Indulge wisely: Satisfy your sweet tooth while slimming down this Easter

As Easter approaches, grocery stores are full of colourful eggs, chocolate bunnies, and other sweet treats. For many of us, this time of year means overindulging, which can make us feel guilty and worry about our health goals. But it doesn't have to be this way. If you eat mindfully and intuitively, you can enjoy the treats of Easter while still following a healthy lifestyle and honouring your body's needs.


What makes food satisfying?

There are many physical and mental factors when it comes to how satisfied you feel after eating. Being aware of these things can help you make smarter decisions about what to choose. For starters, foods that have a good mix of macronutrients (the nutrients that provide energy which include protein, carbs, and fats) are going to be more filling and satisfying than foods made up of just one or two. E.g., eggs with tomato and avo on toast are going to be more filling than toast with vegemite.

After that, choosing foods that are high in fibre is going to keep you feeling fuller for longer. It is also going to add some bulk to the meal, (which will be important for feeling full when it gets to the stomach).

However, when we think of how satisfying a food is, most people are not going to be thinking of the nutrients. We are going to be thinking about what it tastes like. There are 5 main flavours in foods: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and something called umami.  Umami is often described as the "fifth taste." It's a savoury flavour that you might notice in foods like tomatoes, cheese, mushrooms, and soy sauce. Basically, it adds depth and richness to dishes, making them taste more satisfying and delicious.

Foods that are well-seasoned and full of flavour are often more fulfilling than ones that are bland or boring. The ability to taste and enjoy food is closely related to being satisfied. I think most people have experienced the desire for something sweet after a meal. Well, this could be in part related to something called taste fatigue. This is where your taste receptors can get temporarily less sensitive to certain foods/flavours as you are repeatedly exposed to them in a meal. This means you enjoy them less, and it can make you naturally stop eating even if you aren’t physically full. But this also means if there was a flavour absent from the meal (e.g., sweetness), then you may find yourself searching the cupboard for it. It is understandable how the concept of dessert came about, as it provides a ‘rounding out’ of the flavours and satisfaction of a meal.

So, if you are looking to avoid dessert (or the after-dinner sugar hunt), then try to include a balance of flavours in your meal. This may mean including something small and sweet at the end of the meal or incorporating sweet flavours into your meal through sauces and dried fruit.


So in addition to knowing what makes meals more satisfying, here are 5 more practical tips to help you make peace with sweet cravings this Easter:

  1. Read Your Body: Before you grab that chocolate egg or marshmallow chick, give your body a quick check-in. Are you hungry, or are you just eating because you're bored, stressed, or out of habit? When you choose a sweet when you are truly hungry or ready to enjoy it, it will feel a whole lot more satisfying.
  2. Do not choose quantity over quality: Instead of idly eating a whole basket of chocolates, choose sweets that you really enjoy so the experience will be much more fulfilling. Choose smaller amounts of your favourites or spend a little more on something of a very high quality that you wouldn’t normally eat. If you pay attention to quality, you'll be happy with less.
  3. Mindful eating is important: When you eat thoughtfully, you pay full attention to all your senses, such as how your food tastes, feels, and smells. Take your time with each bite of your Easter sweets. Chew them slowly and enjoy the taste. Being in the present will make you automatically eat less and feel fuller.
  4. Balance and Variety: It's okay to eat more sweets than usual over Easter, but don't forsake the normal and nourishing foods. To give your body the nutrients it needs, eat a lot of fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains at meals and snacks.
  5. Pay attention to your urges: Cravings are a normal part of being human, and ignoring them can make you overeat or feel deprived. Instead of fighting your cravings, welcome them with kindness and interest. If you really want chocolate, you should feel free to eat a piece. Your urges will lose their power over you once you tell yourself it's okay to give in.


This Easter, let go of the diet talk and try a more kind and intuitive way of eating as a way to satisfy your sweet tooth while slimming down. By tuning into your body's cues, choosing quality over quantity, practicing mindful eating, and balancing your treats with nourishing foods, you can enjoy the delights of the season without guilt or restriction. So go ahead, savor that chocolate bunny and celebrate the joy of Easter with a renewed sense of freedom and self-compassion.