(or any other treat for that matter)
We started of our Easter weekend firstly, by wishing everyone a great weekend ahead. We told all of our client’s, friends & family to enjoy a little indulgence & to make the most of the beautiful weather that we had.
We wanted to make people aware of how weekends that include treats, can be fitted into a healthy balanced lifestyle, or can have detrimental effects on your goals (assuming your goal is weight / fat loss).
We started off with a likely scenario for an Easter Sunday. A typical hot cross bun breakfast, dippy egg & soldier lunch, roast lamb dinner and of course… the chocolate Easter egg treats.
Sounds pretty normal for Easter right… and this is okay. But if it becomes a regular occurrence with other kinds of treats, this may be the one thing that is holding you back from reaching your goals. Take a look at the calorie comparison from a day eating during Easter.
3600kcals = equivalent to 14.5 McDonald’s hamburgers! Amazing right…
(We do NOT recommend eating 14.5 McDonald's burgers...)
On Easter Monday we went live and discussed how to work around these treats and make sure they fit into our balanced lifestyle. We created 2 scenarios.
One where the person succeeded to consume their weekend treat and continue to work towards their goal,
One where the person consumed their weekend treat but was no longer working towards their goal.
Person 1: With a goal of losing weight and reducing body fat, person 1 planned ahead for the treat she was going to have at the weekend. Person 1 made sure that she attended all exercise classes (or other chosen form of exercise) & worked that little bit harder. She also increased other activities i.e. walked the dog on a slightly longer walk, all to increase overall energy expenditure. She also made sure that she stuck to a healthy diet throughout the week, avoiding any extra treats. That way she could look forward to the treat at the weekend without the guilt, and detrimental effect on her goal. She had balanced out the treat by expending more energy during the week and keeping calories consumed under control.
Person 2: With also a goal of losing weight and reducing body fat, person 2 had come to a plateau in his weight loss routine. This was not necessarily because person 2 looked forward to a treat every weekend, but perhaps because he didn’t put any extra effort in during the week, and didn’t reduce his calorie intake to allow for ‘something extra’ at the weekend. Person 2 was taking 1 step forward (exercising during the week) but then 1 step backwards (overeating at the weekend). What’s worse, is that sometimes person 2 takes 2 steps backwards at the weekend causing him to gain more weight.
Person 2 could take the following steps to get back on track (of course we could say to avoid treats at the weekend, but for some that isn’t realistic):
1. Increase activity during the week to increase energy expenditure
2. Reduce calorie intake during the week leaving more room for the weekend
3. Be more mindful of what kind of treats they are consuming and limit the amounts
4. Increase the time between treats. If he could go 3-4 weeks in between treats then essentially he is taking 3-4 steps forward and then 1 step backwards. This is much better than 1 step forward & 1 step backwards!
It doesn’t matter if you gain 2lbs if you already lost 8lbs since your last treat, however it does matter if you gain 2lbs and only lost 1lbs since your last treat!
Following on from this, we decided to have some fun and take a look at some calorie comparisons between a medium sized chocolate Easter egg, and some other sources of carbohydrates that we’d found in our cupboard.
NOTE: We only compared calories, and didn’t mention where these foods would place on the glycaemic index, or how macro & micronutrients compared. That would be a whole different topic to talk about!
We compared the following…
1 medium easter egg =
195g of uncooked penne pasta
1.5 bags of boil in the bag basmati rice
185g of oats (around 4.5 servings)
180g of rice crispies (around 4 servings)
7.5 slices of wholemeal bread (the toasty size slice!)
Almost 1kg of potatoes! (that’s 6 medium potatoes)
The idea behind this was to raise awareness of the amount of calories in the treats we consume compared to ‘real food.’
All treats are fine in moderation but it’s really obvious to see how a few treats throughout the week can massively contribute towards over consuming calories, and cause weight gain & prevent weight loss. We’re not saying next time you treat yourself, eat 6 medium potatoes, but if you’re hungry maybe reach for something that’s going to give you more satiety, more nutritional value & even less calories!
Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed & even learnt something from this.
The video we recorded when discussing this is available on our Facebook page!