“I love chocolate!! I always feel like eating it!! It tastes sooooooo good!!”
Now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but although there may be benefits to eating chocolate, these are benefits are cancelled out when we eat too much of this tasty indulgence.
But why would something that is mostly bad for us be so deliciously addictive?
Well, chocolate releases neurochemicals into your brain that triggers positive thoughts, feelings, and arousal levels.
Chocolate also contains a small amount of caffeine, and we all know how addictive that is!
These two factors, combined with sugar and mouth-watering flavours added to our favourite chocolate bars, make it extremely difficult to manage our chocolate cravings, and how much we eat.
It’s kind of a catch-22 really – the release of these neurochemicals into your brain makes you feel happy, satisfied, and content. But eating too much of it can lead to unhealthy weight gain.
So how can you manage your chocolate intake while minimising the negative effects of eating it? Here are a few helpful tips that you can control the next time you are craving some chocolate:
1. Be realistic
if you completely deprive yourself of chocolate you may well risk eating eat more of it, and may result in binge episodes after a few days of going ‘cold turkey’. Try cutting down how much chocolate you eat, rather than forcing yourself to stop eating it altogether.
2. Focus on the type of chocolate
Pick high quality chocolate that is high in cocoa and low in sugar and fat, rather than low quality chocolate filled with artificial colours and flavourings. Remember, the high quality chocolate will provide nutrition benefits.
3. Avoid temptation
Distract yourself: remove chocolate from sight, avoiding storing it in easily accessible places, and avoid walking down the chocolate aisle in the supermarket.
It is so much harder to resist temptation when there is a secret stash of chocolate at the back of your fridge or at the bottom of your handbag!
4. H2O is the way to go
Cravings for chocolate may be confused with feelings of thirst, so the next time you feel like some chocolate, have a glass of water instead.
5. Enjoy eating chocolate
Take the time to enjoy the smell, taste, and texture of each piece of chocolate – instead of eating it as fast as you can! As you change how you eat chocolate, you will find that you actually eat less of it as you will enjoy it more.
Do these tips make a difference to how much chocolate you eat? Please let us know.
Happy Eating! 🙂