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Don't break my heart with chocolates this Valentine's Day and Easter

13 ways to avoid chocolate overload this Easter & Valentine's Day

For those fighting to shed the Christmas excesses, the early appearance of Easter ‘treats’ is yet another stumbling block on the road to good health and a healthy body weight. And with Easter and Valentine's Day close together, chocolate overload will hit many hips. Don’t be shy about saying no to chocolate – arm yourself with some of our survival ideas before you over indulge.

  1. Instead of giving or receiving chocolate, ask for or give a gift of love money to an aid agency or emergency appeal fund – they need your help far more than any healthy body needs extra chocolate.
  2. Apply the no-chocolate survival strategy. Ask for anything except chocolate. Give loved ones and friends ideas for a non-egg gift. Create gift or wish vouchers for them to select your surprise from - maybe a blissful relaxation in a float tank, a thrilling adventure such as a tandem parachute jump, a voucher for a therapeutic massage, a studio photo session to capture the year, a sudoko or crossword challenge, a facial, a pedicure or foot rub, flowers, perfume or aftershave, a joke book, or surfing lessons. Find something fun and physical for the kids - take them rock-climbing, to the bowling alley or go to a sport’s store and buy a game that makes them burn off some stored energy. Use your imagination to get the non-food goodies you want in life! If you must have food, then ask for some beautiful ingredients to add to recipes – a fine vinegar, a planter box full of living herbs, unusual spices, or delicious chutneys and pickles.
  3. Don’t start the bunny run too far in advance of Easter. Sure they are in the shops just after Christmas, but that doesn’t mean you need them. Start a rumour that it’s bad luck to eat Easter buns and eggs before Easter.
  4. Work out a list of who you usually buy Valentine’s Day or Easter eggs for and ask if they’d like something different this year. If chocolate is essential, buy only enough for those on the list on the day before giving.
  5. If you must have a Valentine’s chocolate (or you suspect your loved one will buy you some anyway), ask for a small heart rather than a box of chocolates. At Easter, ask for a single egg and don't make it a kilogram egg! Bags of little eggs are unlucky dips of fat and sugar – no one ever stops at one.
  6. Make your choice an outrageously expensive delicious chocolate. Wait until Easter to eat it.
  7. Avoid last minute shopping and the temptation of markdowns.
  8. Don't buy extra eggs 'just in case' or 'for the kids'. You're not even fooling yourself.
  9. Create a coloured egg masterpiece. To ½ cup of very hot water, add 1tsp vinegar and 20 drops of food colouring. Dip in your hard-boiled egg.
  10. Give unwanted unopened chocolates and eggs away to the kid's hospital, a homeless people's shelter, or an aged person’s home.
  11. Don't use Valentine’s and Easter as an excuse to eat more chocolate. Remember what happened last year and this Christmas.
  12. Be ruthless: throw excess in the bin before you start. Better in the bin than on your bum!
  13. Fill in the blank space on the vouchers (print off the pdf). Cut them out and drop a very obvious hint to family and friends.