10 reasons why you shouldn’t feel guilty eating lots of chocolate this Easter

10 reasons why you shouldn’t feel guilty eating lots of chocolate this Easter

Easter Sunday is upon us, and it’s brought with it more chocolate per person than many of us will eat in rest of the year combined.

For some, this heralds the resumption of a familiar cycle. You can watch it live on social media: first comes the gluttony (selfies with fancy Easter eggs) which over the coming days gives way to shame, remorse and regret.

We think this self-flagellation is cruel and unnecessary. Here’s why you should pig out today, and feel nothing but warm, chocolatey joy.

1. It’s traditional

Joined One Of Us GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

All our national celebrations require unusual behaviour. On Bonfire Night tradition dictates that we burn stuff, and at Halloween no-one bats an eyelid about sending children to strangers’ houses to ask for chocolate.

If we have to eat Brussels sprouts at Christmas, we’re sure that come Eastertime you can force down some delicious, bunny-shaped chocolate. It’s practically the law.

2. You don’t want to be a party pooper

Bored Samson & Gert GIF by vrt - Find & Share on GIPHY

No one likes a Negative Nancy, and your refusal to join in the fun will 100% be interpreted as holiday-shaming. Unless you want a visit from the Ghosts of Easter Past, we suggest at least a little Easter spirit.

3. Indulging occasionally is good for you

Now Im Into It Great British Bake Off GIF by BBC - Find & Share on GIPHY

‘A little of what you fancy does you good’ is a saying almost as old as Easter itself. Self-care, nurturing, self-compassion – call it what you will, but a bit of inner kindness can work wonders for your wellbeing.

If you spend 364 days of the year living in Spartan self-denial, you should let yourself off the leash for the 365th.

4. The chocolate itself isn’t the issue – it’s how you feel about it

Emma Stone Relationship GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Easter is just one day, so you could spend it scoffing every chocolate bunny in Belgium and it wouldn’t make an huge difference. For most of us, it’s more about our relationship with food, how we feel about our own willpower and the standards we try to uphold.

5. Eating chocolate makes you happy

The Simpsons Eating GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I mean, obviously. But there is also some actual chemistry behind this.

Chocolate contains the weak stimulant Theobromine, mild euphoria chemical Phenylethylalanine, and the amino acid Tryptophan, which is used by the brain to generate serotonin.

So there you go, chocolate can be a mood-booster – science says so.

6. There’s zero point feeling guilty about something you’re going to do anyway

Alan Rickman Shrug GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Two roads diverge before you: one involves insisting you neither need nor want any Easter eggs, staring longingly at the mounds of chocolate accruing around you, and eventually caving and binge-eating in a confused and guilt-fuelled frenzy.

The other involves accepting that it’s OK to eat lots of chocolate on the one day of the year which it’s OK to eat lots of chocolate, and generally having a jolly nice time.

7. Not all chocolate is that unhealthy

Krusty The Clown Health GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Cocoa contains a group of antioxidants, and studies suggest that chocolate with high cocoa content (more than 70%) might help slightly lower blood pressure, and even reduce the likelihood of strokes.

Is chocolate actively healthy? No, so don’t get any ideas.

8. Alternative Easter food really isn’t that great

Classic Film Chocolate GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Hot cross buns are keepers, but we could happily skip boiled eggs for breakfast, and Easter lamb is no Christmas turkey (some might say). Worst by far is Simnel cake, that most traditional of Easter foods, which is laced with a divisive combination of almonds and marzipan.

9. It’s a reward for the self-denial of Lent

Mood I Deserve This GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

In the scriptures we might be on shaky ground here, but one theory holds that we eat eggs at Easter because churches would ban them during Lent. When the 40 days were up, an eggy banquet would ensue, which in turn led to the hunting, painting and rolling of today.

This might be total twaddle, but if you have observed Lent your days of abstinence are now over. After the famine comes the feast.

10. Easter chocolate is a once-a-year opportunity

Choose GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Mercifully chocolate is not a seasonal foodstuff, but chocolate in egg form is unique to Easter, as is an ever-increasing menagerie of chocolate animals. Technically you could eat a chocolate bunny at any time of year, but you could also sing Christmas carols in June

.

- Press Association

More on this topic

Taoiseach says Dublin Saoradh march was 'beneath contempt'Taoiseach says Dublin Saoradh march was 'beneath contempt'

President Higgins leads Easter Rising ceremony in DublinPresident Higgins leads Easter Rising ceremony in Dublin

Remember the children who died in Easter Rising, says President HigginsRemember the children who died in Easter Rising, says President Higgins

3,000 attend 1916 commemoration in Dublin3,000 attend 1916 commemoration in Dublin

More in this Section

Kerry finds show grafitti is nothing knew and Daniel O'Connell might even have indulgedKerry finds show grafitti is nothing knew and Daniel O'Connell might even have indulged

Gag about Coleen Rooney’s sleuth saga among best Christmas cracker jokes of 2019Gag about Coleen Rooney’s sleuth saga among best Christmas cracker jokes of 2019

6 celeb-inspired getaways if you’re craving winter sun6 celeb-inspired getaways if you’re craving winter sun

From gender-neutral parenting to ‘re-wilding’, the lifestyle trends set to dominate 2020From gender-neutral parenting to ‘re-wilding’, the lifestyle trends set to dominate 2020


Lifestyle

Wondering about wine for the big day? Leslie Williams has all the options, for every taste and budget.Something from the bar: The perfect drink selections this Christmas

Damon Smith faces the might of the First Order on the exhilarating Star Wars Rise Of The Resistance attraction at Walt Disney World in Orlando.Feeling the Force in Florida: Star Wars Rise Of The Resistance attraction opens at Walt Disney World

There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book over the Christmas holidays, says Kya deLongchamps.By the book: Our top home and interiors picks to curl up with over the festive season

More From The Irish Examiner