For chocoholics, Easter can act as the ultimate excuse to binge on as much chocolate as possible. Learn how to avoid the overindulgence this year!
There’s no denying it, we are a nation of chocoholics, with research showing that 6.6 million Australians - more than a third of the nation - have spent up on chocolate in the past month alone.
And with Easter just around the corner, the urge to give into cravings and overindulge in mini eggs, chocolate bunnies and hot cross buns is imminent, with temptation in abundance!
To satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt this Easter, Nature’s Own Dietitian Kate Save shares her healthy chocolate alternatives and top tips for curbing cravings.
Moderate and regulate: Top five tips for controlling cravings
- Avoid skipping meals: If your blood sugar levels are low, you are more likely to give in to temptations. It’s important to start the day with a nutritious breakfast to resist consuming calorific mid-morning snacks.
- Choose low GI carbohydrates: Maintain your energy levels throughout the day with a healthy diet consisting of small portions of low GI carbohydrates and regular consumption of lean protein foods.
- Combat deficiency with supplementation: Chromium is a natural mineral found in the body which helps to move glucose from the bloodstream into the cells to be used as energy. Chromium supplements have been found to maintain blood sugar levels and minimise food cravings. Magnesium is an essential mineral that regulates more than 300 of the body’s metabolic reactions and research shows that deficiency may cause chocolate cravings.
- Allow yourself an occasional treat: Give in to your craving every once in a while. If you completely eliminate forbidden treats from your diet, it can create uncontrollable urges to binge.
- Get active: Regular exercise is a great way to boost your mood, improve energy levels and reduce chocolate cravings. Try to exercise each day over the Easter break, take a brisk walk, go on a bike ride, or play a family game of beach cricket.
Don’t deny, give these treats a try: Kate’s favourite healthy chocolate recipes
- Banana Choc-Almond Tops: This popsicle-style snack is a healthy alternative to ice-cream and a good source of dietary fibre, B-Group vitamins and potassium. Use 70% cocoa organic dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate – the higher the cocoa content, the greater the antioxidant benefits.
- Choc-banana-berry frappe: This high protein snack is a great substitute for thick-shakes and offers a rich source of antioxidants, calcium, potassium, vitamin C and B-group vitamins. For a nutritionally complete treat, choose dutch chocolate flavoured Sustagen which is fortified with vitamins and minerals.
- Chocolate Mousse: This dessert is a nutritious alternative to cream-based mousse, and provides a good source of essential fatty acids and antioxidants to improve heart health and cholesterol profile. Use avocado as a thickener instead of cream, and organic cacao powder rather than milk chocolate.
- Choc-Walnut parfait: This high protein parfait is an ideal replacement for chocolate coated nuts, and has the benefits of antioxidants, omega 3 essential fatty acids, calcium, zinc and magnesium. Choose organic cacao powder and low fat Greek yoghurt for a nourishing guilt free snack.
- Choc-chip and Chia muffins: Instead of reaching for the hot cross buns, why not make these portion controlled low GI snacks? Choc-chip and chia muffins are low in sugar, and are a good source of dietary fibre and omega 3 fatty acids. Use 70% cocoa dark chocolate as an alternative to milk chocolate chips.
For more information, visit www.naturesown.com.au.
About Kate Save
As one of the country’s most respected dietitians and exercise physiologists, Kate Save is truly passionate about helping to empower individuals across all walks of life make real change within their own lives to achieve optimal health and wellness.