A Guilt-Free Easter

With the Easter break fast approaching, a lot of Australians will be enjoying the time with chocolate, friends, and family. There are others who will have the consolation that, even though they are unable to spend time with friends and family, there will at least be chocolate.

When you also consider that there will be an extravaganza of carbohydrates with hot-cross buns, the predictable sequel for this long weekend will be one of regret and bloating. But there is a way to enjoy all the scrumptious traditions of Easter and yet avoid feeling bad about what you have done the following day.

Embrace the Dark Side

The good news is that no one is saying you cannot have chocolate on Easter. There is no fun in that. But, rather than eating the milk chocolate eggs, why not choose only the dark chocolate from all those eggs you receive?

That is because, in 2008, the researchers at the University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Life Sciences discovered that dark chocolate will lower our cravings for fatty, salty and sweet foods. Best of all, they found that dark chocolate is actually more filling that the rest of the chocolate.

In addition, dark chocolate contains double the amount of antioxidants that are in milk chocolate. There is, even more, good news. In Germany, research has determined that if you eat as few as six grams of dark chocolate per day you can lower your blood pressure. Of course, if you add fruit in by spooning the chocolate over kiwifruit, bananas or strawberries there are even more benefits.

Stick to a Handful

There are many healthy eaters who have learned that it is a good idea to divide their plates into 25 percent carbohydrates, 25 percent protein and 50 percent vegetables. But there is also a plan for eating better at Easter.

Okay, we have come up with it ourselves, but here it is: cup your hands tightly together and fill that space with the eggs. The pile of eggs should not be higher than your thumbs.

Be sure to restrict the amount of chocolate ñ or hot-cross buns ñ that you eat every day over Easter and when the holidays end you will still have both your waistline and your self-esteem.

Nibble on Rabbit Food

The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) say that you can reduce the guilt ñ in addition to the predictable highs and the sugar crashes that follow when kids (of every age) gorge all day on chocolate ñ by focusing more on the bunny than the eggs.

So, in the same way that treats are left for Santa’s reindeer, maybe the Easter Bunny would enjoy a little snack. And what does a bunny like to eat? Of course, celery sticks and carrots and he love to share those little treats.

Join the Hunt

The ideal opportunity to exercise will be during the Easter Egg Hunt because the rest of the day is probably going to be pretty lazy. The idea is to use more energy during the hunt by spreading fewer  eggs over a much wider area – where you can still watch the children ñ and give the task to just one adult.

This way, all the other adults will be able to be part of the fun. The more time they all spend searching for eggs, the more calories they will be burning. And the fewer treats there are the fewer calories there will be when the eggs are consumed.

Hop, Skip and Jump

We know that all traditions have to start somewhere and, with football season coming up all over the country, having a kick around in the afternoon might be just the way to burn off all those Easter calories.

If you would like to do something less strenuous or a little more traditional, the whole group could take a walk around the block or taking the dog to the park might become a special Easter activity for your family.