t is Easter time and that often means one thing – an annual chocolate binge! Everywhere you turn you will see Easter eggs lining supermarket aisles. Switch on the TV and within a matter of minutes an advertisement for chocolate will appear whilst families with young children will witness little faces covered in chocolate this holiday period. No matter how good our intentions are, the majority will struggle to prevent them from melting away in front of our eyes.
Holiday periods can be especially stressful for those who have a history of dieting, those who are actively trying to lose weight or individuals who struggle with emotional or binge eating. Over-indulging during the holidays can trigger a vicious cycle of guilt, further over-eating and the pounds can literally pile on. This in turn can lead to over-restriction and engagement in unhealthy fad diets when the holiday period ends.
But it doesn’t have to be like this. The first stage of avoiding a complete splurge is to accept that it is Easter and we are allowed to indulge in some treats. However, being mindful and aware of the nutritional content of treats can be enough to prevent us from entering that ‘sure I’ve ruined it now so I’ll eat what I like until the holidays are over and worry about it later’ mind set.
All Easter Eggs are not the same
Like anything, some are better options than others. Read the labels and think small to avoid consuming thousands of calories in just one sitting. Whilst smaller eggs such as Cadbury’s buttons might appear to be marketed towards children, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t suitable for adults too.
Nutritional content revealed
The Easter egg hunt is incomplete without Cadbury’s mini eggs
This small 149g egg along with the packet of mini eggs inside will see you consuming around 700 calories, 37g fat and 78g sugar (20 teaspoons of sugar). An individual weighing 170lbs would need to run for approximately 1 hour to shed 700 calories.
Similarly a small 128g Cadbury’s Buttons egg with 1 packet of buttons also contains around 700 calories, 40g fat & 73g sugar (18 teaspoons of sugar).
If you opt for a smaller chocolate alternative such as this 100g Lindt gold bunny you will slash your calorie intake further to 550calories, 33g fat & 55g sugar (14g teaspoons of sugar).
However, going large with this Yorkie 336g Easter egg along with the 3 Yorkie bars included will see you consuming a sheer 1850 calories, 102g fat & 205g sugar (51 teaspoons of sugar).
And upgrade to this XL Cadbury’s 497g Crème Egg Easter egg along with the 5 Cadbury’s Crème eggs enclosed and you will consume an astonishing 2470 calories, 122g fat & 300g sugar (75 teaspoons of sugar).
Putting their nutritional content into Context
If an average woman consumes the small Cadbury’s buttons egg (which is one of the better choices remember), she will consume almost 1/3 of her daily recommended calories for that day. Not only this but she will have consumed almost 60% of her total daily fat allowance and over 100% of her saturated fat intake for the day . Which is especially unfavourable for anyone who has a high cholesterol level. In addition to this, this small egg provides almost 250% of the daily recommended intake of ‘free sugars’ (excluding naturally found sugars in milk products/fruit etc.) for a woman.
Or perhaps you prefer to think of it like this; instead of consuming the 2470 empty calories found in the large Cadbury’s crème egg you could enjoy a lovely bowl of cereal with milk & fruit, a home-made chicken sandwich, a hearty roast chicken dinner with potatoes, veg and gravy and still have room for a slice of chocolate fudge cake with a scoop of ice cream for the same number of calories and receive all the additional nutritional benefits from good quality food.
How well do you know yourself?
Okay, putting the nutritional content aside for just one minute; are you the sort of person who can have just a couple of squares of chocolate and leave the remainder in the cupboard untouched? Or are you, like the majority of us? Someone who eats two squares of chocolate and devours the rest within one minute of trying to return the remainder of the bar to the cupboard? The point here is that it is vital to know yourself. If you are someone who lacks self-control around chocolate then you will need to be very realistic when setting yourself goals for managing your intake over the Easter period. Try to have small amounts as you go or ask friends & family to only buy you a small Easter egg this year. A clever move is to share your Easter eggs with friends, family or work colleagues to prevent over indulgence. Keep in mind that consuming a large Easter egg could equate to an entire days food intake alone.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to avoid chocolate altogether this Easter. We all deserve a treat alongside rest and relaxation during the holiday period . Even when you are trying to watch your nutritional intake. Just try to choose the smaller eggs and spread them out across a couple of days. Or alternatively have a normal sized bar of chocolate (e.g. Cadburys Dairy Milk 45g) instead if you struggle with portion control. A normal bar of chocolate is much kinder at around 250 calories, 14g fat & 25g sugar (6 teaspoons sugar). If it has to be an egg this Easter then why not choose a Cadbury’s Crème egg as your daily treat which contains a tiny 177 calories, 6g fat & 27g sugar (7 teaspoons sugar) in comparison to other alternatives.