How to avoid Easter weight gain
1. Set yourself a reasonable chocolate limit. There’s no need to deny yourself a few treats, but remember that Eater is just one day. Enjoy a hot cross bun or little chocolate without guilt, but don’t go overboard on your portions. Go for a small amount of good quality chocolate rather than lots of poor quality chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the more antioxidants, and usually the less sugar and calories. Write it down —keep it specific and attainable—and put it somewhere highly visible, like the fridge door. If your goal is “stick to just one slice of cake at each event”, seeing & reading it will help you commit.
2. Monitor your food & alcohol. Keep a food diary to see what you’re really eating & drinking. Increasing your alcohol intake is where a huge amount of weight can pile on. It also stops you thinking clearly when it comes to a second plate of cakes, or having a late night pig out. If you are going to a big lunch/dinner and are trying several different dishes (me!), eat and chew slowly. Pick a number (20 works well) and chew each mouthful 20 times before swallowing. THEN… Wait at least 5mins before grabbing seconds. Your stomach will have time to register your hunger level before you throw it all down and have to undo your jeans. Don’t forget to just say no. Your family and friends may want to shove seconds onto your plate, but it’s ok to say no! Saying “I’m taking a break” should get them to take it easy on you until you decide if you really want more…
3. Give in to your cravings. Yes, that’s right, its ok to eat the chocolate, have the treats & not be so strict on yourself. It’s totally ok to acknowledge your cravings and meet them. Within reason of course. As soon as you’re satisfied, stop. Be present as you do this to avoid a blow out. Then, detox from the chocolate. As soon as Easter Monday hits, pack up all your chocolates and give them to a homeless shelter or food drive company. Not only do you have the temptation removed, but giving is actually good for your health. Make a habit of being generous this Easter.
4. Prioritize recovery, sleep and meditation. Instead of eating to make ourselves feel better or to relive a certain memory/time in our life, using meditation such as breathing & mindfulness can help steer us clear of binge eating. Stay positive. You don’t need to shun any foods, or punish yourself for eating anything. Instead, say to yourself, ‘I control my eating easily’ or ‘I’m so grateful for all of my food choices today’. This can make a huge impact of your relationship with food. Feel queezy just reading that? Don’t let your ego get in the way. Practice some mindfullness, then try saying them out loud. Sleep smart. Poor sleep has been linked to an increased appetite, so turn electronics off (or onto airplane mode) and do something relaxing before bed. Routines are friends of your appetite!
5. Move it and lose it. Hit the gym, hike that track, take the stairs, park the car as far away from the shop entrance, get your family & friends into the habit of going for a walk after that big lunch or dinner. (Just blame the dog/kids, or even let them use you as the ‘she made us all go for a walk/I’m so full I can’t move/why are you making me do this/etc). We actually workout better with others around, so invite your friends for a hike. Or just grab a yoga mat each and do a bodyweight circuit. You’ve got extra time over Easter, so try something different every day – hike, beach walk, a game of tennis, anything! Burn off those chocolate eggs, instead of spending time complaining about the chocolate with friends and family.