The Easter weekend can sometimes feel like an excuse to stuff our faces with as many Easter eggs and hot cross buns as we like.
And with our workplaces and kids' schools filled to the brim with sweet treats and indulgent gifts, it can feel as though staying on track and avoiding sugar at this time of year is impossible. But don't stress if you're worried about the avalanche of chocolate about to enter your life, or if you're like us and have tucked into one too many hot cross buns recently.
Now To Love spoke to Tiffiny Hall, a former trainer on Australia's The Biggest Loser, about what we can do to shift those extra calories after an indulgent Easter holiday break.
1. Remember, we don't need to be perfect eaters.
"I'm not a puritan," Hall says. "You don't need to stick 100 percent to your lifestyle plan or diet all the time. I'm very much an 80/20 girl. If I feel like a treat or a piece of licorice, I'll have it."
2. Maintain your exercise routine over the holiday break.
"The most important thing around this time is to keep the consistency with your training," Hall says, "not because it burns calories, but because it regulates your appetite. If you're going to indulge in more sugar, then it's going to simulate your hunger more and you're going to eat more.
3. Pick your "treat day," enjoy it, and stick to it.
"Don't think 'I'm going to eat everything in the office.' Say 'You know what? On Easter Sunday, I'm going to eat my favorite chocolate or my favorite egg, whatever it may be," Hall advises.
"Choose it, buy it, and look forward to eating it. Say 'I'm going to have my moment and it's going to be on Sunday and I'm going to lap it up and enjoy it'. But on Monday, you're back on track, and it's a reset and you keep that consistency with your training."
4. Keep the rest of your weekend healthy.
"I'm coaching people who have lost weight and are nervous about this time of year," she revealed. "You really do have to be smart about it and know you're going to have that treat and work it into your meal plan, booking those days with really healthy days. Eat a bit lighter and tack on five extra minutes of exercise to your workout."
5. Find other ways to "relax" and "indulge" over the break.
"Is there some other form of indulgence or self care you can do?" Hall asked. "What other ways can you treat yourself, other than with food? Can you do a face mask or go on an Easter egg hunt with the kids? When I was a kid, instead of giving us chocolate my parents would give us a pair of slippers. If people want to give you a gift, give them options of other gifts they can give you instead."
6. Give your chocolate away.
"People are just eating chocolate out of control for two weeks. You're on this rollercoaster and the binge lasts all the way through [next week]," Hall said. "I like to give eggs away when they come into the house from the office. The gardener came over the other day and he scored three bunnies! Don't have it in the house if you have a goal."
7. Inform your loved ones about your health and fitness goals.
"I'm going into a big fitness shoot next week, so this Easter I won't be indulging in chocolate," Hall revealed. "So I've told everyone, 'I've got a big fitness shoot. Please, don't give me eggs. But if you want to give me something, give me a cuddle, come over and we'll spend time together.' Tell people 'I have a goal, don't sabotage me. I'd like your support.'"
8. Reset the day after you return from holidays.
"I always believe in the power of a reset, not deprivation. Live your life and live a full, rich life," Hall said. "But there are times when we do have to pull it back and say 'This isn't healthy and I need a reset.' "The reset is where just wake up and you have to do the meal prep at the beginning of the week. It takes a bit of determination."
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.