We are all looking forward to the long weekend and the opportunity to take a well-earned break, relax and catch up with family and friends.

Unfortunately, it is also a time that tests our resolve when it comes to eating healthy! The store displays and adverts all tempt us to give in and over-indulge.

For those of us working to get healthy and well, it can be a really tough time of year.  For those of you who have made exceptional efforts to lose weight and become healthy over the past months the temptation to overindulge can be stressful!

All the visits to friends and family and eating out can reverse all the good if you do not choose healthier options during this time.

Making the right choices will allow you to still enjoy all the festivities and ensure that you do not dread the scale after the long weekend.

Know the cost of indulging:

-Did you know? …it takes just five minutes to consume a 120g Easter egg, but it takes 80 minutes of strenuous exercise to burn it off! So resolving to add a walk or an exercise session after indulging freely over the the long weekend will unfortunately not be enough.

-Over-consumption of sugary foods, such as chocolate and sweets, can lead to unhealthy weight gain, which can put you at risk of chronic health problems, including some cancers.

-Breaking your commitment to your healthy TLC Plan, even if you intend to only have a few ‘cheats’ could cost you your progress and sabotage your long-term success!

Don’t let Easter break your healthy habits!

Here are four tips for how to avoid over-indulging this Easter!

Start the day right.
Make sure you are starting each day with your TLC breakfast rich in protein, fibre and energy, so you aren’t reaching for the chocolate an hour later. Think omelettes with spinach and tomatoes, or a fruit and yogurt shake. A hard-boiled egg is full of protein and can be combined with your veg for a filling start to the day.

Stock the fridge with healthy snacks.
Long weekends and public holidays can sneak up on us, and with many shops closed over Easter, we can easily reach for the chocolate or take-away meals to keep us full! Plan ahead and stock your fridge with plenty of fruit and vegetables, and try to snack on some fruit instead, or make a fresh salad to keep your diet balanced over the long weekend.

Set a limit.

Even healthy snacks must be eaten in moderation, and be discerning in your choices! Completely avoiding all chocolate over the Easter weekend is often unrealistic for most people. So indulge in the odd chocolate egg… but make it dark chocolate! The darker the chocolate, the less sugar and more antioxidants it tends to contain. Set yourself a limit of how much (dark) chocolate you will have and stick to it.

Plan some exercise but make it fun.
Yes, long weekends are for sleep-ins and relaxing, but it’s good to fit some exercise in where you can. Planning some physical activity with a friend or the family will make it more fun. Go for a walk or run with a friend or get active with the whole family by playing touch rugby, rounders or cricket in the backyard or park.

More Tips:

  • Portion size

Why not choose to eat off a smaller plate.  Take a bit of everything on offer and if you have to add more, choose leafy options (salads).

  • Reduce fat content of your meals.

Choose fish, lean pork fillets or chicken breasts (remove the skin).  These have the lowest fat content with the highest being lamb and beef.

  • Choose the greener option.

Salads can be a wonderful source of nutrients, with so many options and variations.  So bulk up on salads and reduce intake of carbohydrates and meats.

  • Liquid Intake.

Be careful of alcoholic drinks.  Increase water intake over the entire festive season.

  • Snacking

Choose healthy options when snacking – crispy sliced veggies with a low fat dip is a good option.

Careful of:  pretzels, popcorn, crisps, peanuts and chocolates.  Try to limit high salt intake and beware of spices with preservatives and msg (monosodium glutamate).

Have a wonderful, safe and healthy Easter!