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Feeling like you’ve over-indulged on Easter eggs? Me too! How can we get back on track?

Written by Sarah on

Are your jeans feeling tighter after all of those unavoidable egg shaped treats you've been consuming over the past couple of weeks/months? Mine too! Let's look at how we can get back on track with our nutrition. We're in this together!

It’s Easter Sunday and I’m wondering how many chocolate eggs I have consumed since Christmas. I don’t know why egg-shaped chocolate feels so much more irresistible to me than the standard rectangular bar shape. But for some reason chocolate eggs seem to have a power over me so great that I cannot resist their call and I can feel the consequences as I try and squeeze into my jeans today!

The fact that shops start selling us Easter treats from Boxing Day doesn’t help, people go on about Christmas consumerism beginning seemingly earlier each year but what about the Easter creep?! 3 full months of ubiquitous Creme Eggs and Mini Eggs, even longer when Easter falls in April. That’s a lot of additional sugar and calories to try to avoid for a long period of time!

As a PT I think it’s really important to role model positive lifestyle choices, how can I expect my clients to follow my guidance if I don’t follow it myself? But I feel it’s equally important to be honest and authentic about my own experiences and when it comes to chocolate, for me, the struggle is real! I consistently show up for my exercise but my diet still needs work and as I tell all of my clients ‘you can’t out-train a bad diet’!

If you are also suffering the results of over-indulging this Easter (additional pounds, clothes are tighter, feeling sluggish from too much sugar) then I’d like to invite you to join me on my kick-start plan for April. This is essentially following the same guidelines I give to my clients when they are trying to forge new positive habits and to improve their nutrition.

1. Be prepared (not just a motto for the scouts and Scar from the Lion King…)

  • Make a meal plan for your week and do the prep to help your future self out. Are there days where you are going to be working late or having a full-on day and unable to cook when you get in? Get some batch cooking done on a quieter day (Sundays can be a good option for this). Have portions of healthy food in the fridge or freezer which you can bang in the microwave when you get in for a healthy, nutritious meal. Today I’ve helped my future self out by making Joe Wicks’ sweet potato, black bean and quinoa chilli. This is not the time to over-complicate things and try 25 ingredient recipes which take a whole afternoon to make, keep it simple and keep it tasty.

  • If there just isn’t time for a batch cook at the moment for you think about investing in some healthy frozen meals from somewhere like Mindful Chef. Or go for limited prep DIY options like fresh soups and stir fries.

  • Identify times when you are going to be tempted to reach for calorie dense, low nutrient snacks and work out strategies to avoid this. If you are going to be rushing between meetings or appointments or travelling and don’t have time for a proper lunch, bring a pack up with you with lots of healthy options which you can eat on the move. My go to foods for these situations are boiled eggs, a small pot of nuts, chopped up carrot and cucumber with a small pot of hummus, apples, tangerines.

2. Get tracking!

  • I know it’s such a bore but tracking is vital when you are trying to build healthier nutrition habits. There are loads of apps out there to help you with this and though the first couple of days of using them will make you want to throw your phone out of the window, it does get easier, so stick with it. Remember that anything new is hard to start with and it takes us a while to hone our skills. Once you’ve got a few regular meals in you can copy stuff across to other days which starts to make it feel a lot easier.

  • If you don’t want to use an app or you aren’t bothered about tracking calories or macros at the moment you can write a food diary instead. This can be helpful for a couple of reasons. 1 – it makes you more mindful about what you are eating (this only works if you write down everything, not just the healthy stuff!) and therefore likely to make more informed food choices. 2 – it can really help you to recognise patterns in your eating eg every time I eat porridge for breakfast I get an energy slump mid-morning but this doesn’t happen when I have eggs on toast. You can use this data to work out which foods make you feel good and which have a more detrimental impact on your day. This is so individual, what works well for one person might be a disaster for someone else so treat your food diary like a science experiment and yourself as the subject.

3. Work out your why

  • Take some time to think about why you want to make this change. Why do you want to follow a healthier diet, what impact will it have on your life both now and in the future?

  • For me it’s a few things. I massively struggle with my energy levels and have poor blood sugar control meaning that when I eat certain carbs (chocolate is very much included here) my blood sugar spikes and then crashes. When it crashes it makes me feel incredibly lethargic and like my body and brain are shutting down. Sometimes my vision goes all blurry which is not fun (or safe!). I know that I can stop myself feeling like this if I manage my diet properly. That’s my why for now.

  • My future why is that I want to prevent myself from developing diet related diseases. I have a family history of diabetes, cardiovascular and kidney disease as well as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The odds are already slightly stacked against me and there are things I can do to improve my long-term health prospects, including making healthy diet choices.

Making healthy choices in what we eat is tough. Hyper-palatable, incredibly well-marketed, calorie dense, low nutrient food is everywhere we go. Cooking from scratch and eating unprocessed foods takes time, energy and money, factors of which we all have variable (and ever decreasing) amounts. But it is possible to change your diet and you will feel the benefits if you do, both today and in the future.

So let’s take this one step at a time. Start with that meal plan. Then the shop. Then a bit of prep and cooking. Then some tracking. All the while remembering why you are doing this. Hopefully after a few days you’ll start to feel a bit better and those days will turn into weeks and then you’ll have more noticeable results and rewards.

There will be days when it’s tough and you have a row with your boss and mainline a packet of Tunnock's teacakes. That’s ok, you’re only human. Just get back on it the next day. It’s the consistency that makes the difference. We’ve got this.

I’m going to come back next week with reflections on week 1 of my meal planning and tracking. Wish me luck!

If you want support in making positive lifestyle changes, get in touch for a free consultation.

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