foods

Just because it’s Easter doesn’t mean that you need to skip your regular healthy meals in favor of chocolate or less healthy foods.  Eat plenty of vegetables at your main meal and include lean proteins and whole grain carbohydrates.  If having a barbeque or eating as a large group, offer to supply a healthy salad so you know there will be some healthy food available.  Fill up on these lower calorie foods, leaving less room for high calorie treats.

6.       Start the day right

Chocolate for breakfast might be every child’s (and quite a lot of adults) dream, however, it is a good idea to start the day off in a healthy way as there is likely to be plenty of time for chocolate later on.  Allow children one small piece of chocolate, but try to sit down to a nutritious breakfast including fruit or vegetables, protein and whole grains to set everyone up for the day.  A nutritious breakfast doesn’t mean it can’t be a special one- try whole grain pancakes with low fat yogurt and fresh fruit or for a welcome break to the normal quick cereal or toast.

7.       Look for alternative Easter treats and activities for kids

Although one chocolate Easter egg is fine, try not to get into the habit of buying vast quantities of eggs and other chocolate treats.  Instead, replace some of the chocolate with a non-food related treat, ideally, one that will get them physically active such as a new football or outdoor toy.  Stickers, books or other items are also popular.  This applies to adults too.  Why not skip the giant chocolate Easter bunny this year and invest the money in something kinder to the waistline like a new healthy cookbook or a piece of clothing.

8.       Indulge a little and avoid overeating

There is no need to completely avoid chocolate and other less healthy foods over the Easter holiday.  Allow yourself a little of what you crave and enjoy it without guilt, as this is likely to reduce the chances of overeating later on.  People who constantly deny themselves any form of treats often find they cave in and then go on an all-out binge as they feel they have already ruined their diet, so why not eat as much as possible.

9.   Avoid drinking too many calories

Easter get-togethers are often accompanied not only by too much food but also by too many high calorie drinks.  Alcohol, soft drinks and even fruit juice can contribute a large quantity of excess sugar that can lead to weight gain.  When possible choose water, or at least separate every alcoholic beverage with a glass of water or other low calorie drink.  Drinking plenty of water also helps fill you up and leaves less room for excess chocolate!

If you need help working off those Easter calories, contact me and I can get you set up with a plan. 

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