Did you enjoy your Easter weekend? Maybe a little too much? Even if you found yourself staring at an emptied out basket with candy wrappers strewn everywhere – don’t fret. “It takes eating 3,500 calories above and beyond your body’s needs to equal a pound of weight gained,” says Christen Cooper, a Registered Dietitian and owner of Cooper Education and Communication in Pleasantville, New York. So even if you ate a lot of sweet treats on Easter (and a few days after), you can probably still fit in your jeans. “In fact, you probably didn’t even gain a full pound,” says Cooper.
But our experts did agree the average Easter basket can contain up to 1,500 to 2,000 calories (yikes!), so if you enjoyed the whole thing, here are 5 easy ways to get back on track:
1) Estimate the actual calorie damage done and reverse it in small steps, recommends Cooper. For example, if you know you downed about 1,000 extra calories over the weekend, try cutting out your usual dessert (just for this week). A deduction of 200 calories over five nights equals 1,000 calories.
2) Consume a protein-rich shake in the morning to stabilize your blood sugar, suggests Registered Dietitian and owner of w8lessnutrition Stella Metsovas. “You don’t need to add any fruit to the mix – instead, opt for fiber-rich ingredients (low in natural sugars), like flax seed or hemp seed, fresh or frozen greens, coconut milk or almond milk.”
3) Get rid of sugar bloat with salt. “Take one granule of Celtic sea salt and add to your water, per one liter,” recommends Metsovas. “Bloating occurs for many reasons, one of which is a disruption in mineral consumption (i.e., excess intake of sugar).”
4) Skip the diet sodas and artificial sweeteners for awhile, says Manhattan based Registered Dietitian Sharon Richter. They will make you feel more bloated and their overly sweet taste may trigger another chocolate binge says Richter.
5) Sweat off up to 500 calories with this “Mix it up Cardio Burn” workout recommended by fitness expert Amy Dixon: Start with a 5 minute warm-up on the treadmill at a moderate intensity, and then do the following, pushing as hard as you can (without losing your breath): 10 minutes on the treadmill, followed by 10 minutes on a stationary bike, 10 more minutes on the elliptical, finish up with 10 minutes on the stair mill, and then cool down by walking it off. “Mixing it up is the name of the game,” says Dixon, “and working at an uncomfortable intensity will help you burn some major calories.”
Jessica Smith is a certified fitness lifestyle expert and creator of the 10 Pounds Down DVD series.