How to stay on track when drowning in Easter Eggs
Are you afraid you'll be pressured to eat the hot cross buns? Worried that the sugary easter eggs will be too tempting?
Easter is a time of year that brings joy and celebration and some very welcome time off work. However, it can also present significant challenges for those trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The festivities often include an abundance of sugary "treats", such as chocolate eggs and hot cross buns, which we can be pressured to eat and that can be difficult to resist. We have previously discussed what to eat over easter. Here we have taken a deeper dive into some valuable tips on navigating the challenges of Easter without sabotaging your health goals.
Beware the Marketing Mischief
One of the biggest challenges of Easter is the sneaky marketing that companies use to promote their products. They purposely try to create a sense of of scarcity. This "scarcity model" in marketing creates a false sense of urgency that if you don't eat the chocolate egg or hot cross bun now, you may never have the chance again. However, the reality is that chocolate and other sweets are available all year round. It's important to recognise this and not succumb to the pressure of the scarcity model. This is marketing mischief. Don't let them fool you!
Turning FOMO into JOMO
Choosing to not eat Easter foods can trigger the fear of missing out (FOMO). It can be a really unpleasant feeling, a literal sense of fear. It is a completely natural and normal feeling. We can practice reframing FOMO into the joy of missing out (JOMO) as a powerful tool. By celebrating all the things that you are gaining by not eating high carb and high inflammatory foods, you can turn FOMO into JOMO. You are gaining health, food freedom, reduced inflammation, and owning your power - serious things to feel joyous about.
Knowing yourself is key to staying on track during Easter. Personally, I can take or leave a hot cross bun, for others they are manna from heaven and impossible to just stop at one. Some people can regulate their intake of certain foods better than others. If you know that you are likely to overeat when presented with a chocolate egg or hot cross bun, it might be best to avoid them altogether. Conversely, if you know you can easily regulate that food, then it could be perfectly fine to have one (if you choose).
Have a Plan
Having a plan is crucial during Easter. It's okay to plan to go off plan and eat some Easter sugary foods if you want to. Honestly, one day of eating sugary and high carb foods is probably not going to make much difference to your health, but it's important to have a plan to get back on track afterwards. This plan should include nourishing your body with protein and fat to help reduce sugar cravings.
How to Get Back on Track
If you do indulge in sugary/high carb/processed foods during Easter, you may experience sugar and carbohydrate cravings the next day. This is what we like to call "waking up fluffy". Fluffy being the the carb craving monster inside your head. Fluffy is peaceful and quiet when we eat low carb real food, but can wake up and start raging through your mind demanding more carbs once it has been woken up by eating high carb foods. We also recommend NOT fasting after you go off plan. While fasting may be tempting, it may not be the best solution. Fasting should never be used as a punitive measure. Instead, nourish your body with protein and fat to help reduce cravings and hunger.
Dealing with Easter Leftovers
It's common to have Easter leftovers, but you don't have to eat them if you don't want to. Don't feel obligated to eat them just because they were paid for or because throwing them out may seem like food wastage. If you don't want them, simply throw them in the bin. Your body is NOT the bin. You don't need to eat food to get rid of it!
Mental rehearsal can be a powerful tool for navigating Easter and successfully sticking with your plan (whatever your plan may be). Before Easter, have a clear plan in place and mentally rehearse how you will stick to your plan. Visualising success can help reduce anxiety and increase confidence. Run through the plan in your mind a few times before the day. If you have your plan, and you have mentally rehearsed it you're much less likely to be flummoxed when you get to the event, when you're surrounded by the environment that has the high carb food, the chocolate, the hot cross buns, the alcohol, and you win before you even start.
Beware of Perfectionism
Finally, beware of perfectionism. If you slip up and indulge in a chocolate egg or another treat, don't let it derail your entire day. Avoid the "all or nothing" mentality and strive for progress, not perfection. The "perfect trap" is one we all too commonly fall into. There is no need to be perfect, if you have a slip up, just keep going.
You've Got This!
Easter can present significant challenges in trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But with a little preparation and mind management, you can have a great time, enjoy the people, fun and festivities without losing sight of your health goals.