By Rebekka Frazer (Accredited Practising Dietitian)
Let’s face it, it’s not really Easter Sunday that gets you off track, is it? It’s the hot cross buns and chocolate eggs that have been in supermarkets since Boxing Day and the heavily discounted merchandise as soon as Easter Monday rolls around. That can potentially equate to thousands of extra calories (from added sugars, saturated fat and refined white carbohydrates) coming in over several months!
The solution? In a nutshell it’s opting for quality over quantity and enjoying treats mindfully in sensible amounts.
My best advice to those wishing to stay on track with their health over Easter is to choose 1 or 2 absolute favourites and enjoy them on Easter Sunday. Don’t buy hot cross buns or chocolate eggs before Good Friday because if they are in the house they are going to be a constant temptation that you will be fighting on a daily basis.
Stick to regular balanced meals over the long weekend and enjoy your chosen treat mindfully. That means taking your time to really savour the smell, appearance, texture and taste of your chosen treat, without distraction, rather than scoffing down half a packet of Cadbury eggs, a large chocolate bunny or 2-3 hot cross buns in a single sitting. I guarantee that you will be satisfied with a smaller amount when you take the time to actually enjoy it.
For those wanting to take it one step further, use cacao powder (available from health food stores or the health food aisle of the supermarket) to give you that chocolate hit without the added sugars, fats and extra calories. For example, add 1-2 teaspoons of cacao powder to your morning breakfast smoothie or porridge or stir through some natural Greek yoghurt.
If you want to get super creative, try my recipe for Spiced Sweet Potato Brownies (gluten free, dairy free and fructose friendly) or Vanilla Peanut Butter Bliss Balls (gluten free, dairy free, no added sugar):
Just for reference, take a look at what you are actually consuming in some of the popular Easter treats:Calories per serveTotal sugars per serve (g)Total fats per serve (g)Time to run it off (minutes)*1 Cadbury Crème Egg150215121 large chocolate bunny5505334444 small solid chocolate eggs132168111 hot cross bun (spread with 2 teaspoons butter)2991711.824
*Based on average body weight 75kg, average pace of 10km/hr