There’s just a few days left until Easter, and we’re all looking forward to a long weekend. And, of course, to traditional Easter foods … hot cross buns for breakfast, roast lamb for dinner, and plenty of chocolate in between.
Have you found yourself thinking “I may as well give up the diet for a few days, after all, it’s only one weekend?” You don’t want to undo all your hard work so far: read on for my tips about enjoying Easter without letting your health and fitness suffer.
Don’t start Easter too early
It seems like the shops have been full of Easter goodies for months. Hot cross-buns are stacked everywhere, along with simnel cake, and shelves upon shelves of chocolate eggs. Colleagues have brought boxes of chocolates or cakes into the office, and you figure just having one or two won’t hurt…
Set a rule for yourself: no hot-cross buns before Good Friday, and no chocolate eggs before Easter day. The wait will make the treats seem even more special, and the first hot cross bun of the year is a great way to celebrate Good Friday and begin the long Easter weekend.
Spend on quality rather than quantity
Most supermarkets have hot-cross buns on offer at the moment, but do you really need twelve so-so buns for just you, or you and your partner? Instead of buying multipacks, pop to your local bakery and buy one or two really good buns.
(We have the family-run Ayres’ Bakery just round the corner, and will be purchasing our Good Friday buns there!)
The same principle applies to chocolate. Rather than grabbing the cheap kiddies eggs, have something gorgeous and a bit decadent. I personally like a small hollow egg with lots of mini eggs or wrapped chocolates: they definitely last longer than just a giant egg (it’s very hard to stop once the foil’s off…)
Make the most of your bank holidays by doing something active
The four-day weekend is a great chance to be a bit more energetic than usual. A walk or cycle ride with your family helps everyone stay active, and if you have kids, don’t just sit and watch at the adventure playground, swimming pool or ice-skating rink…
If you’re going away for the Easter weekend, have fun exploring somewhere new. Go everywhere you can on foot: you’ll no doubt come across some hidden gems that you’d not have noticed from a car.
Get straight back into your usual routine
The biggest risk to your diet from Easter is not the indulgences of the four-day weekend. It’s the opened chocolate eggs in the house, the leftovers from big family meals, and the inevitable return to work (and the unwanted Easter chocolates that colleagues keep trying to foist off on you.)
Try getting back to your healthy ways from first thing Tuesday. Take a healthy packed lunch to work, fit in some exercise and plan something light and easily digested for dinner, to give your body a chance to recover from sugar-overload: I’ll be requesting the Boyfriend’s wonderful vegetable soup!
It might also help to ban any further Easter eggs consumption until the following weekend: lots of people find that the more chocolate they eat, the more they want … and having a complete break for a few days will curb this desire and let you savour the treat the following Saturday.
(Creme egg photo by petervanallen)