Six Ways to Eat Healthier at Easter

By Ali Luke

There’s never going to be an easy time of year for dieters, and most of us have a love-hate relationship with popular holidays that are, it seems, an excuse to indulge. With Easter looming and chocolate eggs lining the shelves, dieting temptation seems to lie everywhere.

Here’s your guide to surviving Easter without putting on unwanted pounds – but without feeling that you’ve missed out, either.
1. Don’t Buy Early

There are often big discounts on Easter eggs well before Easter. This isn’t because big chain stores want you to have a great deal in credit crunch times – it’s because they want to maximise their profits. How? Well, if you buy all your eggs six weeks in advance, chances are that you’ll have eaten some of them well before Easter … and you’ll need to buy more.

2. Bake Your Own Buns and Cakes

When it comes to traditional Easter treats like hot cross buns and simnel cake, why not bake your own? You’ll have complete control over what goes in, and it’s often possible to adapt recipes to make them lower-fat.

3. Think Of Alternative Gifts

Whether you’re the giver or the receiver, brainstorm some Easter gifts that don’t involve chocolate! A book (perhaps of poems, or if you’re religious, prayers) might work well. You could also put together a dieter-friendly Easter basket of healthy and/or non-edible treats: fresh fruits and seasonal flowers work well. Holiday decorations, like blown and painted eggs, are another alternative.

4. If You Do Buy Chocolate Eggs, Go Small

Many of us struggle with portion control when foods don’t come ready-portioned. A 100g milk chocolate Easter egg contains around 520 calories – and that’s without the chocolate bars and candy that eggs typically come with.

Try buying or asking for small, wrapped eggs (like shelled nuts, unwrapping each individual piece of chocolate means you’ll eat fewer). Then you can enjoy one or two as a treat, without breaking the calorie bank in a single sitting.

Dark chocolate is also a better choice than milk or white – less sugar, fewer calories, and more health benefits. With dark chocolate, you’re also likely to be satisfied with less.

5. Children and Chocolate

You’d be hard-pressed to ban chocolate eggs from the house entirely, but it’s a good idea to encourage children to focus on something other than just the chocolate. The Easter weekend is a great time for family activities – why not have an active Easter egg hunt in your yard or local park, to encourage kids to run around and burn off some of that chocolate?

Also – don’t eat your kids’ Easter eggs! If they get given too many by indulgent aunts and grandparents, keep back a few to use as cooking ingredients throughout the year.

6. Compensate Before and After

A bit more chocolate than usual isn’t going to cause you any long-term problems, but make sure you’re careful about eating healthily in the run-up to Easter – and afterwards. If you’ve been scoffing chocolate for day in the office, or if you go on a big chocolate binge all week after Easter, you’ll end up feeling ill, sluggish and guilty. Stick to your usual healthy eating patterns, and you’ll enjoy those Easter treats all the more.

What are your tips for enjoying Easter without completely abandoning your healthy eating plan? And have you ever seen an Easter egg as big as this 70lb one?


  1. New SuperHuman (@NewSuperHuman)

    Good tips. I am just thinking to buy an oven and some ingredients to make my own bread and cakes!

  2. Bluba

    WHAT!? Why take the fun out of it 4 the kids? How can you lack so much self control that you take your CHILD’S CANDY?! Selfish Pigs! Young Kids love chocolate on Easter, kinda like for them, Christmas is all about the presents until they get older and know better. Don’t ruin it for the kids. 😛

    • Sonyalee

      I Know right but kids should not eat alot junk foods any way

  3. Katie

    Tip 7: Have the local drug store temporarily ban you around holidays so you don’t buy everything in sight in a fit of PMS and binge yourself into a sugar coma.

  4. e.

    If you think about all the candy holidays (Halloween, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Valentine’s Day), the calories from seasonally-themed candies can really add up. What’s the big deal in reminding people to eat sensibly in the run up to these holidays?

  5. Jody - Fit at 51

    Good points above. I have 7 grandchildren so I try to get little fun toy gifts & add in a bit of candy. I try to balance it. So true on not buying early! I also tend to spend more money I don’t have if I start too early! 🙂

    As for Barry, yes, it is easy for people to pound down pounds. That is why there is an obesity epidemic & especially among kids.

  6. Yogesh Pawar

    hmm when it comes to treat we never want to skip it …and obviously who will want to skip the easter food……
    but when you will know that having parties and food you can also maintain the proper weight without gaining anyfats…….

  7. Katie

    I wasn’t aware that a bit of advice was tantamount to becoming a health zealot. As far as I know, one is not required to follow advice. And speaking as someone who suffers with bulimia, yes, it is possible to pack on a pound of fat over a weekend. Or more. But I don’t know why I’m typing this anyway, since you’re just going to make broad-based assumptions about every word.

  8. Spectra

    My mom STILL gives us Easter baskets every year and this year, she’ll get to give one to my nephew as well. When we were kids, we got lots of candy and stuff in our Easter baskets, but once I decided to get a lot more healthy, my mom usually gets me a basket with crossword puzzle books, pens, gum, and maybe a cute inexpensive pair of earrings. And as I posted in another topic, I do love those Cadbury Creme eggs, but the key to indulging in them without gaining weight is to ration them out. That’s also what we did as kids…we got lots of candy, but Dad always put it all in a baggie and gave us a couple pieces a day so we couldn’t eat it all at once.

  9. Cari from Ditch Diets Live Light

    Hide carrots instead of easter eggs for your easter egg hunt and then play a game of barter with the kids – so many carrots for an easter egg. That way you can get away with a lot fewer eggs because the excitement of finding carrots is still there.

    Or what we have also done is to have carrots and marshmellow eggs (plenty of the latter) only the kids know that they barter the carrots for their own eggs and all the marshmellow eggs we donate… but they actually get to have the pleasure of giving the eggs to children at a shelter.

  10. Yum Yucky

    What I can’t stand are those gigantic chocolate bunnies that my kids get as gifts. How are they going to eat all that? I sneak it into the trash after they’ve taken a few bites. And what’s the Easter bunny really got to do with all of this anyway?

  11. Barry

    This is retarded. A pound of fat requires a surplus of 3500 calories. Are you REALLY eating that much more over the holidays?

    And what does “gain weight” mean, anyway? What kind of weight?

    Go from low carbs to high carbs and you can add as much as 10 to 15 pounds of WATER. Big deal.

    Few people are really pounding back sweets such that they are going to gain any substantial amount of ACTUAL FAT.

    And so what if you do? Is it the end of the world? Enjoy the holidays and then get back to your regular training schedule.

    This sort of hand wringing makes me want to puke. Health nazis try to suck all the fun out of everything when a quick and objective look at the facts reminds us that we needn’t worry, but instead be happy.

  12. patricmatrix123

    😀 inded soo…

  13. Kami Gray, Author of The Denim Diet

    Good reminder to go to small…especially if you’re the Easter Bunny. Kids don’t need a giant, over-the-top Easter basket to make the day special. Most of the time they can’t remember what they “got” for Easter (or any other holiday) a day or two later anyway. My kids thought the Easter egg hunt was by far the best part…and most of the eggs in their basket were filled with quarters and dimes I’d collected all year-long. Hooray for dark chocolate!