Easter is one of my favourite occasions of the year.
What’s not to love about an abundance of chocolate?
And somehow it tastes even better when it’s shaped like an egg…
I like it so much that I even ‘accidentally’ bought one too many eggs for my family, so this little mini egg treat will have to stay with me… ah well
With the extra food and drink around it’s easy to get carried away over the long weekend and then end up cursing the scales come Tuesday. But saying aware of your general intake and making a few adjustments here and there can really help.
Best situation – be able to enjoy a bit of what you fancy and still be happy with yourself and the scales next week. Here’s a few tips to enable you to fit in some chocolate (feel free to sub in hot cross buns / a few tipples if either of those are more your thing).
1. Eat a protein-rich low-calorie breakfast.
Getting some decent protein in your breakfast will keep you fuller for longer and make it less likely that you eat too much later on. Aim to keep calories around 300 to save some room for calories that will creep in later in the day. A few ideas for this:
– 2 poached /scrambled eggs on a wholemeal muffin / two small pieces of toast
– High protein yogurt (Liberte/Total 0%/Arla/SkyR) with fresh fruit
– 40g oats with 1 scoop protein powder and some fresh/frozen berries
2. Make the chocolate your snack of the day.
Stick to 3 meals and make the chocolate your one additional food intake for the day. Could be a snack in the day or dessert after dinner (preferably not both!). Deciding that you wont snack on anything else cuts down the risk of grabbing nibbles and other bits without thinking.
3. Light lunches.
Perfect time to have salads for lunch. This will keep your calories fairly light again (as long as you don’t add too much avocado / cheese / nuts or smother it in dressing). You can have a big plate full and feel like you’re eating a decent size meal, and the fibre in the veg should still fill you up too. Add some lean protein (chicken / tuna / prawns) to maximise feelings of fullness. Any of the breakfast ideas would work well here too.
4. Portion out your chocolate calories.
It’s easy to get carried away with loads of chocolate around and end up eating 500 calories plus without really realising. One 100g chocolate bunny is around 600 calories, and a medium size egg is around 900-1000 calories. Before my days of understanding nutrition, I could have quite happily polished off a whole egg in one glorious sitting (and then probably felt very sick after). Best thing to do – check the nutrition label, decide how much you want to have, break off your portion, and immediately put it away in another room. Take the time to really enjoy what you’re having, and then you’re done!
5. Drink more water.
It’s very easy to think we’re hungry when actually we’re just thirsty. Drinking water (or squash if you prefer) through the day will help keep cravings and hunger pangs at bay.
6. Keep moving.
If you have time off work, you have time to be more active. Spend as much time as you can being out and moving your body – walking, cycling, gardening, running around with the kids, whatever gets you up and about. If you are able to get to a gym and lift weights, this would be the perfect time to get a good session in. Either way, plan a walk in for each day if you can and aim to hit at least 10,000 steps. You’ll burn more calories and feel like you’re really earned that chocolate when you get back.
7. Don’t eat it just to get rid of it.
Remember that if you get given lots of chocolate, eating it all now ‘to get it out of the house’ makes no sense! It’s the worst thing you can do. Far better to portion it out then keep it out of sight, and be able to enjoy smaller amounts over the next few weeks / months. If you decide you really want it gone, give it away (I’ll take it!).
These are all tips that will help but the main thing is, just do the best you can, savour the things you do have, and make sure you enjoy the weekend. If you do gain a pound or two, it’s nothing that getting straight back to better eating and regular exercise won’t get rid of pretty quick.