With Easter around the corner you may feel as though you can even smell the chocolate (and see those pounds creeping up). But, Easter comes round once a year so let’s face it you don’t want to deprive yourself from an egg… or two. We asked our experts for their top tips on how to avoid chowing down on too much chocolate, or a second helping of those toasted hot cross buns.
1. Opt for not just the chocolate eggs
“Eggs make a great snack as the combination of protein and good fats help you feel fuller for longer. Try boiling them in advance, and keeping them in the fridge as an easy snack to enjoy on the go. They will last up to a week,” says Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist at Superfooduk.com. *
2. Keep a food diary
For many people Easter comes along with time off work, which can mean that the healthy eating habits are even more likely to fly out the window. To help you stay on top of what you’re eating – take note, “Struggling to keep track of your eating habits? Try logging what you eat. This can help you monitor what food groups you may be over indulging in and can make it easier to control your portion size. It’ll help you stay accountable for what you’ve eaten,” says Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns.
3. ‘Easter egg’ should not be in the same sentence as ‘bad’
For a healthy relationship with food, start by not associating them with being ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ “People talk about themselves in terms of being ‘good’ or ‘bad’ according to how habitually they eat or drink things, or whether they snack. ‘I’ve been bad today’, might mean someone has had a chocolate bar or muffin with their coffee. Or ‘I’ve been good’ can mean they have abstained from the biscuit round in the tearoom. Often this creates stress and complex feelings, which can actually accentuate and increase the behaviour rather than curb it,” explains Psychologist, Corinne Sweet.
4. Fill up on veggies
To help you resist from bingeing on chocolate all day, make sure you eat plenty of vegetables. “Soups are a fantastic way of boosting your veg intake and using any odds and ends of vegetables in the fridge, especially those that are starting to look a bit limp and sad! Gently steam all vegetables, add lots of garlic, onions and herbs such as rosemary, caraway and thyme. Then blend in a food mixer or liquidiser. Serve hot or cold!” says Cassandra.
5. Keep your Easter eggs for Easter
It may be tempting to munch away on those mini eggs, or start on that Easter bunny before the big day. If you’re struggling not to cave in and indulge on those choc treats try Slissie. Slissie (£39.99, www.slissie.co.uk) ** is the first of its kind as it delivers curb-craving flavourings that instantly help you resist snack temptation. Slissie releases tasty, appetite-suppressing flavours, from vanilla to chocolate, which can help you resist eating things you know you really shouldn’t.
“Temptation will always present itself. You have to be prepared, and be aware, ahead of time, that when you go somewhere, visit someone, go out for a meal, that temptation will be right there, in front of you. You have to plan a course of action to curb your vulnerability to being seduced by something you know will trigger your need to snack. This may take effort and time, as we often hang on to what is familiar, but if you stick to it, you will soon be reaping the rewards for a little thoughtful decision-making, retraining and application of willpower – with a little help from your Slissie friend,” explains Psychologist, Corinne Sweet.
6. Go for quality
When choosing an Easter egg choose one which contains high-quality chocolate. “Go for dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids – preferably 85%. It contains much less sugar and will have a less significant effect on your blood glucose. Plus you get the benefits of more antioxidants from the cocoa!” Suggests Shona.
7. Give your digestion a break
When you’re not indulging on Easter treats try to balance out your other meals, to allow for those extra calories. “Prepare lighter meals such as a big salad or a vegetable and bean soup. This will give your digestive system a break and save calories for some chocolate treats,” suggests Cassandra.