How to hop away from the Easter egg bloat
Dr Nick Fuller
Leading Obesity Expert at the University of Sydney and founder of Interval Weight Loss.
You’ve just managed to work off the Christmas festivities and in rolls Easter with its never-ending supply of treats. Whether it’s the tempting chocolate indulgences or the hot cross buns lathered with butter, there are many reasons why people fear Easter and the goodies that come along with it.
All too common is that we adapt the all or nothing attitude and after a few too many chocolate eggs we continue on with the binge and tell ourselves that we will start afresh on Monday.
But Easter should be a time of opportunity rather than derailment - a time that is filled with activity, home cooking, and time with family and friends, while still allowing yourself the Easter treats.
Here are 6 tips for staying in control and avoid binging over the sweetest weekend of the year:
1. Sit at the table
With every Easter treat, make it an exclusive event. Avoid sitting in front of the TV to eat it. Appreciate the gift with gratitude and savour every bite. When you take time to really enjoy the food, it slows down the rate at which you eat, meaning you eat far less. Eating slowly also allows your brain enough time to recognise the signals from your stomach to tell you you’re full.
2. Re-coup your sleep debt
The long weekend is a wonderful opportunity to recoup your sleep debt. Sleep deprivation disturbs your appetite hormones thereby increasing your feelings of hunger which will only result in you reaching for more of those Easter treats.
3. Stock your fridge
Make sure there are plenty of nutritious healthy foods stocked in your fridge and pantry and keep the Easter eggs out of site. If you place a big bowl of brightly wrapped Easter eggs on the kitchen bench you will struggle to resist them! Keep them out of sight which will result in being less inclined to reach for them.
4. Opt for quality rather than quantity
Chocolate is good for you! But go for smaller eggs or artisan chocolate and savour the flavour. Better still, opt for dark chocolate whichisfullof antioxidants. Milk chocolate and white chocolate have been through a greater processing, meaning they contain less of the original cocoa bean and are much lower in nutritive value than dark chocolate. Chocolate with 60% cocoa is a good option.
5. Make your own hot-cross buns
Sometimes the best way to wean yourself off a certain food addiction is to make it yourself. If you find out what actually goes into a food product sometimes it can be enough to turn you off it. Wholegrain hot cross buns are another healthier option as they have more nutrition and will be more filling. Otherwise just enjoy the hot-cross bun for what it is but cherish every mouthful.
6. Get outdoors
Recent research has proven that physical activity decreases the brain’s response to high-calorie foods. So whenever you have that urge this weekend to reach for the Easter treats, get moving to suppress your desire for high-calorie foods. Sitting around will only make you want them more.