Easter is here! The long weekend is a great opportunity to take a well-deserved break, relax and play catch-up with loved ones.
On the downside, Easter presents an opportunity to indulge in hearty meals, sugary treats, and alcohol. "It's easy to go overboard with Easter celebrations," says Terry Orwa, a clinical nutritionist.
"Yes, you are allowed your chocolate Eggs, sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy your well-earned break."
"It takes about a minute to consume chapati and over one hour of strenuous exercise to burn the 297 calories it contains per 100 grams. This concept cuts across all areas of over-indulgence. There's always a price to pay," she says.
Orwa says over-consumption of sugary foods, such as cookies and sweets, can lead to unhealthy weight gain, which puts one at risk of chronic health problems, including some cancers.
But even with a bite of chocolate here or there, there are ways to maintain healthy habits during the long weekend.
Start the day right
"Start with a breakfast of champions," says Orwa. "You may not be in a position to control whatever is served at the lunch or dinner table, but you certainly can control what you eat in the morning. Load up on proteins, nutrient and fiber-rich foods, including yogurt, eggs, arrow roots, and other foods that provide bulk and keep you feeling full for longer."
This, Orwa says, helps prevent reaching for sweets throughout the day. "Avoid sugary snacks on an empty stomach, as the sugars will wreak havoc on blood sugar levels and make you feel out of sorts throughout the day," she says.
Eating a nutrient-rich breakfast every day helps you avoid quick-energy foods that have adverse effects in the long term.
Stock on healthy snacks
Stock your pantry and fridge with fruit and vegetables, and make a fresh salad to keep your diet balanced over the long weekend. Opt for dark chocolate as it contains less sugar and more antioxidants. Stock on granola bars, nuts, popcorn, dates, yogurt, and milkshakes. "These snack alternatives will ensure you indulge minimally on the highly processed ones such as soda, biscuits, crisps, and others," says Orwa.
As always, don't drink and drive
You're not the Christ to die during Easter weekend. And even He conquered the grave because he died for a noble course. You, on the other hand, risk dying without a course if you drink and drive!
Remember, about 3 out of 10 of all cancer cases, 9 out of 10 of all diabetes type 2 cases, and eight out of ten of all heart attack and stroke cases can be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices.
"All you need is to be physically active, develop healthy eating habits, take less alcohol, avoid cigarettes, and think twice about all your lifestyle choices," says Orwa.