Should you scoff or save your extra Easter eggs?

Should you binge or stagger your chocolate consumption?
Should you binge or stagger your chocolate consumption? Photo: Natalie Boog

Easter has come and gone for another year, but chances are its souvenirs are still sitting in your fridge.

So, what to do with those extra eggs? (And bunnies, oh, and the politically-aware bilby and the box of Lindt balls which was on sale because no-one buys non-seasonally-shaped chocolate at this time of year ... besides you on your way home from work last Thursday.)

Do you come home tonight and polish them off, removing the temptation from sight so you can be all #cleaneating from tomorrow? Or do you restrain yourself, and indulge a little over the next week or so?

We asked some experts.

Michele Connolly: psychology graduate and author, How to be Thin in a World of Chocolate

The first thing you should do is get rid of any remaining Easter eggs that aren’t your absolute favourites. Give them away or throw them out – but let them go. With any treat, it’s always a good idea to ask yourself if you can take it or leave it – and if it doesn’t give you real pleasure, always leave it. With your remaining favourite Easter eggs, have a mini-binge if they’re calling your name. Indulging when you have a craving can avert a full-scale binge later on.

Then, if you still have some left, keep your eggs out of sight to savour when you next have a hankering. That way, you won’t be tempted to scoff them just because they jump out at you and flash their foil in your face when you open the pantry door.

Fiona Tuck: nutritionist and skincare expert

Eating all the chocolate eggs in one go is going to overload the body with sugar, fat and most likely leave you so full that you have no room to eat fresh veggies and nutrient-packed goodies. This can lead to feelings of malaise, indigestion, sallow skin, puffiness and possible breakouts.

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A small piece of chocolate daily will do no harm providing that the rest of the diet is full of nutrients - fresh vegetables, high fibre, good quality protein, and good fats. The quality of the chocolate also needs to be taken into consideration. Low sugar dark chocolate can be high in magnesium which is not only good for our nervous system and skin health but it contains antioxidant compounds that also support skin health so a small piece of good quality chocolate everyday may actually be beneficial. High sugar, high fat commercial chocolate does not contain such health benefits however the amount you eat daily is what determines its effect on health and wellbeing. 

Zoe Bingley-Pullin: nutritionist and chef

I don’t agree with binge-eating it all as it is not mentally healthy. I also believe in quality over quantity when it comes to chocolate: opt for chocolate with lower sugar content and higher cocoa content. The effect of eating it little by little will depend on the person. If you have a healthy base diet and you stagger a little chocolate into it then the effect of that chocolate will be minimal. However if you have an unhealthy base diet and you add additional chocolate to it, then the response will be very different. You will need to up your exercise as well as your nutrient intake, including your green vegetables, to counteract the effects.

With a holiday like Easter, it's a good idea to see it more as an experience than an opportunity to binge eat. My family all had chocolate over the Easter long weekend, but we had an Easter egg hunt and then we put all of the eggs into one bowl for everyone to share. It wasn’t about the person who found the most eggs getting to binge, it was more about spending time together and the experience.

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