Practising balance this Easter weekend

An all-or-nothing approach to Easter can leave you either feeling resentful and deprived, or guilty and overindulgent.

Heading into the weekend with a balanced mindset will allow you to enjoy experiences with family and friends, without the need to punish yourself after the festivities end.

Eating mindfully can help you to become more aware of your food choices over the Easter period. The goal of mindfulness is to practise paying attention on purpose and non-judgmentally to one single thing (in this case, eating a chocolate Easter egg!). It involves becoming more aware of what you’re eating, how much you’re eating, and why you’re eating it!

Before having a piece of chocolate, stop and take a moment to reflect. Ask yourself why you want it. Is it because it’s being offered to you, or perhaps you’re eating it because you feel like Easter is the only time of year you can enjoy chocolate? Or is it because you genuinely want to taste and savour it? If it’s the latter – then great! Take the time to enjoy it free from distractions such as the TV, and think about the smell, taste, and texture of every bite.

However, if you’re having the chocolate for a different reason, take a moment to reflect and reassess. Ask yourself whether you really want to eat it, or could you feel satisfied without it.

Remember Easter eggs are only chocolate, and it is available all year round, so opt for quality over quantity. A good quality chocolate is going to satisfy your craving quicker than something that’s going to leave you wishing for more.  Where possible, choose dark over milk or white cholate options.

According to Dr Gie Liem from Deakin University’s Centre for Advanced Sensory Science (CASS), the reason why dark chocolate is healthier than its milk counterpart is not due to its lower caloric value, but simply because its bitter taste means we tend to eat less of it. It’s been shown that people feel more satisfied or full, and feel less desire to eat something sweet, fatty, or savoury, after they consume dark chocolate compared to milk chocolate.

Easter is an opportunity to practice eating for enjoyment, nourishment, and pleasure. It is an opportunity to take a closer look at your Food Philosophy and ask if this is serving you in your eating habits.

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