Friday, April 2, 2010

Avoid Easter Diet Derailers!

Well, folks, that time of year has come upon us yet again. Yes, it's once again a time where we gather with our family and friends and indulge in some stick-to-your-ribs delicious food and treats! Not to mention it's a long weekend for many of us, giving us an extra day to relax (possibly NOT exercise) and squeeze in an extra few (hundred) calories. There's no question that we should most definitely enjoy ourselves and have a taste of everything on the table, but there are ways to make better choices, and here are just a few:

1. Use a smaller plate - an old but very good trick! If you're at a family event and don't want to get funny looks from your relatives or offend anyone, just take enough food to fill half of a normal plate but spread it out all over the plate so it looks full. Your relatives (and your brain) will be fooled and will never know you're eating half the calories they are!

2. Try a little bit of everything, or just take more of what you really like. This way you'll feel like you're indulging and will feel far more satisfied as opposed to feeling restricted or deprived of your favourite foods.

3. Offer to prepare a healthy side-dish of your own. This way, you can load up on it, with a little bit of everything else and you won't feel guilty. Now everyone is happy!

4. Enjoy, but ease up on dessert. If you weren't having dessert prior to this weekend, don't completely fall off the wagon! The sugar and fat in the dessert will spike your blood sugar and insulin levels, making dessert feel like more of a drug than food! You won't be able to stop yourself and it's not your fault - blame your brain's reward system. A better alternative - load up on fruit and take a little bit of your most favourite dessert and call it a day! Don't just eat it because it's there. People might give you funny looks about your tiny sliver (versus their slice) of dessert because they feel guilty about their portion, but before you know it they'll be asking you for diet tips when they see how great you look and feel!

5. Have some chocolate! It's Easter, chocolate is abundant and guess what - it's good for you! But only the extra dark kind and just have one square. It doesn't sound like much and maybe you don't like the dark variety but it's all you need to actually improve your health. Any more or any other kind and it's just another junk food.

Family feasts and long weekends don't have to throw a wrench in your hard-earned and much deserved healthy lifestyle. Don't forget that when it comes to weight loss, an extra calorie not eaten is much easier to give up than a calorie burned through exercise!



Christine Macdonald said...

Love this! Thank you and Happy Easter.