Sunday 28 May 2017

Dr Ciara Kelly: Why you should avoid those left over chocolate eggs this Easter Monday

Dr Ciara Kelly Photo: David Conachy
Dr Ciara Kelly Photo: David Conachy
Easter treats, like everything else, are best enjoyed in moderation

Ciara Kelly

Happy Easter to you all. I hope you're having a great day and that the Easter Bunny has come and been very good to you! We are of course all familiar with the Easter Bunny, that scamp who sneaks into our homes on Easter Sunday bearing glittering, yummy, chocolate eggs for us to tuck into.

What you may be less familiar with is the Easter Killjoy. Well that's me. And I'm here to point out that days like Easter Sunday, while lovely - and generally a nice treat, in that we eat a big lunch and then some dessert and then maybe some more dessert and then we start on the eggs - often scupper our best laid health plans for much longer than just one day.

I know literally rakes of people who are doing really well on their healthy regimes, eating right, taking exercise and generally looking after themselves when a day like Easter Sunday pops up and they decide to indulge themselves for that one day. Sure, it's only a day after all! But because they have been sticking to a fairly strict regime and this is a break from that - they decide to really push the boat out. So they eat and drink rings around themselves.

But today is Easter Monday and sure that's a bank holiday so maybe it'd be nice to have a barbecue. And there's still some eggs left over. So you'll get back up on that healthy horse on Tuesday. And just take a two day break. And because you will be being very strict again on Tuesday - you may as well have a second helping of pavlova on the Monday 'cos you'll be good for long enough after that.

But then Tuesday comes around and you have a bit of a hangover because you drank a fair bit of wine with the dinner and had a good few cans with the barbecue so you can't seem to shake the cravings for carbs all day and there was still the Mars Bars that no one wanted out of that last egg.

So maybe Wednesday is a better day to get back into the diet and exercise thing. Although Wednesday isn't a great day to start either because the kids are off and it'd be nice to go out later for ice creams, and besides you have your brother-in-law's birthday on Friday night. So is there any point in getting stuck back in when you'll only be breaking it again in two days? Maybe next Monday would be better and then you will really hit the ground running. But if you're only on a break from being good until next Monday - you may as well treat this like a holiday and it'd be nice to have a glass of wine with the midweek movie - sure Wednesday really is the hump of the week.

Sound familiar? And before you know it you have put on six pounds since Easter Sunday which is half of the 12 pounds you'd lost in the previous five weeks - which is pretty disheartening. And you don't feel remotely motivated to start all over again on Monday week now either.

Following healthy habits is a bit like catching a train. If you are on the healthy train chugging along it's relatively easy. But if you are standing on the platform it's pretty difficult to jump on as you watch it whizzing by. So jumping off that train on a day like today often has big ramifications. The over-indulgence on Easter Sunday can actually derail the healthiest routine and not just for a day, often for weeks, months or even sometimes permanently.

It is something we hear all the time that days like today undo the good work often of several previous weeks or months - and down the line you wish you hadn't done it - that the 4,000 calories worth of chocolate you ate plus the 2,000 calories of drink plus the 3,000 calories worth of dinner really wasn't much of a treat at all - it was more of a trick - to reference another annual danger day.

You're welcome.

@ciarakellydoc

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