Live Better

5 ways to avoid Easter weight gain

Indulge your sweet tooth this Easter – without the impact on your waistline

The most chocolatey time of year is here again – Easter is responsible for 3.6% of Australia’s total yearly chocolate consumption. But while our sweet tooths are rejoicing, it’s not such great news for our waistlines. We all know how easy it is for just one mini chocolate egg to turn into a whole packet, plus a chocolate bunny, and maybe just one more…

The trick to having your Easter eggs and eating them too is to choose your chocolate wisely, and take special note of portion sizes – and definitely don’t rely on the size of the packaging to indicate how much you should be eating, says Medibank’s Dr Ian Boyd.

“Companies are clever in the way they portion their products, and it’s easy to get confused looking at the nutritional information label on the back of a Lindt Gold Bunny for example, and mistake the 40g serving size for the whole 200g bunny,” Dr Boyd says. “Suddenly you’re taking in 4542 extra kilojoules (1085 calories) as opposed to the intended 40g serving size which is 908 kilojoules (217 calories).”

To put that in perspective, the average Australian woman would need to cycle for an hour and 20 minutes to burn off that amount of chocolate, while the average man would need to walk the dog for more than four hours. Hmm, suddenly that bunny doesn’t look so appealing after all…

Dark vs. milk vs. white chocolate

Another trick Dr Boyd recommends is to always choose dark chocolate over milk or white chocolate – the dark stuff, when consumed in moderation, has some health benefits.

“Dark chocolate with more than 70% of cocoa solids is rich in a class of antioxidants called flavonoids, which are found in a number of foods such as green tea, fruits and vegetables that have been shown to reduce blood pressure, improve insulin resistance and prevent coronary artery disease, hypertension and heart failure,” Dr Boyd says.

Still, it’s important to keep in mind: not all dark chocolate is created equal. The amounts of flavonoids and sugar in each variety of chocolate vary from brand to brand, so take note of the percentage of cocoa in the ingredients list and choose accordingly.

How to avoid Easter weight gain

“Whether you opt for dark chocolate or not, it’s important to buy and eat your Easter eggs responsibly to know exactly what you’re up for in the kilojoule stakes and avoid unnecessary weight gain,” Dr Boyd says.

Here are his top tips for smart chocolate eating:

1. Set yourself a reasonable chocolate limit.

2. Check your serving sizes – beware of serving sizing in grams for novelty chocolate like bunnies and giant eggs, and stick to labels which say the kilojoules/calories per Easter egg.

3. Replace milk chocolate with dark chocolate – it can improve heart health and make you less likely to overindulge because of its bitterness.

4. Swap out the sweet version for the real version – hard boiled eggs are a great source of protein and at 326KJ per egg (78 calories) they’re a lot better for your waistline and your health.

5. Think of how much exercise you’ll have to do before you reach for the Easter egg basket – for every mini milk chocolate egg you eat, you’ll have to jog for 4 minutes to burn it off. (Based on the nutritional information of Cadbury dairy milk chocolate mini eggs.)

For more ideas, check out some better ways to get your chocolate fix.

Latest Articles


Busting popular food myths

The truth about metabolism, the fat burning zone and more.

Read more

Healthy eating made easy

Nutritionist Catherine Saxelby's 10 simple tips.

Read more

Zesty lemon grilled calamari with garlic recipe

Deliciously fresh and light, perfect for summer feasts.

Read more

Fun ways to get kids to eat more vegetables

Child nutritionist Mandy Sacher shares some ideas.

Read more

Chicken teriyaki in arrowroot wraps recipe

A deliciously light twist on a family favourite.

Read more

Burnt sage breakfast hash recipe

A fragrant veggie breakfast, perfect served up with eggs.

Read more

Miso maple greens recipe

A flavoursome way to eat your greens.

Read more

Satay salmon with crunchy cucumber and herb salad recipe

The perfect blend of fresh, juicy and creamy flavours.

Read more
youtubeui-checkbox-tickui-checkbox-emptyui-checkbox-crosstwitterui-checkbox-tickWellbeing and mindfulness 1Physical Health 1Positive psychology 101 1Wellbeing and mindfulness 4All about gut health 1Understanding Genetics 4Planning for Pregnancy 2During Pregnancy 3The mind-gut connection 4The mind-gut connection 1New Parents 3Page 1Group 10During Pregnancy 2Page 1Physical Health 2Planning for Pregnancy 1Positive psychology 101 1Positive psychology 101 4Planning for Pregnancy 4Understanding Genetics 1Physical Health 4Planning for Pregnancy 3Nutrition 4New Parents 1New Parents 3 CopyMovement for your mind 4Wellbeing and mindfulness 2Nutrition 2sob-icon__mind-bodysob-icon__man-with-laptopAll about gut health 2Positive psychology 101 3Positive psychology 101 2Physical Health 3Wellbeing and mindfulness 3All about gut health 3genetics-changing-what-your-givenUnderstanding Genetics 2During Pregnancy 1Movement for your mind 2Movement for your mind 1Movement for your mind 3During Pregnancy 4