BLOG Eggs-ercise the weight away this Easter

Holiday times are known to be an occasion when we find it more difficult to follow a healthy lifestyle.

Easter is a great time to relax and enjoy being with friends and family, but many of us tend to overindulge and end up paying the price when we hop on the scales afterwards. Chocolate eggs and hot cross buns are just a couple of the treats traditionally enjoyed around this time of the year. But few of us consider that a small chocolate egg has approximately 650 calories and a large one about 1,300 calories, with a hot cross bun spread with butter around 320 calories. The temptations of Easter treats can be hard to resist, particularly after 40 days of giving up favourite indulgences for those marking Lent, and often by the time Easter has come the best laid plans for new year’s health resolutions are long gone. But there are a few easy changes that can help us to eat more healthily and fit in more physical activity to help prevent us gaining egg weight this Easter.

Why not try some new springtime traditions from our list?

Easter egg hunts: this family favourite can provide hours of entertainment and gets children moving at the thought of eggs-ploring and uncovering hidden treasures!

Top tip: Rather than hunting down chocolates every time, try hiding small toys or collecting clues for a treat at the end.

Hatch a plan to ‘walk and talk’: no need to stay home sitting and eating more.  Too much sitting increases our risk of diseases such as strokes, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

Top tip: Invite friends/family for a ‘walk and talk’ to burn off the excess Easter calories. Plan a walk each day.

A blooming cracking time of the year: as plants and trees erupt into beautiful flowers and blossom, take a walk around your neighbourhood or a local park to see what flowers you can spot. With 260 calories burned per hour of walking, the benefits are egg-cellent!

Top tip: apps like the NHS’s Active 10 can help you track how long you’ve been walking for, and how much brisk walking you have done. See how many badges you can rack up!

Water not wine: at holiday times we tend to drink more alcohol. Drinking water has been shown to help with weight loss and keeps you feeling full longer.

Top tip: for every alcoholic drink you have drink a glass of water - this will reduce the number of empty calories you are consuming.

Don’t temp fate: once the Easter holidays are over it is time to get the chocolate and hot cross buns out of the house, so the temptations are gone. Just because you are given lots of Easter eggs does not mean you have to eat them all yourself!

Top tip: give away any treats left over after Easter. Or better still, don’t buy them in the first place for yourself or for others. Buy flowers as gifts instead!

Have a bit, in a bit: your brain will egg you on and tell you to eat a treat from the cupboard.

Top tip: try to resist the temptation to eat treats straightaway. If you leave it a while the craving may pass, and then you might only want a little bit, reducing your calorie intake.

Track it: it's holiday time so it is important to have a treat and enjoy yourself, but don’t lose track of how much you are eating or how much physical activity you have done.

Top tip: log how many treats you have each day. If you have one too many, cut one out the next day, or do a bit more eggs-ercise the next day.

Don’t forget those new year’s resolutions: did you start the year with the best of intentions to do more physical activity, but found it hard to stick to this? With the start of warmer days and lighter evenings, it’s an egg-static time of the year to dust off those trainers or pump up the bike tyres.

Top tip: if you want to start exercising but don’t know where to started, apps like Couch to 5k can be an ideal way to start gently and build up at a sensible pace. 


Professor Amanda Daley

Professor of Behavioural Medicine and Centre Director