How are you feeling about Easter? I love this time of year, especially when the weather is good but, like Christmas, this is the time of year my clients fear most. Chocolate is all around; in every shop and TV commercial. It’s enough to melt away your good intentions and, with this much pressure, binging feels almost inevitable.
Of course, chocolate is available all year round. The trouble seems to come when there’s too much chocolate as is the case at this time of year, which leads to too much temptation, eating too much in one go, then feeling miserable because you over indulged. The worst parts of a binge are the feelings of guilt and failure that you feel afterwards. So let’s fix that.
Let’s accept that, Easter will mean chocolate indulgence on one level of another. Here’s how to make the best of it.
1 Try to discourage family and friends from buying chocolate for you. This puts you back in control of how much you have.
2 Ideally you’ll want the darker chocolate eggs or chocolate selection. The higherthe percentage of cocoa, the less room there is for sugar. Aim for over 70%.
3 Quality is important, too. Darker eggs from higher quality suppliers like Green & Black’s have less sugar so won’t throw out your blood sugar as much.
4 Don’t try to eat too much in one go with the intention of getting ‘rid’ of the chocolate sooner. Eating a whole egg will lead to an energy crash later on not to mention, for many, feelings of disappointment in yourself that you’gave in’ or ‘failed’ with your diet. It’s healthier all round, both for your body and mindset so have a small amount of chocolate more regularly and try to cancel out the sugar rush by eating a small handful of nuts at the same time (protein slows the speed at which sugar enters the bloodstream).
5 In fact, save Easter eggs for pudding. Eating chocolate on an empty stomach spikes blood sugar levels. Have ours after a protein and veg-based meal.
6 Plan so you can make the right choices. Don’t give yourself the excuse that there was nothing else to eat. Ensure you have plenty of your usualhealthy foods to hand.
7 Make sure your decision to eat chocolate is a conscious one. “Some chocolate would be nice but I choose not to have one right now". Don't take orders from an Easter egg! Choosing puts you back in control. Remember, the responsibility is yours. You are the one who puts food in your mouth, even if it sometimes feels as though it is out of your control, it never is.
8 If the Easter egg (and everything that goes with it) genuiniely plays a big part in your family’s tradition, consider doing something a bit different this year. Here are some great alternatives to the traditional Easter egg hunt. And, if you’re stuck for what to buy instead of chocolate, here are some brilliant ideas.
9 Get back on track quickly once the Easter weekend has passed. This IS one of those times when the chance of eating too much of something not particularly good for you may happen. Even the healthiest people over indulge – but they don’t beat themselves up about it. They just go back to eating normally. Remember, the occasional bit of chocolate, slice of cake or a portion that is too big is not going to make you put on a few pounds but a huge chocolate mountain binge will. Plus binges on sugary or salty food will make you retain water - making you look and feel heavier than you really are. It's just not worth it. Even after an Easter indulgence, you can still rescue the situation and stop it turning into a binge, sabotaging all your good work. Say: "It's done, it's in the past and I choose to move on". Easter is ONE DAY, that’s all. Don’t be on the rollercoaster for the rest of the month.
10 But most of all, enjoy the chocolate you do have and you know that the only way you can feel good in body and sould about it is to eat consciously. Don’t forget that small amounts of the best quality, dark chocolate has the following benefits: anti ageing, reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, is packed with antioxidants and important minerals like iron, potassium, zinc and selenium. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine; the same chemical your brain creates when you’re falling in love…