Easter Weekend Survival Guide for the Female Chocoholic
(15 Things you can do to stay sane and not overindulge)
Created by a Reformed Chocoholic Nutrition and Health Coach!
Are you one of those people who when they get started with the chocolate find it difficult to stop? Is it always just one more piece and then just another and another and another and so on until there is none left? Is it as if chocolate has a megaphone and it’s calling out your name to come and get it! That was me. I have been there before and the fact that you are still reading this post, maybe I am describing you too.
In my former life as a chocoholic Easter was my licence to eat chocolate for a month! I can tell you I ate my eggs, my children’s eggs (sorry!), the eggs I bought just in case and all the rest. I have managed in the past to easily put on half a stone in the 2 weeks over the Easter Break. I blamed it on the fact the kids were on holidays and the lack of routine. Thankfully I don’t dread this coming weekend and the thought of being surrounded by chocolate. Yes I intend to enjoy my orange chocolate egg and I will be able to stop it at that.
So what has changed for me? I can put my finger onto 3 things:-
- My fundamental belief and attitude around chocolate has changed. Our beliefs drive our thoughts which in turn influences our behaviour. With ‘the glass and a half of milk in every bar’ image in my head, I actually believed chocolate was somewhat nutritious. As a qualified nutrition consultant and health coach thankfully I am much more aware now of the health risks of high sugar consumption. I now absolutely know without any doubt that sugar damages our health and as I truly value my health I have drastically cut down on my sugar intake. A belief change can create a long lasting, deeper transformational change.
- I took sole responsibility for all my actions. When you take responsibility you are control and you have the power to change your behaviour.
- I made a plan and wrote down a set of guidelines that will work for me to get me through times like Easter and I stick to it. Awareness of the damage sugar does to our health was not quite enough to do it for me. Luckily I specialise in the area of sugar cravings and blood sugar balancing so I have expertise to create a plan that works. No gimmicks or quick fixes.
So I am delighted to be sharing my Easter Weekend Survival Guide for the Chocoholic Woman with my on line community group. This may not be relevant to everyone – some of you can indulge and walk away but many people cannot. So this is particularly important if you are an emotional eater which to be honest many chocoholics are.
- Establish why it is important for you to eat healthily this weekend. What will you personally gain? Write it down. Also consider the negative impact of over indulgence on your mood, your energy, your confidence, your body shape, your motivation and your willpower.
- Don’t deny yourself – otherwise you are more likely to overindulge.
- Decide in advance how much chocolate you are going to have and stick to it. See it as a treat.
- Choose a good quality chocolate. Choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate. Only a few ingredients are required to make dark chocolate. Avoid brands made with trans fats or large amounts of sugar. The healthiest dark chocolate contains a cocoa percentage of 70% or higher, which provides more antioxidants and health benefits.
- Eat mindfully and savour your treat.
- Limit your alcohol intake over the weekend and drink plenty of water in between alcoholic drinks. Why? If you wake up anyway hungover on Easter Sunday morning the last thing you will want is a healthy breakfast. The chances are you will crave fat and sugar meaning a beeline for chocolate. If you start your day with chocolate on an empty stomach chances are you will end up on the sugar roller coaster of cravings and crashes for the rest of the day.
- Have your chocolate after your protein based breakfast. Protein will slow down the sugar release and reduce the extreme sugar spikes and drops that leave you tired and wired and looking for more.
- Swap tea and coffee for green tea. Tea and coffees are big triggers for a lot of people to have something sweet. If it is yours avoid or limit teas and coffees to a minimum. I highly recommend green tea is great for keeping blood sugars steady.
- Drink 2L of water every day right through the long weekend and into next week. Water will help reduce sugar cravings. We often mix up thirst for hunger.
- Stock up the fridge with healthy snacks so you always have an alternative. Find healthy substitutes that will satisfy your sweet cravings, such as fruit kebabs dipped in melted dark chocolate.
- Keep chocolate out sight and out of eye level in the fridge and presses – particularly important as the week goes on. You may have great resolve Easter Sunday. Unfortunately willpower is a limited resource. If you are seeing chocolate around the house all week and exercising your willpower every day to avoid it, even with the best of intentions, chances are you will eventually cave in.
- Don’t allow yourself get over hungry this weekend. Eat every 3 to 4 hours – even a handful of nuts or berries, seeds and yogurt is great between meals. If you get to a stage you are starving and the only thing choice you have is chocolate, it is game over. When we are very hungry we are hardwired to seek out the quickest solution to get fat and sugar into our bodies to replenish our energy stores. This a physiological response that is very difficult to control.
- Forward plan you meals and snacks for this weekend. This removes the element of choice making it easier to choose healthy options.
- Get out and exercise as often as you can over the weekend. Exercise burns up our stress hormone cortisol thus reducing our stress levels. The less stressed we are the less likely we turn to chocolate for a release. Exercise also releases powerful neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which are naturally occurring happy chemicals for our brain that are long lasting compared to the short buzz we get from chocolate. The release of endorphins from exercising earlier can carry us right through the rest of the day on a high!
- And finally go easy on yourself. Celebrate all successes no matter how small and you can always start again at the next snack and the next meal. Don’t dwell on the past – just move on.
For more information, nutrition tips, support and guidance join my tribe;
My on line community group just for women to guide and support you to ditch the dieting mentality and make healthy habits ever soooo easy!
How to Join:
Click right here or the image below to bring you into Facebook and the click the join the group button
Search help2health the tribe on Facebook and click the join the group button
Happy Easter – Helen xx