The little Easter eggs and Hot Cross Buns have been available since January and unless you have the self-control of a saint, chances are you have already indulged. Now, there is nothing wrong with enjoying holiday treats but the issue is that when holiday foods are promoted months in advance we end up consuming plenty of extra calories for extended periods of time.
So if you have been munching on Hot Cross Buns for weeks already here are the simple strategies you can employ to put a stop to weight gain this April.
1. If you don’t want to eat it, don’t buy it
When your ultimate goal is to minimise your chocolate intake the best thing you can do is not buy yourself a packet of little Easter eggs each time you go to the supermarket because you will eat them. When we have treats that are readily available most people will eat them so the most powerful way to manage this mindless munching is to be strong and not buy them in the first place. Try online shopping, send your partner to the supermarket or give away extras if you do succumb to stay on control of your calorie intake.
2. Factor in a treat
Not buying treats regularly does not mean that you should not enjoy a few extras in moderation. As a reference point enjoying a Hot Cross Bun once or twice a week, or a couple of mini eggs shared between friends will do no damage. Simply count these treats and aim for extras just once or twice each week.
3. Swap or replace, don’t add
When it comes to extras we often eat them as well as our regular meals which adds up to give an excessive number of calories and insidious weight gain over time. If you are want to enjoy a few extra Easter treats, use them to replace a meal or snack, not have them as well as your meal or snack. For example, enjoy an Easter bun as your breakfast, or a couple of mini eggs as your afternoon snack. Then the treats are a swap not an extra.
4. Limit your eating hours
One of the most powerful dietary strategies that has emerged in recent years is limited our eating hours each day. When it comes to balancing extra calories a simple technique is to give yourself a prolonged fast after a period of high calorie consumption. This means that if you find yourself enjoying a large meal or plenty of treats, aim to not eat again for an extended period, at least 14-16 hours to allow your metabolism time to process the extra calories consumed and negate potential weight gain.
5. Move as much as you can
Eating higher calorie foods will pose more of an issue weight wise if you spend more time sitting down after consuming them. This means that using your Easter holidays to move a lot more is an easy way to help burn off the extra calories while still enjoying holiday treats. If you consider that a single Easter bunny contains close to 600 calories, you will need to move at least 10000 steps each day plus add in a 1 hour workout if your goal is to negate Easter weight gain over the next few weeks.