Easter is a particularly challenging time of the year. It seems almost impossible to avoid chocolate. Regardless of good intentions and, with all the temptations, indulging feels almost inevitable.
Of course, chocolate is available all year round. The trouble seems to come when there’s too much chocolate as is the case at this time of year.
Ultimately this leads to too much temptation, eating too much in one go, then feeling miserable because you overindulged. The worst parts are the feelings of guilt and failure that you feel afterward.
Accept that Easter means chocolate indulgence on one level or another.
Here’s how to make the best of it.
- Try to discourage family and friends from buying chocolate for you. This puts you back in control of how much you have.
- Dark chocolate eggs or chocolate is ideal. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the less room there is for sugar. Aim for over 70%.
- Quality is important, too. Darker eggs from higher quality brands have less sugar so won’t throw out your blood sugar as much.
- Try to avoid eating too much in one go with the intention of getting ‘rid’ of the chocolate sooner. Eating a whole egg will lead to an energy crash later on not to mention, for many, feelings of disappointment in yourself that you “gave in” or ‘failed’ with your diet. It’s healthier for your body and mindset so have a small amount of chocolate more regularly and try to cancel out the sugar rush by eating a small handful of nuts at the same time (protein slows the speed at which sugar enters the bloodstream).
- Save Easter eggs for dessert. Eating chocolate on an empty stomach spikes blood sugar levels.
- Plan ahead so you can make the right choices. Don’t give yourself the excuse that there was nothing else to eat. Ensure you have plenty of your usual healthy foods available.
- Make sure your decision to eat chocolate is a conscious one. “Some chocolate would be nice but I choose not to have one right now”. Choosing puts you back in control. Remember, the responsibility is yours. You are the one who puts food in your mouth, even if it sometimes feels as though it is out of your control, it never is.
- If the Easter egg (and everything that goes with it) genuinely plays a big part in your family’s tradition, consider doing something a bit different this year. You could consider buying something else instead of chocolate.
- Get back on track quickly once the Easter weekend has passed. This is one of those times when the chance of eating too much of something not particularly good for you may happen. Even the healthiest people over indulge – but they don’t beat themselves up about it. They just go back to eating normally. Remember, the occasional bit of chocolate, slice of cake or a portion that is too big is not going to make you put on a few kilos but a huge chocolate mountain binge will. Plus binges on sugary or salty food will make you retain water – making you look and feel heavier than you really are. It’s just not worth it. Even after an Easter indulgence, you can still rescue the situation and stop it turning into a binge, sabotaging all your good work. Say: “It’s done, it’s in the past and I choose to move on”. Don’t be on the rollercoaster for the rest of the month.
- But most of all, enjoy the chocolate you do have and practise eating mindfully. Don’t forget that small amounts of the best quality, dark chocolate has the following benefits: anti-aging, reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, is packed with antioxidants and important minerals like iron, potassium, zinc, and selenium. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine; the same chemical your brain creates when you’re falling in love…
Some additional Easter indulgent tips:
- Avoid buying a box of Easter eggs (marshmallows). Instead, buy a string of eggs. That way you won’t be tempted to over-indulge
- Avoid buying more than necessary trays of hot cross buns. You could even try making your own!
- Make Easter desserts in individual glasses – one for each person. This way each person gets their own fancy serving (like in a restaurant) and there are no tempting seconds.
Need some healthy sweet treat recipe ideas to try over Easter? Get some inspiration here