Chocolate . . .sigh!!!
Chocolate! What do you feel when you think of this beloved candy? If you are like most of us, you feel comfort! It's your go to friend, when life is tough! There are those in the diet industry that will advise you to get rid of all of the foods that you love. This is called deprivation, and it often leads to overeating. Life is short and there is no room for deprivation!
Some healthy diet habits that will help you to keep chocolate in your life and not cause you to gain weight are:
- Determine if it is a serious trigger food for you, and if it is you have two choices:
You can box it out. To box it out, you intentionally decide that you will not eat this food because it does not work for you. I have met people who can’t eat candy. It leads to extreme binging and weight gain. People can tie an extreme period of weight gain to that first bite of it. That one bite caused 50 pounds of weight gain! If this is you, choose other foods that do not lead to binging. You are not depriving yourself; you are just caring for yourself in a wise way.
Your second choice is to box it in. This means that although it's a trigger food, you can safely plan it into your life. You have a plan that allows you to eat it at planned times, rather than mindlessly eating a large amount of it. Maybe you purchase a small candy bar on the weekend, or split a dessert with a friend at set times. You might buy a single serving dessert from the market, but not the entire dessert. You know you might eat the entire thing, and you are practicing kindness to yourself in a mature way!
Develop a taste for quality candy and really taste it. Some types are amazing and some, not so great. I am always amazed that there are people who swoon over Hershey’s Kisses. If you really savor and taste them, they taste on the rancid side. I hear all of the cries from the Hersey’s lovers! If you are going to eat calories, eat amazing ones, and savor them. Eat them slowly and enjoy every bite.
Chocolates are caloric, so plan a small serving. Check the food label. Remember that your treats and snacks must fit into your daily menu planning guide. If you plan on eating a 200 calorie candy bar on a given day, plan it in. Totally doable!
Stick with candy bars that are not caramel or nougat filled. They will be less caloric and contain less sugar and fat. Nuts and fruit are great flavor additions.
Chocolate is a food that can end up causing serious cravings. Eat it with your meal or with a small handful of nuts. This will stop your blood sugar from spiking due to the sugar content, and keep cravings under control. If you crave it and think of nothing else, you may need to reevaluate and box it out! Tears for you!
Choose dark varieties, because they are loaded with flavonoids that act as antioxidants. Great news, your candy fix contains more antioxidants than your fruit choice, possibly! Healthy dark varieties contain at least a 65% or higher cocoa content. White or milk varieties ARE NOT included in the healthy category! Learn to love Dark!
Chocolate has been proven to increase happiness and therefore a great Lifestyle Solution. It actually increases your endorphins in your brain, which make you happy. Endorphins work to lessen pain and decrease stress.
It also contains tryptophan which causes serotonin to be released. Serotonin is an anti-depressant! This daily fix might just be the key to happiness, stress and pain relief, and less depression! Definitely a healthy diet habit!