With Easter just around the corner, now is the time to place a little thought into how you can have a guilt free celebration. There are some simple ways that you and your family can enjoy yourselves without sacrificing your waistline or facing the dreaded post binge guilt.
1. Know your chocolate. The first thing you should take on board is the total calories, sugar and fat contained in each Easter chocolate treat. For example, I will compare three different sized eggs to put this into perspective:
a. Cadbury solid mini egg (6.8) contains 36 calories, 4g of sugar and 1.9g of fat
b. Cadbury crème egg (39g) contains 172 calories, 25.1g sugar and 3.7g fat
c. Cadbury dairy milk bunny (150g) contains 800 calories, 84.2g sugar and 45g fat
Dark chocolate is known to be healthier for us in moderation. So this is also an option that should be considered as an alternative to dairy milk or white chocolate treats. When choosing dark chocolate, opt for a higher cocoa content rather than purchasing simply off the “dark chocolate” label. A guide for a minimum per cent of cocoa is 70%. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and contains high level concentrations of potassium, copper, magnesium and iron that can support your health. Antioxidants help free your body of free radicals which cause oxidative damage and are implicated in the aging process and may be the cause of many diseases such as Cancer and Alzheimer’s.
2. Exercise in advance. One simple way to ensure a guilt free Easter is to add in additional exercise over a period prior to the Easter weekend. Adding in an extra 200 calories burned per day of additional exercise over a 5 day period prior to Easter will allow for an extra 1000 calorie surplus. Something to note and be careful with if taking this approach is to ensure that you are strict with your usual nutritional intake and also ensure that you are eating at least at your maintenance or a slight deficit to experience the benefits. Don’t forget that calories will quickly add up with Easter chocolate consumption as outlined in point 1.
3. Timing of consumption. Don’t consume your Easter eggs on an empty stomach. This will result in a spike in your blood sugar levels and will send your hunger and energy levels into a rollercoaster throughout the day. Consume the chocolate after a high protein or high fibre meal to avoid any hunger spikes or energy crashes.
4. Don’t buy in bulk. If you have children, this is one of the hardest things to avoid as we do get carried away with wanting to spoil our children so they enjoy the day; try to limit the amount of eggs that are purchased and remember to look for dark chocolate options (it proves very difficult, not only for yourself, but for your children too, to exercise discipline all week long if there is a stash laying around the house). If you have leftovers after the weekend, avoid the temptation of having them in the house and share them with your friends, family and work colleagues.
5. Get active. For those that have children, plan an egg hunt and join in with them to burn off some extra calories in preparation for the day’s extra calorie consumption. One of the biggest traps that ends in an overindulgence is staying inactive and indoors without structured activities. Plan your day in advance and incorporate exercise and outdoor activities into your day. There are many more ways to enjoy Easter than just focusing on the chocolate aspect. Some great family friendly activities are sports, egg race, musical chairs, hide and seek, red rover and statues. Keeping the kids distracted with additional arts and craft activities such as colour in bunny shapes, decorating hollowed out eggs or creating Easter bunny masks will help avoid an all day binge.
6. Healthy Treats. Ensure that your fridge is stocked with healthy food to consume throughout the day. If you are accounting for an indulgence of chocolate, you will feel much more satisfied if you stick to a healthy nutritional intake otherwise. If you are creative in the kitchen and enjoy baking, you could try making some healthy chocolate treats instead of purchasing chocolate eggs and bunnies. For plenty of recipe inspiration, check out the Armada Nutrition recipe page:
Remember to be kind to yourself and your waistline this Easter. Life is about enjoying the special moments with family and friends so preparation will be the most important key to ensure a fun filled day without the post binge guilt.