By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
Chocolate Easter eggs have been in the supermarkets since the beginning of the year in Australia. Australia is reported to consume an average of 5-6kilograms (11-13pounds) of chocolate per person per year.
Holiday periods including Easter are times when many people eat more foods rich in calories, fats and sugars than they normally should or would. It can be difficult to get back onto a healthy eating program again if you have lapse back into any old unhealthy habits.
Holidays, stress and busy periods can also contribute to people falling back into unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits. When you can continue to eat healthily and controlled through these periods in your life, then you have come a long way towards better health.
Processed foods can be very addictive for some people. Your taste senses can get used to these highly processed foods and may start to crave them again. Sugar is one of those foods where the more you eat the more you want it. So I have listed some easily to follow guidelines.
Top 10 tips to tackle those sweet cravings and get back on track:
1. Drinking plenty of water, as we know thirst is often mistaken for hunger.
2. Drinking a fresh juice with natural sweetness from fruits and vegetables
3. Fill up and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, this will reduce any cravings and keep you full for longer periods of time than processed foods will.
4. Eat regularly throughout the day to prevent blood sugar crashes and reduce binges.
5. Make an effort to take your time and pay attention to what you’re eating, this has been shown to reduce overeating.
6. Eat strong flavoured plant foods whole or juiced such as fennel, radish, rocket, onions, ginger, garlic, mint and other culinary herbs. Drink licorice, fennel, ginger or peppermint tea. Strong flavours can counter the taste and craving for chocolate and sweets. They have such strong distinct flavours that you won’t want chocolate afterwards.
7. Throw out or give away any chocolates, sweets or any other junk food that you know you should not be having. This is a powerful message to yourself, especially if (like me), you hate throwing away food. Is it really wasteful when it will end up being those extra kilos on you?
8. If you decide to keep any chocolates then put it into a really inconvenient place in your house so it requires alot of effort to get them out.
9. Eat 100% cocoa nibs or a very high cocoa mass chocolate, at least 85%, this will satisfy a chocolate craving very quickly as it contains plenty of anti-oxidants and nutrients. You can also drink a 100% cocoa powder with hot water and stevia. This will provide all the nutrients from the cocoa and none of the added sugar and fats.
10. Exercise will help reduce cravings and improve mood and energy levels.
Last of all, don’t be too hard on yourself if you have eaten too much over the holiday period! Just follow these easy tips and guidelines and get back on track.