26/03/2016 | ,

Mindful Easter

By Dr Louisa Hoey

Golden Rule

In general, eat when you are hungry, stop when you are satisfied, and don’t eat when you are not hungry. A little non-hungry eating over Easter won’t hurt your weight loss as long as it is in moderation.  Read more for your very own Mindful Easter.

Get Your Mindset Right

Don’t tell yourself “Stuff it, Easter is too hard - I will start again on my healthy eating again next Tuesday.” Why? Moderation is the key to managing weight, and this kind of thinking does not promote moderation, it promotes overeating.

On the other hand, don’t aim to totally deny yourself chocolate and treats over the Easter weekend. Why? This thinking leads to a sense of deprivation... and if you end up caving in and breaking your rules you are likely to feel guilty, ashamed, and hopeless. It is just
these kinds of uncomfortable feelings that lead to emotional eating - which is a key factor in weight gain.

Eat Chocolate! (Mindfully, of course)easter-chocolate

  • Before that egg reaches your lips, notice how it feels and smells.
  • As you put it to your lips, notice your mouth, tongue, and any other sensations in your body.
  • Pop the chocolate in your mouth and be aware of all your senses - what you can smell, taste, feel, hear and see. Slowly let it melt. Notice the urge to swallow and resist it for a moment or two. Notice when the urge to take another bite comes on. Resist it and notice how that feels.
  • Notice your thoughts and feelings. Practice self-compassion. If you feel guilty or anxious, reassure yourself that it’s okay to enjoy some chocolate.
  • Commit to yourself that you will not eat chocolate mindlessly. You won’t eat chocolate while doing other things e.g., watching TV, cooking, driving.

Don’t Get Too Hungry

Stick to your planned meals and don’t allow yourself to get too hungry. This can be a danger time and lead to over indulging.

Know Yourself

Be honest with yourself. If you are the kind of person who will want to eat a whole egg, make sure the eggs you buy are small. If you find chocolate in the pantry hard to resist, make sure that you clean your house out as soon as Easter is over. Give the chocolate away, melt it down and make it into something else and gift to a neighbour, throw it in the bin! Whatever it takes, if it is a trigger then draw the line once Easter is over.

Managing Social Meals

Obviously Easter isn’t just about chocolate and you might be planning lunches and dinners with friends and family. Socialising can make it hard to follow your golden rule. Try these strategies:

  • Eat slowly. One bite per minute with 20 chews. Breathe between mouthfuls.
    Play with your food - move it around your plate. This is good if you are worrying about people commenting on slow eating.
    If you can, serve food on a small plate (this helps us to feel satisfied with less food).
    Drink water with your meal.
    Suggest going for a walk after your meal.
    Don’t snack. Close the kitchen and don’t go back in there if that will make you feel tempted to snack.

About the Author

Dr Louisa Hoey is a health psychologist.  She is the Director of the Health Psychology Centre. Louisa specialises in the psychological aspects of food, the emotional relationships around food and the development of strategies to a happier more fuller life.

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Louisa is available for consultation.  Make a booking now either by telephone on (03)9852-8497 or via the booking enquiry form.

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