Along with Christmas, Easter is probably the time when, if you’ve been trying to lose weight, & watch your diet, it’s probably the hardest time to stick to your regime. But here’s the thing – it doesn’t need to be hard! I am talking about being ‘mindful not mindless this Easter festive period.
Easter is a time when family and friends get together, eating and drinking is often a part of this ritual, but Easter doesn’t have to about sitting around not being active, eating lots of choccy easter eggs, and having a few too many wines or beers. It’s about moderation and balancing out the bad with the good! We are lucky enough to often have great weather which lends itself to being outdoors and active! Enjoy those iced lemonades, healthy lunches with king prawns and lean chicken salad, you don’t have to have BBQ’d sausages & fried chicken legs! Get down to the beach or local parkland and have a games of footy or cricket, if you’re by the pool get competitive with swimming races or water polo, try something different, anything to increase the heart rate and burn calories in a FUN way!
Set yourself an Easter challenge, so for every egg you eat, this equates to a 5 minute jog, or for every glass of wine or beer you have to drink a glass of water followed by a 10 minute run – balance everything out!
So being mindful is not about deprivation, but about being in control and enjoying your food (or eggs as the case may be!). Food does not have to be the enemy, (though some ingredients may be!) – be mindful is about feeling good about your eating choices and long term goals.
5 ways to overcome the Easter Issues:-
Guilty pleasures! – We all have them, especially at this time of year. Guilt though does not help you – you may think it can motivate you to be ‘better’ in the future after a bit of a diet blow out, but it’s not the right focus and has many negative connotations almost like blackmailing yourself to be good!
Mindful eating – this refers to being aware of portion size, think smaller! eating speed, slow down – don’t forget it takes your system a good 20 minutes to register that you are full, so be mindful not to overeat by eating too fast – also you want to enjoy your food, chew properly and allowing your taste buds to absorbs the (hopefully healthy) tastes. Also when you chew slowly your body will actually absorb more nutrients, again adding to a healthier diet!
Healthy Attitude – towards yourself, as I have blogged before your mindset is a vital part of achieving your weight loss & health goals. If you fall off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up about it – that won’t really help – accept it and move on, but learn from how you feel. If you’ve been healthily eating & then go & eat a fatty pizza – you may enjoy it at the time (though hopefully not!), but your body won’t and should react accordingly – i.e. you will feel unwell, or even a bit sick – so simply try to avoid situations where blow outs may occur.
Balance it Out – don’t forget weight loss is about ‘calories in – energy out ‘ so be aware of any extra Easter calories you may consume and counter balance with extra exercise!
Plan Ahead – so you know you’re going to a family bbq – you may well be tempted to over indulge, that’s cool, just plan to do something about it the next day – organise a run with a buddy, a game of tennis, a 10km bike ride, whatever suits – just don’t wallow – be active!!
…There’s often lots of articles around at this time of year espousing the benefits of chocolate, and yes there are some benefits, especially to dark chocolate, high in anti-oxidants. However there are far more pitfalls. Sugary foods excite your appetite and increases the brains ‘pleasure state’ – this is why people often compare chocolate to sex! However, good as that may be…
Chocolate still contains sugar (the ‘enemy’!), fat and salt – all things the body is programmed to crave – so the more you eat the more you crave. Its easy to overeat on chocolates as the fructose tricks you into thinking you are still hungry, so…you keep on chuffing! Products like IsoWhey can really helphere as it contains Chromium which balances out the blood sugar thereby reducing cravings,plus as the high quality whey protein is more bioavailable, your body knows when it is full – not 20 minutes later when your are REALLY full! If you go for the double chocolate flavour you really can indulge, with no guilt at all!
Happy Easter everyone! 🙂