Spring is in the air! Flowers are blooming, the weather is warming up, and chocolate bunnies are staring at you behind plastic boxes at the grocery store. You have purchased your pretty new flowery dress and it is now acceptable to wear your new white shoes (unless you listen to Miss Manners and she says you have to wait until after Memorial Day!). You have a basket filled with fake grass, Cadbury eggs, peeps, and jelly beans. All of this means one thing…it must be Easter!!
Somewhere in time, it was decided that all holidays were about food. For those of us who are trying to stick to our health goals, holidays can be hard. With Easter approaching, I wanted to share some tips on how you can enjoy the day and still stay in control of your health plan.
- Eat breakfast: If you are planning on eating an Easter feast or are tempted by the chocolates in your basket, make sure you start your day off with a healthy breakfast first. Eating breakfast starts your metabolism working, helping you to burn more calories throughout the day. If you fill up on a nutritious breakfast of protein (like eggs, but not Cadbury ones), a healthy carb (fruits/veggies/oatmeal), and healthy fat (avocado/olive oil/cheese), you will less likely be ravenous and eat everything in sight at your holiday meal.
- Drink Water: Drinking water is important to keep you hydrated but it can also help you feel full and burn calories.
- Exercise: You probably already have your regular exercise routine in place but if you know you are going to be eating more calories you can always add in an extra walk, bike ride, or a fun game with the family.
- Have a Plan: I always mention this but having a plan is key for being successful. Without a plan, you will most likely just mindlessly eat everything that is available. Your plan should include what you plan to eat. I have learned the importance of quality versus quantity. Instead of eating everything available, I plan ahead of time on what I would absolutely love to eat and what I can live without. For example, I love ham, mashed potatoes with gravy, scalloped potatoes, mac n cheese, bread, deviled eggs, green bean casserole, all appetizers, all desserts, and all things that are in an Easter basket. By planning, I can look up the calories (or points on WW) beforehand.
- 1 cup of lean ham: 200 calories
- 1 cup of mashed potatoes with gravy: 115 calories
- ½ cup of gravy: 100 calories
- 1 cup of scalloped potatoes: 325 calories
- 1 cup of green bean casserole: 150 calories
- 1 cup of mac n cheese: 315 calories
- 1 roll with butter: 150 calories
- 2 deviled eggs: 200 calories
- Appetizers: 150+ calories
- Dessert: 400+ calories
- Solid Milk Chocolate bunny: 890 Calories
- 1 Cadbury Easter Egg: 175 calories
Once I have the information, I can decide what I want to spend my calories on. If I can’t live without any of it I will probably just have a taste of each item. Or, I may decide I can have mashed potatoes at any time but scalloped potatoes are only for special occasions so I would rather have that. A whole chocolate bunny is way too many calories for me but one Cadbury Easter egg won’t be too bad. It is also ok to use measuring cups or scales to weigh your food. Do whatever it takes to make wise choices, enjoy your food, and not feel guilty.
- Fill up on nutritious foods: If you will be entertaining at your home, make sure you have healthy options to snack on. Include veggies and a low-calorie dip with your appetizers, have nuts and fruits to snack on, make a healthy salad with dinner. If you are going to someone else’s home, bring healthy options with you.
- Keep your long-term goal in sight: Always remember the reason why are you trying to lose weight, maintain your weight, or trying to stay healthy. This is just one day. You don’t have to ruin everything you have worked so hard for on this one day.
- Remember the reason for the season: Easter is a day to spend with family and friends. Focus on being present with your loved ones, laughing together, making memories, and being grateful for all you have been blessed with. And remember the true meaning of Easter is all about Jesus being crucified and rising again on the third day. It is a day of hope. Jesus fulfilled the prophecy and through his death and resurrection, has given the gift of eternal life for all those who believe.
I hope these tips will help you get through this holiday feeling like you had a plan, you were successful, and you were still able to enjoy the day.
Happy Easter everyone! He is Risen!