The Easter long weekend may well be the second most challenging time of the year where a diet blowout almost feels inevitable.
Just like its Christmas counterpart, the Easter break can be a MASSIVE threat to your diet and fitness goals as we struggle to say no to the abundance of chocolatey, carb loaded goodness.
And who could blame you?
With delicacies like giant Cadbury Crunchie Bunnies and the once a year appearance of the Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry from McDonalds – it can often be hard to exercise self control without an overwhelming sense of FOMO at this time of year.
Now we're not saying that you should have to miss out on all of the EGGcellent Easter treats that are dying to hop into your shopping basket every time you visit Coles...
However we are suggesting you put a plan of attack in place before it starts raining eggs over the Easter long weekend. The last thing you want is to undo a month's worth of diet and exercise thanks to four days of overindulgence.
That's why we've put together this list of five tips which you can use to avoid an EGGsessive amount of calories, carbs and chocolates this Easter. Oh and don't worry, we guarantee these tips are WAY better than our terrible attempt at puns thus far.
1. Pace Yourself
It's been said that sugar illicits the same dopamine response mechanism in your brain as cocaine. And whilst a bit of sugar every now and then isn't necessarily the worst thing for your body, it can reek havoc on your self control. This is especially true if Easter is one of the only times of year you let yourself indulge on the ever so moreish egg shaped delights which seem inEGGscapable at family, friend and work functions.
Therefore we recommend you pace your intake of chocolatey goodness and keep count of how many little (or big) Easter eggs you consume here and there – because we all know how easy it is for one to turn into two, which turns into three and before you know it you've just devoured enough calories from chocolate to feed yourself for a week.
2. Don't Write The Day Off
We get it. You're only human. And chocolate is AMAZING (especially if you don't treat yourself to it often).
So don't beat yourself up too much if you tried to pace yourself, but despite your best efforts, you've now found yourself at the bottom of a box of Favourites you PROMISED yourself you'd only have two of a few hours earlier. These things DO happen.
Like we said, you are only human.
But don't let that trick you into saying to yourself...
'Easter is only once a year!'... almost reassuringly, as you lick the melted chocolate from the last Cadbury Marvellous fun size Favourite...
Then, almost as quickly as the box of Favourites that were just in front you disappeared, another thought enters your brain...
'Stuff it, I'm giving myself the day off – I'm already in this deep so surely a little bit more won't hurt...'
Congratulations. You've officially entered the slippery slope of self sabotage... And you're quickly gaining momentum.
If these kind of thoughts begin entering your mind, remind yourself that what's done is done and don't beat yourself up for it. But at the same time, don't let yourself fall victim to your own sense of entitlement by blowing the rest of the day out. Don't let your temporary lapse in self control turn into a 24 hour ordeal, especially when you're on a sugar high of self re-assurance.
3. Stay Active
This may seem self explanatory, but staying active over the Easter break is a great way to consciously consider your diet and fitness goals, which can help you maintain your self control, even when faced with that whole box of Favourites in front of you.
If you traditionally workout in the afternoon or evenings, you may want to consider switching to a morning workout over the Easter long weekend.
Well, for starters, it's a lot easier to control your chocolatey eyed desires if you're conscious of the fact you worked out that morning. Nobody wants to immediately undo all of the progress they've achieved only a few hours earlier in the day.
Furthermore, if you do end up binging more than you'd hoped you would during the day, you've already ticked off a workout for the day. There's nothing worse than trying to motivate yourself to hit the gym after a day's worth of poor eating.
4. Budget an Allowance in Advance
If you know you're attending a family function where there will be a delicious feast awaiting, you may want to consider budgeting additional calories for that meal. This will, in a sense, give you a 'calorie buffer' to work with, so you can indulge without feeling guilty.
For example, let's say that you're attending a big family Easter lunch where you know you're likely to consume 1,000 more calories than you normally would for this meal. Simply deduct those additional calories from your breakfast and dinner on that day so you don't blow out your total daily calorie intake.
An easy way to do this would be having a very small, humble and protein rich breakfast (e.g. a Quest Bar or OhYeah! Protein Bar) or a low calorie Whey Protein Shake before you feast at the Easter lunch.
And if you're not in a food coma by the time dinner comes around, you could finish the day off with a small protein rich meal like two poached eggs on a piece of whole grain toast.
5. Portion Sizes
Now we're very aware that Easter is more than just an EGGsessive amount of chocolates. Like Christmas, Easter is often accompanied by lavish, calorie dense meals fit to feed a king... which is exactly why you need to be wise when plating up.
Apportion your servings to focus on protein and fibre but DON'T skip on all of the carb and fat heavy goodies that will no doubt be waiting for you... just be sensible about it.
The last thing you want is to be fighting FOMO and food envy as the rest of your loved ones demolish delicacies which only make the rounds a few times each year. Let yourself indulge, just don't over do it.
Happy Easter from everyone here at #TEAMASN.
Image already added