The Hunt for a Healthy Easter

Indulge in all of Easter's treats with these tactics.
The Hunt for a Healthy Easter
Just when you thought all the holidays were behind you — and no longer threatening your weight-loss — along comes Easter. Towering displays of marshmallow chicks and chocolate bunnies fill the stores, and you or your relatives may be planning a massive feast. But you can enjoy this festive celebration without abandoning your diet. All it takes is a little planning.

"A holiday is one day," says New York-based nutritionist and chef Jackie Newgent, RD. So if you do tend to overindulge, don't fret. "It's not something to throw the towel in for," advises Newgent. There's only so much damage you can do in 24 hours.

Watch that basket
The best approach to Easter? Focus on the meaning and the nonfood traditions of the holiday rather than the meals. Then, once you're looking at the bigger picture — not just candy-filled Easter baskets — figure out how to incorporate some of your favorite low-calorie foods into the holiday for a healthy approach to weight loss. Here are some more tips:

Since you know sweets will be around, plan for them
Save calories elsewhere in the day for a small splurge. Some chocolate can be good for you, says Newgent. Try buying small, individually wrapped chocolate eggs and jelly-bean packs. Avoid the giant chocolate bunnies, no matter how cute they are.

Don't sit down to dinner on an empty stomach
You'll be more likely to overeat, Newgent says. Try snacking on those colorful hard-boiled eggs — one large egg has around 76 calories. It's a filling, nutritious choice, and a Weight Watchers Power Food.

Be active
Go for a walk before church or coordinate a street-wide Easter egg hunt or parade.

Rethink that Easter basket
Sometimes nontraditional gifts (books, costume jewelry, gift certificates) are even more appreciated than the usual candy, says Newgent, who loves the surprise of finding a new outfit in her basket every year.

Consider making healthy meal substitutions
For example, try the Apricot Citrus Stuffed Ham and Ginger-Sesame Asparagus.

Easter advice
Here are more suggestions for keeping this holiday low in calories, courtesy of Community users on the WeightWatchers.com message boards:

Shift your focus
"Remind yourself that holidays are not about a whole season, a whole weekend or even a whole day," says Jen. "They're a time to be shared with loved ones. They're not about dinner!"

"Un"-Chocolate Eggs
"Instead of buying lots of candy, buy plastic eggs and fill them with stickers, money or small toys," suggests Karlene. "Kids love them because they can hide them over and over again!"

Spread the wealth
"'Share' is the key word," says Caridad. "Don't buy a big bag of candy. But if it ends up that you have one: Share, share, share!"

Smart requests
Jennifer suggests: "Ask the Easter Bunny for some nonfood rewards, or ask for things that will help with your weight loss: individual-size puddings, granola/cereal bars, dried fruit."

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