It’s the same old story every year. Easter comes around, you eat a few too many Easter eggs, enjoy hot cross buns for breakfast and are too busy enjoying the long weekend to remember to go the gym. It happens. Then, once the festivities are over, that all-familiar guilt rears its ugly head to remind you that you need to “work off” that chocolate bunny. But, as nutritionist, Steph Wearne explains, it really doesn’t have to be this way and what it comes down to is shifting your mindset. “I think people struggle with finding balance again as Easter is a common time for people to overindulge and coming back from this can seem overwhelming because they feel they need to go too far in the other directions and be overly restrictive to counterbalance,” Steph tells Amodrn. “This is absolutely not necessary, however.”
We asked Steph the question: Can you actually gain weight during such a short period of time? “It depends how indulgent you want to be and how much you move your body but what is also just as important is what your relationship and mindset around food is like,” says Steph. “Overeating refined foods and not moving your body enough could possibly result in weight gain, but over just a long weekend, this is likely minimal.” “If your mindset and relationship with food can be obsessive then these habits and associated symptoms can bring about feelings of guilt and being ashamed/disappointed with yourself which can exaggerate the perceived severity of these symptoms and any associated ‘weight gain’.” Steph goes on to explain that although you might feel like you have put on weight due to eating nutrient-poor, highly refined foods (like milk chocolate) and moving your body less, these feelings are most likely a result from feeling lethargic, bloated and full.
“If the scales are showing a jump in numbers after a binge episode, it may not just be because of the excess calories eaten of the lack of exercise,” Steph explains. “But many refined foods can cause inflammatory responses and associated water retention, or it could be from a blocked up digestive system also.” “Not to mention our weight on the scales fluctuates daily regardless, so it could even just depend on the time of day you have jumped on the scales.”
What to do instead:
“All you need to do is reduce the frequency and portions of your indulgences but not cut them out altogether. Use the very next meal as an opportunity to get some vegetables in and just keep doing this meal by meal until you reach a better balance between indulgences and nutrient-packed foods.” If you are inclined to a post-Easter detox, it’s important to choose the right program where you complete it under the guidance of a practitioner (you can check out Steph’s 21 Day Detox here). “Otherwise, for most of us, just simply working more nutrient-rich meals, water and movement into your routine day-by-day is the most sustainable way to get back on track.” Visit www.bodygoodfood.com.au and @nutritionist_stephwearne for more.