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A chocolate minefield: how to enjoy Easter without piling on the lbs

Easter weekend is looming and, for the sweet-toothed among us, this means only one thing…

Chocolate. And lots of it.

The problem is that with all the delicious, calorie-laden treats on offer, it’s going to be very difficult to say no. For those of us trying to keep a healthy weight, Easter has the potential to undo all of our hard work.

The bottom line is this: it’s very difficult to lose weight in a culture that flaunts junk food at every turn. We need to have self-control of steel if we want to have abs of steel and when faced with a cupcake or a treadmill, the cupcake usually wins.

Luckily, the British Nutrition Foundation has come up with a few tips we can all try to follow this year to keep our hearts healthy and our figures in shape. Hopefully we won’t be forced to skulk in the corner with a salad while the rest of the family tucks into a mountain of chocolate.

Rule one:  No grazing. When every surface is covered in bowls of little foil-covered chocolate eggs, it’s easy to graze throughout the day. Unfortunately, this makes it very hard to keep track of everything you’ve eaten. If you do eat a couple of treats, keep hold of the wrappings as a reminder not to go overboard.

Rule two: Take your time. Don’t just eat until your full, or eat because the eggs are there. Set out a time for eating your chocolate and enjoy every mouthful. Remember that it doesn’t all have to be eaten at once. If you received a lot of chocolate from family and friends, think about handing some out at work on Tuesday.

Rule three: Go dark. Dark chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa butter than milk or white chocolate and as such, contains less sugar and fat. It usually has a richer, more chocolaty flavour so you’ll become full more quickly and be less tempted to overeat.

Rule four: It’s not all about chocolate. If you have young children in your family, you could think about introducing other fun aspects to Easter that don’t involve egg hunts or nest cakes. Try painting hard boiled eggs with bright colours, or making wholemeal hot cross buns together. There are plenty of tasty and exciting Easter treats available that aren’t going to compromise your health.

Rule five: Go outside. Make the most of the beautiful crisp Spring weather this year. If it’s sunny, set up the table in the garden and soak up the Vitamin D from the rays (after applying sun protection of course). Take a brisk walk or two every day to burn off some of the excess calories, clear your head and escape the temptation of the cake tin!

Remember, it’s perfectly fine to treat yourself once in a while. Sometimes, depriving ourselves of the foods we love can make us unhappy and promote a negative relationship with food. Moderation is the key and exploring the alternatives makes for a fun and healthy Easter weekend.  

Read our previous article about enjoying an ethical Easter, or explore how a nutritionist may be able to help you become healthier by viewing Nutrition Topics.

View and comment on the original article at the British Nutrition Foundation. 

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Written by Zoe Thomas

Written by Zoe Thomas

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