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Easter On A Diet

Updated on February 25, 2014

Low Calorie, Low Fat Diet Easter Menus

Does your diet have to fail on Easter? Not at all! With a few quick tips to keep in mind, some recipe substitutions and a bit of preparedness you can still enjoy a hearty Easter brunch or dinner and not pack on the pounds. If you plan it into your overall week, you might even be able to enjoy a few Easter candies too! Get all the tips you need to keep yourself on track this Easter towards your summer weight loss goals. Get a few recipes and meal plans while you're at it too.

Quick Tips To Keep Easter Dinner Diet Friendly

Substitute a few ingredients to more complex carbs, gluten-free options or dairy-free choices and save on Easter weight gain

Quick Tips To Keep Easter Dinner Diet Friendly

If you want to minimize the damage to your diet this Easter, there are a few strategies you can try:

Decide if you'd prefer to enjoy a few sweets and chocolates or indulge in a ham dinner with hot cross buns, mashed potatoes and butter-drenched foods, but don't overindulge in sugar, carbs and fat at the same time. -

Decide which foods mean the most to you on Easter. If you can't resist dipping into the kids Easter baskets, be sure to feature a vegetarian Easter main course and limit the breads you'll be serving. If, however, the dinner is the main attraction for your Easter celebration, keep your hands off the candies.

Calculate how much damage you'll be doing calorically and exercise throughout the week to compensate for Sunday's indulgences. Remember that a pound of fat is equal to roughly 3,500 calories. You'll burn about 100 calories for every mile you log on the treadmill or the jogging track. Half an hour of weights or resistance training burns approximately 250 calories.

Make a few quick substitutions to your meal and lower the calories /carbs / fat grams. Use the gluten-free ancient grain quinoa, wild rice or brown rice instead of white rice. Substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes. Use olive oil in place of butter. Switch to an almond or soy milk for the day instead of using a dairy choice. Drink your coffee black.

Steam veggies and squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on them rather than dousing them in butter. You should also keep things like veggies and salads guilt-free by making a homemade vinaigrette dressing. You'd be surprised how many commercial dressings are loaded with sweeteners and high-fructose corn syrup.

Have your own homemade vegetable stock available to use in recipes. Prepared stocks are often high in sodium and extra sweeteners. Meat-based stocks have extra fats and oils as well. Keep your recipes healthful and tasty from the foundation up when you prepare your own vegetable stocks and use them in your Easter dishes.

Easter Diet Strategy Tip

Fill up on a nutritious, diet-friendly, vegetarian meal and drink plenty of water. You'll be full and less tempted by all that chocolate!

Focus on Spring Fruits & Vegetables

Seasonal produce for your Easter Buffet

'In season' will depend on your region. Be environmentally conscious as well as fit this Easter and buy local and in season fruits and veggies for your Easter brunch buffet! Kiwis and spinach both happen to be on the Top 10 Foods to Eat For Great Hair and Skin. Looking at the list of hair and skin super foods, they're also great fat burners! Try to add as many of them as you can to your Easter meal: Salmon; Greek yogurt; Spinach; Blueberries; Kiwis; Dark Chocolate; Walnuts; Oysters; Sweet Potatoes and Tomatoes.

Steamed or raw organic veggies & fruits are the best, both nutritionally and in terms of calories/fat grams.

  • Kiwis
  • Lemons
  • Strawberries
  • Navel Oranges
  • Cherries
  • Kumquats
  • Rhubarb

  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Artichokes
  • Arugala
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Spring Onions
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce & Greens
  • Turnips


These ingredients can make an excellent green salad, fruit salad and crudite.

Green Salad: Lettuce and spinach mixture with radish slices, mushroom slices, shredded carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and any other favorite veggies you have. Toss them in lemon juice and balsalmic vinegar. For variety, you can add a few strawberry slices. Slivered almonds add some crunch (and are so much better for you than croutons!!)

Crudite: Put together a platter of green or spring onions (scallions), radishes, celery, carrot sticks and snap peas. Serve it with hummus or a tsatziki (yogurt & spinach or dill) dip on the side. Sweet mustard is another good dipping option. Avoid ranch dressing or sour cream.

Fruit Salad: For dessert, offer up a salad of orange segments, kiwi slices and strawberry slices, all mixed with a bit of low-fat vanilla yogurt. For a little extra taste, you could mix some orange marmalade with your yogurt before mixing in the fruit.

Make Fresh Vegetables Be The Centerpiece Of Your Meal - Unique Presentation Adds No Calories But Plenty of Appeal

Presentation is a big part of how your meal will taste. Add focus and appeal to your vegetable and fruit platters and let them be the stars of the show. Also, flank salad bowls with things like cucumber slices and have guests use those rather than crackers.

Spring Veggies
Spring Veggies

Spring Vegetables & Fruit Calories, Fat and Carbs

Nutritional information for raw or boiled and drained fruits and vegetables with no salt added

Spring Fruit & Vegetable Calories


* Click on the links to view specific counts and nutritional methods by preparation method, style or brand (e.g. - canned, frozen, sweetened, dried, etc..)

THESE COUNTS ARE FOR FRESH, UNPROCESSED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Apricotsserving size: 1 cupcalories: 74 - fat: 0.6g - carbs: 17.2g

Artichoke - serving size: 1 medium (cooked, drained, unsalted)calories: 64 - fat: 0.4g - carbs: 14.3g

Asparagus - serving size: 1 cup boiled, drained, unsalted)calories: 40 - fat: 0.4g - carbs: 7.4g

Beets - serving size 1/2 cup (slices): calories: 37 - fat: 0.2g - carbs: 8.5g

Carrots - serving size 1 cup (chopped): calories: 52 - fat: 0.3g - carbs: 12.3g

Chard - serving size 1 cup (Swiss: boiled, drained, without salt, chopped): calories: 35 - fat: 0.1g - carbs: 7.2g

Cherries - serving size 1 cup (Sweet: with pits): calories: 74 - fat: 0.2g - carbs: 18.7g

Fava Beans - serving size 1 cup (in the pod): calories: 111 - fat: 0.9g - carbs: 22.2g

Fennel - serving size 1 cup (raw, sliced): calories: 27 - fat: 0.2g - carbs: 6.3g

Grapefruit - serving size 1 cup of sections (pink or red, raw, with juice): calories: 97 - fat: 0.3g - carbs: 24.5g

Green Onions - serving size 1 cup (tops and bulb, chopped, raw): calories: 32 - fat: 0.2g - carbs: 7.3g

Kiwis - serving size 1 cup (fresh): calories: 108 - fat: 0.9g - carbs: 25.9g

Kumquats - serving size 1 fruit
calories: 13 - fat: 0.2g - carbs: 3.0g

Leeks - serving size 1 medium (raw): calories: 50 - carbs: 13.0g

Lemons - serving size 1 cup of sections (raw, without the peel): calories: 61 - fat: 0.6g - carbs: 19.8g

Lettuce - serving size 1 inner leaf (Cos or Romaine): calories: 2 - fat: 0.0g - carbs: 0.3g

Mint - serving size 1 oz. (fresh): calories: 12 - fat: 0.0g - carbs: 1.4g

Morel Mushrooms - serving size 1/2 oz. (naturally grown): calories: 48 - fat: 0.3g - carbs: 8.0g

Navel Oranges - serving size 1 cup (California, raw, sections without membranes): calories: 81 - fat: 0.2g - carbs: 20.7g

Peas - serving size 1 cup (raw green peas): calories: 117 - fat: 0.6g - carbs: 21.0g

Radishes - serving size 1 cup (raw slices): calories: 19 - fat: 0.1g - carbs: 3.9g

Rhubarb - serving size 1 cup (raw, diced): calories: 25 - carbs: 6.0g

Spinach - serving size 1 cup (raw): calories: 7 - fat: 0.1g - carbs: 1.1g

Strawberries - serving size 1 cup (fresh halves): calories: 49 - fat: 0.5g - carbs: 11.7g

Turnips - serving size 1 cup (boiled, drained, without salt): calories: 34 - fat: 0.1g - carbs: 7.9g

Easter Ham Dinner
Easter Ham Dinner

Traditional Easter Meat Calories, Fat And Carbs

Traditional Easter Roasting Meats


* Click on the links to view specific counts and nutritional methods by preparation method, style or brand (e.g. - frozen, specific brands, particular cuts, method of preparation)

THESE COUNTS ARE FOR MEATS PREPARED AS COMMENTS INDICATE UNDER SERVING SIZE

Cured, Boneless Pork Hamserving size: 1 cup calories: 249fat: 12.6gcarbs: 0.0g

Sliced Regular Ham (approximately 11% fat) - serving size 1 cup: calories: 220fat: 11.6gcarbs: 5.2g

Virginia Baked Ham(Wegman's Brand)- serving size: 1 cup calories: 171fat: 2.9gcarbs: 8.6g

Maple-Glazed, Honey-Coated Ham(Boar's Head Brand) - serving size: 1 cup calories: 171fat: 2.9gcarbs: 8.6g

Sliced Extra-Lean Ham(approximately 5% fat)serving size 1 cup: calories: 144fat: 3.5gcarbs: 1.0g

Boneless Sirloin Pork Chop (separable lean only, broiled)serving size: 3 oz. calories: 164fat: 5.7gcarbs: 0.0g

Cured Pork Bacon - serving size: 1 unit (yield from 1 pound raw meat) calories: 687 - fat: 53.1g - carbs: 1.8g

Lamb Loin - serving size 1 piece (separable lean only, trimmed to 1/4" fat, choice, cooked, roasted: excluding refuse): calories: 390 - fat: 18.8g - carbs: 0.0g

Lamb Leg, Shank Half - serving size 1 piece (separable lean only, trimmed to 1/4" fat, choice, cooked, roasted: excluding refuse): calories: 428 - fat: 15.9g - carbs: 0.0g

Lamb Leg, Sirloin Half - serving size 1 piece (separable lean only, trimmed to 1/4" fat, choice, cooked, roasted: excluding refuse): calories: 410 - fat: 18.4g - carbs: 0g

Minted Lamb Chops - serving size 1 chop: calories: 260 - fat: 15.0g - carbs: 5.0g

Frenched Australian Rack of Lamb - serving size 4 oz. : calories: 330 - fat: 27.0g

Roast Duck serving size 1 cup (meat and skin): calories: 472 - fat: 39.7g - carbs: 0.0g

Duck Breast - serving size 1 oz. (meat only): calories: 48 - fat: 2.0g - carbs: 0.3g

Roast Goose - serving size 1xup (meat and skin)calories: 427 - fat: 30.7g - carbs: 0.0g

Roast Cornish Game Hen - serving size 1 whole bird (meat and skin): calories: 668 - fat: 46.8g - carbs: 0.0g

Farmed Atlantic Salmon - serving size 1/2 filet (cooked, dry heat): calories: 367 - fat: 22.0g - carbs: 0.0g

Wild Atlantic Salmonserving size 1/2 filet (cooked, dry heat): calories: 280fat: 12.5gcarbs: 0.0g

Smoked Chinook Salmonserving size 1 cup: calories: 159fat: 5.9gcarbs: 0.0g

Boiled Shrimpserving size 1 oz.: calories: 33fat: 0.6gcarbs: 0.0g

Scallopsserving size 2 large or 5 small (raw): calories: 26fat: 0.2gcarbs: 0.7g

A serving of cooked shrimp

consists of 4 large cooked shrimp, has 22 calories and only 0.2 grams of fat. Just squeeze lemon for flavoring and skip the cocktail sauce!

A serving of cured, extra-lean ham (roasted)

is 3 oz., has 140 calories, 6.5g of fat and 0.3g carbs.

Healthier 'Deviled Eggs'

Watch this video and get inspired to shave a few calories off your devilled eggs this year when you ditch the egg yolks and fill your hard-boiled eggs with seafood salad, bruschetta or hummus. YUM.

Hard Boiled Eggs

have 77 calories and 5g of fat each. Eat those easter eggs!

Dark Chocolate

is healthier for you if you need a chocolate fix this Easter while dieting.

Hot Cross Buns are a traditional Easter treat, but what sort of fattening punch do they pack? According to CalorieKing.com, Panera Bread's Hot Cross Bun has 220 calories, 5g of fat and 37g of carbs. To burn off just one Hot Cross Bun, you'd have to walk for an hour, jog or bike for half an hour or swim for 20 minutes.


Dessert

Strawberry & Rhubarb Crumble (Serves 8)

Ingredients: flour, sugar, butter, oats, hazelnuts, strawberries, rhubarb

Calories Per Serving: 301

Fat Grams Per Serving: 13.7

Carbs Per Serving: 44.5


Rhubarb Fool (Serves 6)

Ingredients: flour, sugar, butter, oats, hazelnuts, strawberries, rhubarb

Calories Per Serving: 325

Fat Grams Per Serving: 12.2

Carbs Per Serving: 55

Cream Puffs With Lemon-Cream Filling (Serves 10)

Ingredients: sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel, butter, heavy whipping cream, whole milk, flour, eggs, white chocolate, Robin Eggs malted-milk candy

Calories Per Serving: 444

Fat Grams Per Serving: 34.2

Carbs Per Serving: 25.6


Flour

1 cup of it has 455 calories. Try to stay away from too many pastries!

Traditional Easter Candy
Traditional Easter Candy

Traditional Easter Candy Calories, Fat and Carbs

Traditional Easter Candies


* Click on the links to view specific counts and nutritional methods by preparation method, style or brand (e.g. - specific brands or varieties)

Is There A Point To A 'Healthy' Easter?

Did you enjoy all these healthy alternatives to traditional Easter favorites or are they sacrilege? Do you need a hollow milk chocolate bunny, a few Cadbury's Cream Eggs, a handful of Jelly Bellies, hot cross buns, deviled eggs, potato salad, honey-cured ham and hot dinner rolls to really celebrate Easter?

Is it still Easter dinner or brunch if it doesn't include ham or lamb and lots of sweets?

Would you like to share some entertaining secrets?

Tell us all about some of the dinners you can put together!

Sign up at Squidoo and show us how you spread your table! Share your secrets on the menu, place settings, floral centerpieces, themes and more. Make a food or entertaining lens at Squidoo! (and be sure to let me know so I can check it out!)

Some lose their determination and self-will to eat healthy over the Easter season way before it even arrives. Starting in March, people complain about all the Easter candy in the stores and candy jars at work. Are you already dieting to get that beach body ready for this summer? If so, will you be sticking to your diet over Easter? Maybe you just want to watch it to not do too much damage at Easter brunch. Or, maybe you're going surrender this year and not follow a diet on Easter. What are you going to do?

Are you going to stick to a diet over this Easter?

See results

What are your suggestions for a diet-friendly Easter? Do you have any recipes? Any tips? Feel free to leave them here.


*If you would like to suggest any links or have your own photos and / or stories published, please send me an email. I can be contacted through my personal homepage, laura-schofield.com. If you enjoy the work I've done here, I do offer professional copy writing, photo restoration / manipulation, search engine optimization and web design services. I can again be contacted for any of these services through my website.

Sources Cited For the Quiz Answers

Where I got the nutritional facts presented in the Easter dinner nutritional quiz.

Hidden Carbs In Foods - Wilstar's Low Carb Pavilion

All About Salmon - about.com, Low Carb Diets

Do you have any ideas for a diet-friendly Easter? - Low fat, low cal, low carb ideas!

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    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 3 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Nicely done lens! Happy Easter to you!

    • WordChipper profile image

      WordChipper 4 years ago

      Lots of great ideas here. Thank you

    • Laura Schofield profile image
      Author

      Laura Schofield 6 years ago from Chicago, IL USA

      @anonymous: It was a lot of work to calculate all these calories, that's for sure! Hopefully it will help out those who don't want to go too overboard at their Easter brunch buffet this year!

    • Laura Schofield profile image
      Author

      Laura Schofield 6 years ago from Chicago, IL USA

      @MargoPArrowsmith: Thanks so much! I'm off to check out the full listing of all your blessed lenses :)

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      Lensrolled to Born to Be Angelic I have Angel Blessed this.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      A great lens, very colourfull and well researched.