With chocolate eggs and sugar-rich, foil-covered bunnies practically spilling into the aisles at the supermarket, temptation to indulge at Easter is pretty high. Many of us have a long weekend to look forward to, time off with family and friends. And, as great as this sounds, time for celebration often includes indulgence. We’re all for taking a break from the usual routine and enjoying some relaxation but, if you’re anything like us, we don’t want to completely fall off the fitness train.

So how do you stay on track with your hard-earned fitness this festive season? Here are our top tips:

DON’T GET CAUGHT HUNGRY

You know that common saying, don’t food shop on an empty stomach. Likewise, don’t arrive at the family buffet you know will be filled with chocolates and pastries without having fuelled yourself with some nutritious goodness beforehand. Make sure you have a healthy breakfast, eat a high fibre or protein snack before the goodies are in your eyeline, and you are far less likely to overindulge.

QUALITY TRUMPS QUANTITY

We’re not saying you shouldn’t indulge any cravings this Easter, we all need the odd treat, but we definitely advocate quality over quantity. Rather than get your hands on half a dozen £2 chocolate eggs, perhaps opt for a single, better-quality chocolate egg you’ll really enjoy? Plus, if you haven’t got enough chocolate to fill a small garden shed, you’ll appreciate that smaller quantity and savour it all the more. Why not opt for dark chocolate too? It’s full of antioxidants and contains a higher percentage of cocoa. Look for chocolate with 60% or higher cocoa content.

CHOOSE HEALTHIER OPTIONS

Why not skip the chocolate treats entirely? Ever tried cacao? This is cocoa in its raw form. Non-processed, it’s every chocolate lover’s superfood as it offers up that sweet treat, whilst happily replacing the sugar with healthy flavonoids and magnesium. There are loads of recipes out there with cacao at the helm. Granted, cacao isn’t as sweet as its sugary alternatives but you can use natural sweeteners such as pure maple syrup, honey or fruits such as dates, to sweeten up recipes. More a Hot Cross Bun fan? Try going wholegrain to avoid those sugar-rich, refined carbs.

DON’T MAKE IT ALL ABOUT THE CHOCOLATE

Easter treats don’t have to be all about those sugary goodies. Why not opt to exchange non-food gifts this year? There are loads of great ideas out there now. Even supermarkets, though seemingly giddy in a chocolate frenzy, aren’t all about the eggs. If you have kids, you could also help unleash their creativity and make your own gifts, or get them moving with a sport-inspired present. Skipping ropes, table tennis sets, or even a paddling pool. And you can always ask for some fitness equipment goodies from a loved one. Or treat yourself! We understand that it might not be possible to ask everyone to please refrain from gifting you and your kids with chocolate this Easter. It’s definitely a suggestion you can broach with close family at least though.

MAKE EXERCISE PART OF THE FUN

With spring very much in the air, it’s perfect timing to indulge in the great outdoors, rather than the bag of Mini Eggs. Go for a country walk or bike ride, visit some historical sites, play a game of football in the park, or maybe even take yourself to your nearest beach for a spot of volleyball. If the weather isn’t on your side, hit the local swimming pool perhaps, or embrace the rain and play on regardless. As long as you’re on your feet, rather than lounging on a sofa, it’s a good thing. Especially if you are eating and drinking a little more than usual.

SCHEDULE IN THAT EXERCISE

Making sure you still find time to work out is important. If you’ve got a double whammy weekend, or even more time off, skipping those workouts will only make it harder to get back on track after the festive fun is all over. If time is an issue, try some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. Combining short bursts of high effort and rest periods, HIIT delivers max calorie burn in the shortest time. These workouts can often be done anywhere, with no equipment or just some free weights such as a set of dumbbells, kettlebells or resistance bands. Try to fit exercise in every day and you’ll be feeling good.

STOCK UP ON HEALTHY FOODS

Plan ahead a little. If you fill the fridge and cupboards with tasty healthier options, it’s easier to resist the temptations. Stock up on fibre and protein, commit to snacking on these and you’ll feel full and more likely to have just the one treat, rather than several. Tell yourself the sweet treats can only be consumed for dessert and you can look forward to them, whilst feeling good that you haven’t just eaten unhealthily all day.

Adopt the above tips and there’s no reason why you should feel you’ve got a mountain to climb in regards to your fitness once the festivities are over. Here’s to a happy Easter!