How to avoid the Easter sugar highs, by Roslyn Franken
Did you know that Easter is now one of the top-selling candy holidays running closely behind our beloved Halloween? Whether you celebrate Easter as a religious or secular holiday, or even if you don’t celebrate Easter at all, it is a time of year to celebrate the coming spring with all its new beginnings.
With all the fun also comes the hard-to-resist array of sweet treats including the traditional hot cross buns, chocolate Easter eggs, chocolate Easter bunnies, oh and did I mention chocolate?? This abundance of sweet temptations makes it hard not to over-indulge, especially if you struggle with food or weight issues or simply want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So how can you avoid these challenges? Here are a few healthy hints:
Keep holiday treats out of sight: If you struggle with food or weight issues, it’s likely that you find it difficult to resist food when it is in front of you, especially when it comes to sweets. By leaving bowls of candy or bags of chocolate eggs or bunnies or hot cross buns on the kitchen counters, coffee tables or anywhere else where it is in plain view, you are putting yourself in what I call a “dangerous food situation“. If you see it, you will be more likely to eat it then if it is out of sight.
Don’t let the office sweets control you: The workplace poses challenges for those facing food or weight issues with people bringing in their treats to the office. Sometimes there is a specific treat table set up just for this reason or people leave the treats openly visible on their desks. If you know you will have to pass by the treat table or talk to someone with treats on their desk, pop a sugarless candy in your mouth beforehand. If your mouth is already filled and busy with the sweet candy, you will be more conscious of putting anything else in your mouth and be less likely to reach for the treats mindlessly.
Avoid being over-hungry: Whether you’re entertaining or a guest, be sure to eat regular meals throughout the day so that you’re not a bottomless pit by the time the meal or treats are served. Arriving over-hungry is again a “dangerous food situation”. Instead, have a small healthy snack and some water to partially fill your stomach before the main meal so that you are less likely to over-indulge on both the meal and the sweets.
Minimize stress: As Easter is a time for family gatherings, you may be susceptible to undue stress with the typical high expectations of how the family gathering “should” go. You may believe that everyone “should” get along and everything “should” go perfectly from the perfectly cooked ham or lamb to the perfectly behaved children. However, expectations don’t always meet reality. Let go of your need for perfection as this will only create unwanted stress. When you’re overstressed, you will be more likely to turn to food for comfort and over-indulge in too much of the less healthy choices.
By avoiding these dangerous food situations and minimizing your stress, you will be able to enjoy a sweet but much healthier Easter with far less of the sweets and other over-indulgences than you would normally experience. Happy holidays!