“I’m currently trying to lose weight and doing quite well! However, Easter is a time when I tend to indulge with friends and family. How can I get through the Easter week without piling on the pounds whilst still enjoying the holiday?”
Suzie Sawyer, clinical nutritionist, answers:
Easter can be as gastronomic as Christmas, so I understand your concerns. However, I have some suggestions.
Try low or no alcohol drinks
With regards to alcohol, there are some amazing alcohol-free gins and wines now available so that you don’t feel like a party pooper! However, do be careful of mixers which are often calorie laden, and contain lots of sugar. Mocktails should often be avoided for the same reason.
Manage how much you eat
During a holiday period like Easter, we tend socialise more with friends and family, which of course, brings many temptations. However, much of the problem stems from the quantities of food we eat. While there are many factors involved in weight loss, including a complex biochemical mix, there is still an equation of energy (calories) in and energy output.
So, by monitoring your portion sizes, you can go long way to keeping things under control and balanced. It’s also great to feel you’re not missing out completely. Have a little of everything on offer but just eat less. You might also find it helps to keep a track on calories using one of the many apps now available.
Go for fruit
Why not reduce calorie load on the dessert front by chopping up a variety of fresh fruit (it’s great threaded onto sticks especially if you’ve got kids around) and melting some dark chocolate for dipping? Not only will this avoid carb-heavy puddings, but dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants (as is the fruit) so you’ll be getting lots of health benefits too.
Have a balanced breakfast
Instead of starting your day with hot cross buns for breakfast, why not make some overnight oats but use the same spices in the oat mixture that would normally be found in the buns. Cinnamon, mixed spices and nutmeg with some currants provides a tasty, healthy, and satisfying start to the day and will keep you feeling full for longer, so you won’t be tempted to snack.
Load up on protein
It’s also worth remembering that traditional roasts don’t have to be too high in calories either. Lamb is popular at Easter time, but your plate doesn’t need to be loaded with roast potatoes. Enjoy the meat and remember that it’s protein that keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
Finally, if the weather is OK, aim to get plenty of exercise to help burn off some calories. Brisk walking is great for mind and body: put a good stride into your steps to get your heart rate up. Aim to walk outside for 30 minutes every day.