The festive seasons can cause havoc with your otherwise healthy lifestyle intentions. To help you have a great time and continue to work towards your goals over Easter we are sharing some tips that won’t dampen the celebrations.
Its Easter, chocolate seems to be everywhere. Do you have to abstain completely? Of course not! Remember everything in moderation, it is a once-yearly occasion and you are allowed a treat. Be realistic about the season. If you can manage to have a few treats without going overboard then enjoy!
When choosing chocolate for Easter pick a high quality plain chocolate, the darker the better. Dark chocolate has more antioxidants, which pair up with nasty free radicals so they can’t cause damage to your body. It is also richer in flavour so you tend to eat less of it. Better quality chocolate usually comes in smaller portions which is also helpful for keeping your goals on track.
Gifted an excess of chocolate? Share it around! Bring it along to social events and family gatherings. Be generous and save yourself from temptation.
If you are seeing an Eat Smart dietitian then you know how many ‘extras’ serves you should be having in a week to fit your plan. The Australian Dietary Guidelines term extras as discretionary choices and recommend these foods be eaten ‘only sometimes and in small amounts’. No more than 2-3 serves per week is usually recommended for weight loss.
What is a serve of Easter extras?
- 4 mini solid chocolate eggs
- 1 hollow chocolate Easter egg
- 5 milk or dark chocolate small squares
- 2.5 very thin larger squares (e.g. Lindt) dark or milk
- ½ hot cross bun
- 1 stubby (375mL) full strength beer
- 2 nips of of spirits
- 2 small glasses or 1 large glass (210mL total) of wine
- 1 flute sparkling wine (210mL)
This will provide you with about the same amount of energy as 20 almonds or 2 slices of bread or 2 fresh crabs or a high portion (~3 cups) of veggies. Don’t forget - these are treats, they are energy dense and nutrient poor.
Want to work off your Easter treats? Each ‘extra’ serve is equivalent to approximately 30 minutes of walking at a moderate pace (based on a 65kg person). So head out for a walk, enjoy the sunshine and balance out your indulgences!
Need an extra trick up your sleeve to resist overindulging? Try mindful eating. Mindful eating is a technique used to really appreciate and experience the food you are eating.
Here are the instructions:
- Avoid and switch off distractions like TV or your smart phone and no talking!
- Smell the food and take in the aroma
- Take a small bite (leave it in your mouth!)
- Put the cutlery or the rest of the chocolate down
- Using your tongue, move the food over your tongue and take note of the taste sensations on different parts of your mouth
- Chew, swallow, repeat
- Eat slowly, increase your awareness and allow yourself to savour and enjoy the treat
Planning is key to healthy eating while camping. Plan your meals and snacks a few days before. Snacks can be the downfall of many otherwise healthy camping trips. Bring plenty of fruit for snacks and cut up some veggie sticks (like carrot, celery, capsicum etc.) to dip in hummus to ensure healthy yet tasty snacks. Remember to be active everyday – swim, hike, go for a walk or run, bike ride or do a circuit session in the park.
Make sure to slip, slop slap and drink plenty of water, as you will be spending much more time in the sun. Tired of water? Try infusing your water to jazz it up. Some good flavour combinations are:
- Watermelon and mint leaves
- Cucumber and lemon slices
- Citrus fruit slices
Fish and seafood
Many people will be enjoying seafood on Good Friday. Are you getting your 2-3 serves of fish a week? Fish is amazing for heart health and in higher amounts can even have anti-inflammatory effects – great for arthritis sufferers.
If you are enjoying a seafood meal avoid deep-fried and battered options. Grilled or baked is a better option. Be sure to have a good helping of veggies to go with the seafood.
Have a fantastic break and allow yourself a few treats.
If you do overindulge increase your activity, go for an extra walk or a swim and use these tips to get back on track.
Written by Guest Blogger and Eat Smart Student Dietitian Adele Gauldie