1. Don’t eat chocolate eggs before Easter
Just when the last of the Christmas treats have left the supermarket shelves, out come the Easter eggs! Even though it’s difficult to walk into your local grocery store without a brightly-coloured foil-wrapped bunny catching your eye, be strong and walk on. Easter Sunday is one day of indulgence, not three months. Make a rule with yourself that you won’t eat a single Easter treat until the Easter Sunday, and stick to it.
2. Choose smaller eggs
Instead of choosing the biggest egg, try buying just a few individually wrapped little ones. To give you an idea, a 200 gram Lindt Milk Chocolate Bunny contains 1088 calories, or 4552kJ, which is over two thirds of your recommended daily energy intake! Once you take a nibble from an ear it can be difficult to stop. So opt for smaller individually wrapped treats so you won’t be tempted to finish a whole egg.
3. Go for quality not quantity
Make the decision to pay more and purchase a smaller amount of artisan chocolate rather than the mass produced variety. The better the chocolate, the more you’ll savour every mouthful. When you take time to really enjoy the flavours and textures, it slows down the rate at which you eat, meaning you eat less and consume far fewer kilojoules.
4. Choose dark chocolate
Numerous studies have proven dark chocolate varieties to be packed full of health promoting flavanoids and antioxidants, giving them the dietitian’s nod of approval over their milky counterparts. But there’s another reason to opt for dark this Easter: it could suppress your appetite. In a Dutch study published in a 2010 issue of medical journal, Regulatory Peptides, it was found that young women who ate or even smelled dark chocolate had a decreased appetite. So make the wiser choice this Easter and choose dark over milk.
5. Opt for a homemade Easter
What’s more fun than gorging on store bought Easter eggs? Making them yourself! This year, why not have a homemade rule, where all Easter treats in the house must come from the kitchen. Buy chocolate bunny moulds and make your own couverture critters and fire up the oven to make fresh hot-cross buns – what a treat! You’ll be able to control what goes into each recipe and won’t have loads of sub-par confectionary lying around the house.
6. Balance your kilojoule intake in other meals
If you’re going to indulge in a bit of chocolate, try to balance out your kilojoule consumption by having smaller and lighter meals throughout the day. Either cut portion sizes, substitute one meal for another (eg. swap a sandwich for a salad), or go without something you would normally eat (eg. your regular morning latte).
7. Keep leftover eggs out of sight and out of mind
Even though they look pretty, if you place a big bowl of brightly coloured chocolate treats on the coffee table, you will struggle to resist them! Keep them in the top shelf of the cupboard, behind the flour and out of sight, and you will soon forget about them. Try it and see!
8. Eat real eggs
Instead of gobbling down on foil-wrapped eggs, celebrate Easter morning by making real eggs for breakfast. In a study from the Rochester Centre for Obesity in the US, 30 overweight women ate either two eggs or a bagel-based breakfast, containing the same amount of kilojoules. Researchers found that the women who’d eaten eggs felt less hungry and consumed 1788 kilojoules less than the bagel-eating group over the next 36 hours. So in essence, starting the day with real chicken eggs may prevent you from munching on the chocolate variety later in the day!
9. Return to normal eating by Tuesday
The Easter weekend is four days long, so keep your festivities to just those four days and return to normal eating by Tuesday. Make a rule that you will not consume another Easter egg once the public holidays have finished, and stick to it. Take leftover treats to friends, family or (even better) to work – they won’t last for long in the communal kitchen!
10. Make Easter healthy for the whole family
One of the joys of having small children is to be able to hide Easter eggs throughout the garden for your little ones to find. But there’s nothing that says all of these eggs need to be chocolate. Why not hide Easter themed toys or hand painted wooden eggs you’ve prepared with your kids earlier in the holidays? You could take the focus off chocolate by talking about the Easter bunny and the food he enjoys eating – carrots, celery, etc. – and prepare a healthy ‘bunny’ snack for your kids to enjoy. Move the focus to fun egg-based activities like an egg and spoon race or egg blowing and decorating. As long as you’re spending time together and having fun, they won’t feel like they’re missing out.