With the bright colors of spring come the allure of bright Easter candy—and the chief temptation of the chocolate Easter bunny. How can you enjoy the sweets of this holiday without adding inches to your waistline? Here are some tips to cope with all the candy:
Skip deprivation. As a fitness trainer, you ‘d think I’d advise you to run from Easter candy, but when you deprive yourself, there’s a tendency to give up altogether and dive into the Easter basket headfirst. Be realistic instead. Come up with a game plan and know exactly what you will allow yourself to eat. Forget guilt. Indulging now and then can actually keep you on track with a healthy lifestyle. Just make sure you eat healthy 80 to 90 percent of the time.
Get past overindulging. You know how you feel when you consume too many sweets all at once—sick. Instead of feeling sick to the stomach and sick with regret, come up with a game plan. Plan to eat a small portion of your favorite Easter candy instead of demolishing a whole basket of candy in one sitting. And if your co-workers try to indulge you with leftover Easter candy, stay clear! Refrain from putting candy out in a bowl because that makes it easy to eat too many Easter jelly beans. Ate two chocolate bunny ears instead of one? Try swapping an indulgence for a workout.Exercise longer or harder.
Choose healthier Easter treats. Eat the colored hard-boiled eggs as treats. (I do!) Make a colorful fresh fruit salad. Use a melon-baller and cut up lots of colorful melons, add berries and a little shaved coconut. It’s so sweet!
Eat dark chocolate. Swap out those milk chocolate bunny ears for dark chocolate instead. The possible health benefits of chocolate stem from the antioxidant flavonoids. Chocolate comes from the cacao plant, and cacao is extraordinarily rich in flavonols, a type of flavonoid phytochemical. Dark chocolate has monounsaturated fatty acids, which are the plant-based fats that enhance heart health and protect against chronic disease. Chocolate is also a good source of antioxidant polyphenols that can boost serotonin levels and your mood. Eat a few squares of dark chocolate and feel good about it because it’s good for you!
Stay informed. While not as bright and cheerful as the Easter bunny, new research shows that sugar is a toxin that could be the driving force behind heart disease. Take it as a healthy reminder to keep your sugar consumption in check.
So forget the diet mindset this Easter and just make smart choices. Change the letters in the word diet around and “e-d-i-t” what you eat. Have a plan and decide what you will eat and what you won’t. Planning ahead for your health is really what keeps life sweet!