Susie Burrell

‘your food, your body, your life’

Reversing Easter weight gain

Chances are you are feeling bloated and heavy after the Easter break which featured plenty of chocolate binging and family feasting. The period after Easter is often the time we lose control of our diet, with shorter days and the need for more clothing covering any of our diet sins until Spring. If you are keen to not become a victim of post Easter weight gain, here are a few simple steps to reverse any unwelcome weight gain quick smart.

1. Get rid of the chocolate

The largest predictor of discretionary food intake is availability. This means that the more Easter chocolate and treats that are in the house within easy reach, the more you will eat. It is one thing to enjoy the treats as intended on holiday days, but to then use the holiday as an excuse to binge eat chocolate for another few weeks is another. Take control of your eating now by getting rid of any tempting treats lying around the house. Give them away, take them to work, whatever you need to do to get them out of the house.

2. Embrace soup

Now that the temperature has dropped, the thought of enjoying a warm and filling soup is much more realistic. Not only do vegetable based soups contain minimal calories and loads of fibre, but studies have shown that enjoying a vegetable or broth style soup as part of a meal results in you consuming up to 100 fewer calories per meal. Swapping your evening meal for a soup once or twice a week is a great way to slash calories and boost weight loss.

3. Limit your eating hours

One of the biggest changes in our eating behaviour in recent years has been the extended hours in which we eat. No longer does our food day stop at 6pm after dinner, rather it is not uncommon to see us eating as late as 9 or 10pm at night, which can leave very few hours of the day in which we do not eat. The simple act of limiting out food intake to just 10-12 hours of the day, and leaving 12-14 hours without food has been shown to have a powerful effect on the hormones that control fat metabolism. For many of us this means focusing on breakfast by 8am and then having out final meal of the day by 6 or 7pm at the latest. Not only does this approach limit calorie intake naturally, but it also has a powerful effect in reducing inflammation in the body.

4. Stop snacking

If a snack was as simple as a piece of fruit or a coffee there would be no issue, but our tendency to snack on calorie dense foods including muffins, cakes, toast and jumbo sized smoothies and juices can mean a snack quickly becomes 300-400 calories, or the equivalent of a small meal. When we stop snacking and leave the 3-4 hours in between meals that we need to help regulate the hormones that control our appetite you will find you eat larger, more satisfying meals so you feel full for several hours and do not find the need to visit the café or vending machine for extras throughout the day.

5. Move more than ever

The shorter days and dropping temps can mean we are more likely to skip the gym or walk home in favour of more comfortable surroundings. The issue with this is that the more time we spend at home and the less active we are, the more likely it is we will gain weight. For this reason looking at the cooler months of the year as a time to bump up your training whether it is by committing to training for an upcoming event, joining a new exercise program or investing in some regular personal training as well as making sure you are walking at least 10,000 steps each day is the key to not only getting rid of any Easter weight gain, but keeping it off through Winter.