Don’t Miss Out This Easter!

Text: Don't miss out this easter

Happy Easter 2024!

Yayy, it’s Easter egg time again! Time for treats, chocolate and a bit of well-earned rest! If you’re worried about staying focused over the long Easter weekend, then look no further than our top tips for keeping on track.

Remember, that you can absolutely enjoy all the little treats that Easter brings and not ‘spoil’ your health and fitness journey. A common misconception is that if you have a ‘bad’ day because you’ve eaten things that you think are ‘bad for you’, then you have totally ruined everything, and you might as well give up. Hmmm, if we thought about everything in this way, I don’t think anything would ever get done! Just because I didn’t get chance to clean my bathroom today, doesn’t mean I should forget ever cleaning it ever again – sounds silly now, doesn’t it! It’s all about consistency – if you feel that you ate too much one day but you then went back to your normal healthy eating pattern the next day, then no damage has been done. Remember it takes an extra 3,500 calories to put on 1lb, so the few hundred calories extra really won’t make any difference, as long as you are not adding a few hundred calories every day 😊

Plus, we’re only on this planet for a finite number of years – don’t waste time worrying about eating an Easter egg with your kids!

So, here is how to stay focused whilst making sure that you are not missing out:

1) Plan ahead. Plan your meals and prepare them ahead of time. Include healthy snacks such as cut vegetables and hummus as well as fruit and nuts that are readily available and will stop you reaching for alllll the chocolate. Take time to plan what you are going to eat over the Easter holidays, making sure to include a variety of fruit and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. Make a shopping list and stick to it. Pre-cook and prepare what you can so that you are more likely to stick to the plan and eat what you’ve prepared.

2) Practice eating in moderation. Enjoy the Easter treats but be mindful of how much you are eating to maintain a balanced approach to eating. Try dark chocolate with a higher cocoa content as this tends to be richer and you may find that you are satisfied with a smaller portion. Break an amount of chocolate or Easter egg into a bowl so that you can see how much you are eating (or share it with someone else too!) as it’s too easy to carry on eating until the whole egg is gone 😊 Take the time to really taste and enjoy the chocolate. Let it melt in your mouth, allowing you to savour the taste and texture. Finish one piece before eating another.

3) Stay hydrated. Make sure you are drinking enough water, 2-3l, to control hunger and prevent mindless snacking on unhealthy options. Keep a water bottle filled up to sip throughout the day and set reminders on your phone, if you tend to forget, to prompt you to drink regularly. Try adding fruit such as lemons, limes or berries to make it more palatable. Track how much water you a drinking by using an app or a journal and have a glass of water before every meal as this can help to control appetite as well as aiding hydration. Swap sugary drinks for water or infused water, saving calories and promoting better overall health. Try to link drinking water to daily habits such as when you wake up, before every meal and before bed. Eat fruit and vegetables with a high-water content such as watermelon, cucumber and oranges and try herbal teas as an alternative especially if you are wanting a hot drink. Most of all, listen to your body, if you feel thirsty drink some water rather than waiting until you are extremely thirsty. This also works if you are feeling hungry as hunger can be confused with thirst so always have a glass of water first before reaching for the snacks.

4) Make wise food choices. Balance your plate with a mix of lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables and healthy fats. Choose minimally processed, whole foods and minimise added sugars and preservatives. Try and choose healthier alternatives to the usual Easter treats such as dark chocolate or home-made nutrient-dense desserts. Read the nutrition labels on food, paying attention to serving sizes, calories and nutrient percentages.

5) Mindful eating. Pay attention to when you’re hungry and when you feel full to avoid overeating during the festive period. Eliminate any distractions such as the tv, phone or laptop, and focus wholly on your meal. It’s so easy to eat mindlessly because you are doing something else at the same time. Chew slowly to aid digestion and to savour the flavours. Another good tip is to put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls as this encourages a slower eating pace, giving you chance to recognise when you are getting full.

6) Stay active. Keep up with your physical activity over the holidays to counterbalance any over indulgencies, keep a good routine and support overall well-being. Go for a long walk, play in the park or get the bikes out and enjoy, weather permitting.

7) Support from family and friends. Let your family and friends know your healthy eating goals. Be clear about your commitment and share specific goals, explaining why you have them and what they mean to you, to encourage a supportive environment during the celebrations.

8) Focus on quality. Prioritise nutrient-rich foods like fruit, vegetables and lean proteins to nourish your body and fill you up and minimise your intake of processed and packaged foods as they often contain high levels of added sugar, sodium and unhealthy fats. Pay attention to food labels and choose foods with fewer additives and artificial ingredients. Prepare meals from scratch if you’re able to as this allows you to control the quality and nutritional content of your food.

9) Portion control. Be mindful of portion sizes to prevent excessive calorie intake whilst still enjoying the Easter treats. Use smaller plates to visually trick your mind into thinking you are eating a larger portion, use scales or measuring cups to accurately measure portions, especially when cooking at home, and learn to estimate portion sizes by comparing them to familiar objects, e.g. a serving of meat could be about the same size as a deck of cards. Try not to go back for second helpings, as usually it’s because you like something and not because you are still hungry. Portion out your treats as it’s very easy to overeat high calorie, high fat foods.

10) Plan your treats. Allocate specific times to enjoy the festive treats to prevent constant grazing throughout the day. Add them onto the end of a balanced meal to help offset their impact on blood sugar levels and overall nutrition.

In conclusion, balancing healthy eating and enjoying treats during Easter is achievable with thoughtful planning and mindful choices. Incorporate nutrient-rich meals, prioritise whole foods and stay active. Plan specific times for treats and focus on portion sizes while enjoying every bite. Involve family and friends and enjoy Easter without any feelings of guilt. Remember, it’s about finding a sustainable balance that nourishes both your body and soul 😊 Plus, once you start practising mindful eating – it becomes super easy to do!

If you find that you haven’t followed any of the above tips and you’ve over-indulged and not done any exercise, then don’t beat yourself up about it, forgive yourself and get back on track after the holidays. Remember it’s all about consistency – a few deviations will not make a great difference and we are always here to help😊

You can also see last years blog for a few other tips!

Much Love

Caroline & Hannah xx