There are certain times of the year when sticking to your usual healthy routine can be more challenging than usual. Easter is one of those times. I swear that every year shops dedicate ever more shelf space to chocolate! And M&S seem to have created every hot cross bun flavour known to man (salted caramel and chocolate? Really?!) It's not easy to avoid temptation.
Combine the added exposure to treat foods with family gatherings and different routines and it can be a recipe for falling off the wagon.
Easter may well mean chocolate indulgence on one level or another. If
that's likely to be the case for you, here's how to make the best of it.
Try to discourage family and friends from buying chocolate for you. This puts you back in control of how much you have. If they really want to treat you, there are some lovely spring flowers around at this time of year!
Ideally, choose darker chocolate eggs. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the less room there is for sugar. Aim for over 70%. Darker eggs from higher quality suppliers, like Green & Black's are widely available.
Don't to eat too much in one go with the intention of getting rid of the chocolate sooner. Break it down into moderate portion sizes which will have less of an impact on your blood sugar level. It's healthier all round, both for your body and mindset so have a small amount of chocolate more regularly.
Save Easter eggs for dessert. Eating chocolate on an empty stomach spikes blood sugar levels. Have yours after a protein and veg-based meal.
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 usual healthy foods to hand.
Make sure your decision to eat chocolate is a conscious one. Are you really going to enjoy it? Or are you just eating it because it's there? Choosing puts you back in control. Remember, the responsibility is yours. You are the one who puts food in your mouth!
Even the healthiest people over indulge – but they don't beat themselves
up about it. They just go back to eating normally afterwards. Don't let a
little indulgence throw you off the wagon completely.
Most of all, enjoy the chocolate you do eat and get back to your usual healthy routine as soon as the celebrations are over. Don't forget that small amounts of high quality, dark chocolate has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke and is packed with anti-ageing antioxidants and essential minerals like iron, potassium, zinc and selenium. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine; the same chemical your brain creates when you're falling in love …
If you know you'll find Easter a challenge because bingeing and self sabotage is an issue for you, or you need some help to improve your health, please get in touch. I would be happy to arrange a call with you to discuss how I can help you.