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It is that delicious time of year again where beautiful hot cross buns and chocolate eggs are everywhere! Easter is also a time however, when many of us restrict ourselves and feel guilty about enjoying such treats.

One of my favourite memories as a kid was our annual Easter camping trip because I knew that come Sunday morning, breakfast would be hot cross buns and chocolate Easter eggs. I looked forward to it so much each year because it was just such a fun and enjoyable novelty to have chocolate for breakfast!

Unfortunately, as adults these memories are often replaced with feelings of deprivation, followed perhaps by overindulging, and then finally guilt. How can we break the cycle this year and enjoy Easter?

Don’t deprive yourself
It is simply just human nature that the second we tell ourselves we can’t have something, we want it so much more!

A healthy diet is not an ‘all or nothing’ approach, it really is about a balance.

Eighty percent healthy, twenty percent indulgent. When we try to push it closer to one hundred percent healthy we are depriving ourselves, which we can only sustain for some time before we give in and then most likely feel badly about it. So strive to reach this balance daily. Balance each day stops us reaching the end of the week feeling frustrated and restricted, and then eating all our indulgences at once, likely in much larger amounts!

 Image: issycrocker.com

Include as part of your normal diet
One way to achieve a balanced diet is to include indulgences as part of your normal diet, instead of having them replace your normal healthy meal or snack. It is ideal if you can enjoy a bit of Easter chocolate after your usual piece of fruit for an afternoon snack as an example. This way you are not absolutely starving when you get to the chocolate, and are more likely to take your time to enjoy it, and feel satisfied after a smaller amount. Otherwise, if starving you might find yourself chomping through half a chocolate bunny! Same for meals i.e. for breakfast you might have a smaller portion of your usual fruit and yoghurt, followed by a hot cross bun. Yum!

Take the time to really savour and enjoy
It can be really tricky to take some time out of the bustle of everyday life to truly eat mindfully with no distractions. If you do find this time however, you will notice just how much of a difference it makes. Only then are you able to tune in to your natural hunger and satiety cues, and eat until satisfied as opposed to really full. This is also where the most enjoyment comes from eating, so you typically find that you end up eating smaller amounts, as you are in tune with your body and able to stop eating when you feel satisfied. We are all guilty of doing it, but try to focus on just eating during a meal or snack – no Instagram scrolling!

No Guilt!
This is the most important one! We really have to make a conscious decision to not feel guilty about our food choices. Stick with the 80/20 balance and you know you are on track. There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a delicious hot cross bun over the Easter long weekend with friends and family. Sometimes we just have to remind ourselves of that in the moment!

I definitely know what I’ll be having for breakfast on Easter Sunday and I can’t wait!

 Image: unsplash.com
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author

Amy Knight

Amy is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, having studied Nutrition and Dietetics at Monash University in Melbourne. A food lover since an early age, Amy has always loved making a mess in the kitchen and creating recipes that are delicious and make you feel good! Amy is a big believer that food is not simply fuel, it is also a big part of how we show love, spend time with loved ones and enjoy life! She loves helping people find a balanced relationship with food, and hopes to show that healthy food can be simple, easy and affordable, and most importantly enjoyable!

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