Like most holiday periods, Easter often invites a raft of nutrition information through socials about how to ‘manage’ or ‘tackle’ Easter in the assumption people who generally eat well suddenly completely forget how to eat healthy and have no self-control over chocolate.
Let’s get real, a lot of people have no self-control over chocolate consumption, most of the time.
It can be easy to get caught up in the specifics and detail around the type of chocolate, size of the egg, hollow vs solid egg and how many minutes each one will take to burn off, or the variety of hot cross bun and other foods available.
This level of detail adds to the complexity of decisions and confusion which complicates how to approach holiday periods.
It’s calling attention to how we should consume it and where to make it fit, rather than to encourage regular sustainable eating habits.
The commonality around holiday periods which causes a disruption to healthy eating practices, is a change in routine and an increase in food choices.
When you consider the nutrition challenges at a root cause, rather than focus on specific food choices, you can adjust habits and behaviours to maintain a consistent focus on nutrition to practice what is best for you. Focusing on what to avoid, limit or keep a tally on if it’s different, will ultimately create feelings of failure or guilt if you are not abiding by suggested rules or guidelines that are promoted around Easter.
At easter time, you don’t need to have cocoa nibs or dark chocolate preferentially unless you genuinely enjoy it more than other varieties because its ‘healthier’. Ultimately, you should choose the options that bring you the most satisfaction. Food and the eating process is also about enjoyment which can assist in both portion control and fostering a long-lasting healthy relationship with food.
You don’t need to ‘earn’ your treats through increasing exercise or replacing/eliminating parts of meals.
Weight gain is the result of a persistent energy surplus. Consuming a bit extra for a few days without also increasing exercise bouts will not result in a significant weight gain long term unless it is continued beyond the holiday period. While regular enjoyable exercise should always be encouraged, exercising as a form of punishment or guilt for what you have eaten is arguably unsustainable and destructive.
Acknowledge that this is a different period to enjoy time with family or to eat something you enjoy and enjoy it. However, if you notice the effects of over consumption or it makes you feel a way that you don’t want to feel it might be time to reflect and see if you really enjoy it all that much. This creates an opportunity to readjust habits to suits your needs more which is how behaviours build and evolve over time to create a way of eating that suits your life.
If we learn to accept and adapt then you will have the fundamental skills to be able to manage any changes to routine, holidays, weddings, birthdays. These are important opportunities to celebrate life and time with loved ones – not to be worried about the impending food decisions and consequences.