Easter is a time for indulgence. Chocolate, sweet treats and no doubt a big roast dinner are all on the horizon. This year, the challenge to stay healthy will be even tougher as most people have been instructed to stay at home. The temptation to overindulge, boredom eat and snack is even greater. We’ve written previously about staying healthy in isolation, but how can you keep up with your fitness and nutrition routine over Easter?
Stay full throughout the day
If you’re hungry, you’re more likely to snack. Make sure you eat a nutritious, filling breakfast such as oatmeal with low-fat yoghurt and berries. This will help to keep your energy up throughout the morning ready for lunch.
Schedule your snacks throughout the day so you have something to look forward to, rather than boredom eating between meals. If you have filling, nutritious meals then you shouldn’t rely on sugary snacks to keep your energy up.
Eggs are hard to beat
Yes, we know most people will be excited about all the chocolate eggs. But what about the protein-rich, good-for-us eggs that are so easily incorporated into our meal plans? Ensure your meals are nutritious, so you have a little extra room for some chocolatey indulgence later. Try scrambled egg on toast for breakfast or lunch, or be creative and try a new healthy egg recipe.
Keep your food colourful
Try a range of fruit and vegetables this Easter. View it as a challenge to create a meal that has several different colours going on. It’ll look vibrant and appealing, and be great for you nutritionally too.
Did you know it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to send ‘full’ signals to the rest of your body? If you eat too quickly, you’ll probably end up eating more than you really need to. You’ll enjoy your chocolate and sweets all the more if you view them as a special treat, rather than snacking on them throughout the day. Take the time to really enjoy your food, savouring the smell, taste and texture. Having a little of what you love, and appreciating it, will help you keep your eating on track and stop you overindulging.
Try food swaps
There are several healthier alternatives to classic Easter indulgences. And guess what? They taste just as nice!
- Swap buttery hot cross buns for wholemeal hot cross buns
- Try new potatoes rather than oily roast potatoes
- Fancy a sweet treat? Grab a piece of fresh fruit as a first port of call
- Buy rice cakes instead of crisps and crackers
- Swap processed meats for homemade sausages, lean meat rather than red meat and try to grill rather than fry
- Save the chocolate bunnies and try sweet popcorn
- Go sugar free or low sugar if you can
- Drink water rather than sugary or caffeinated alternatives
- Limit your alcohol by opting for a sugar-free cordial
Limit the amount of chocolate you buy
We’ve all seen the news about panic buying taking over the country. Whilst Easter Eggs aren’t going out of stock any time soon, don’t pile up chocolate ready for the Easter weekend. Buy a couple of small chocolate eggs and keep them out of sight until you’re ready to open them. Having lots of chocolate on display will tempt you to dig in and forget about the consequences.
If you have children or young relatives to buy for, why not opt for a non-edible gift? An art set or new game will be much more appreciated, especially in these challenging times.
Choose your chocolate wisely
Dark chocolate is nutritious and a good source of antioxidants. As with all things, you can have too much of a good thing, so don’t go OTT on your dark chocolate intake either. However, it’s a much better option than some other types of chocolate.
Dark chocolate also has a rich flavour, meaning it’s harder to eat a large quantity of it. Moreish chocolates lead to empty packets and unhealthy bodies!
If you’re a regular gym (Easter) bunny, you may find it tough to stick to your physical fitness routine while cooped up at home. Make the most of your daily walk / run. Whilst you may not be able to partake in an annual Easter Egg hunt, you can still go for a brisk walk in the local area with your immediate family. You may notice the campaign for people to put rainbows in their windows to help boost positivity – why not make it a fun activity to go on a local search for rainbows instead?
If you have children, you can organise an active scavenger hunt around your home or garden. Put challenges next to each egg such as 10 jumping jacks or hopping around the couch. This will help make the standard housebound egg hunt that little bit more fun.
You can also work out from home using body weights and a simple at-home kit. You can also work with a personal trainer or nutritionist remotely to help keep you on track.
For more general advice on health and nutrition during quarantine, visit the WHO website. If you have any specific enquiries, or would like to find out more about our wellbeing seminars, please get in touch with the team.