For me, Easter means a family gathering and chocolate galore. This year, due to the pandemic, we can enjoy only one out of the two, that is chocolate. To have a healthy relationship with food, it is important to follow the principles of intuitive eating. For this occasion, I decided to explore 2 principles: making peace with food and discovering the satisfaction factor.
Make peace with food
All foods are allowed. We must stop thinking that food can be classified as good or bad, that it is bad to eat certain foods, that we are cheating on our diet, that we will have to do physical activity to burn the calories ingested etc. it's not the fact of eating sweets that makes us not eat healthy. It is all about the balance. So, yes, it is healthy to consume any food.
When we deprive ourselves of a specific food, we often put it on a stand. This can lead to a feeling of intense deprivation which can change into uncontrollable cravings (urge) to eat this food. When you finally do allow yourself to eat it, you often take in a much larger amount than if you hadn't had the restriction from the beginning. Then the feeling of guilt can arise. This is the unfortunate cycle of deprivation.
We must give ourselves permission to eat unconditionally. (Tribole, E. and Resch, E.)
Discover the satisfaction factor
In one of my University nutrition classes, a professor brought us Hershey's "Kisses" chocolates. Before, I could eat tons of them without savoring them to their full potential. She made us take the time from A to Z to experience this chocolate, from opening the aluminum foil to letting the chocolate melt. A little experience, quite banal, which made me realize that often we feel that we are in a hurry so we do not take the time to savor what we eat fully.
Eating can be a whole different experience when you take the time to eat and enjoy the foods you love. It is important to focus our attention on what we eat, without distraction (no TV, cell phone, games, etc.). We then allow ourselves to listen to our hunger signals and stop eating when we are simply satisfied without having eaten too much.
In short, let's allow ourselves to eat sweets every day, including Easter.
Karine Drouin RD
Tribole, E., Resch, E. (n.d.). 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating. Retrouvé le 26 mars 2021 au https://www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/