Welcome to the most epic long weekend! Regardless of whether you celebrate Easter in a religious sense or not, chances are that you are being bombarded with chocolate from all directions. Depending upon where you are at with your personal goals, you may want to consider a few different strategies to not fall completely off the wagon with your health goals in this time.
Something that I think is actually really mean is that many people are just a couple of weeks off hitting the stage. If this is you, then I extend many hugs – this was me last year. The truth though is that all you need to do is focus on your goal. Let’s be honest here – no one is holding a gun to your head saying you have to get on stage and show off your ripped bodies while everyone else feels inadequate for eating the world this weekend. This is your choice and your goal – honour it and be happy for it. If you keep what you wan to achieve at the forefront of your mind this weekend then you should still be able to enjoy time with loved ones and not feel miserable.
Now for everybody else. Please don’t feel the need to deprive yourself of a bit of festive eating this long weekend unless you particularly want to. The whole point of being health oriented and taking care of yourself consistently is so that on the occasional festivity you can indulge with family and friends rather than have to sit in the corner rejecting everything that is offered to you. THAT BEING SAID, there are some pitfalls that are worth bearing in mind, as breaks in the habits that we form are where the true danger lies.
Having a blowout for the long weekend is not really going to do much to you. It’s the after-effect of this that is much more likely to catch you. It is very important to remind yourself when you are feasting that this is only for the celebrations of the long weekend and that this is not going to continue as soon as Tuesday comes along. Put strategies in place to prevent trailing on – I have asked to not be given any chocolate for Easter, so that I will only have what is there at meals but won’t have any sitting around at home. Goodness knows there has already been enough of it to go around even with this rule in place! If you are hosting a lunch for family and you have a lot of leftovers, then send off small portions with all of your guests – then everyone can have a delicious Monday meal and then back to normal on Tuesday rather than a week’s worth of crazy eating after for the host.
It is much smarter to acknowledge what behaviours you are good at modifying and which ones you are not so good at and working around those, rather than trying to make changes that you struggle with on the spot. For example, I know that if I have junk in the house then the junk will be eaten. Rather than have junk in the house and tell myself I’ll just leave it there and be able to ignore it, I simply don’t have any in the house and go out if I ever feel like having some junk. Work around the parameters of what you know you are more likely to stay in control of. If you know that faced with a feast you are going to go all out, then accept this and plan rather than tell yourself you’ll be controlled this time. Have a healthy snack beforehand, so that you are not ravenous. You are going to go to the limits anyway, so you might as well fill up part-way with something that is not going to contribute towards the blowout. It is important to note here – this snack should not be nuts or any other calorie-dense food as that kind of defeats the purpose of trying to fill some of that bottomless pit harmlessly.
Try your best to be good the rest of the time. If you already have a few meals with family and friends, then be controlled with your breakfasts and other meals that are not festive over the long weekend. Keep those lower in calories and as clean as possible. Finally, have a plan for how you are going to eat next week. You can actually make this blowout work to your benefit if you then hit your body with a week of very clean eating in a slight deficit. That doesn’t mean starve yourself after, but aim to avoid all junk for the following week or two, and you may find that you actually look even better after Easter.
Have a lovely long weekend with all the loved ones!