Do you steer clear of dieting because you’re afraid you’ll have to give up eating chocolate forever? Don’t let your love of chocolate keep you from getting fit and healthy. You can lose the extra pounds and still enjoy the great flavor of chocolate every day.
Lots of people claim to be addicted to chocolate, and valid scientific studies have proven that chocolate contains alkaloid compounds similar to the ones found in alcohol. Other studies suggest that chocolate cravings may signal a nutritional deficiency, so it certainly doesn’t hurt to give in to your appetite for the delicious flavor.
However, it isn’t good for you or your diet when your choice of chocolate is fattening. It’s even worse when you get to the point where you can’t control yourself, and your chocolate indulgence turns into an unhealthy episode of binge eating. It’s important to understand that you can include chocolate in your healthy diet if you choose wisely and limit your portion sizes.
Plus, keep in mind that chocolate doesn’t have to be loaded with calories and fat to satisfy your craving. Here are a few ideas to help you satisfy the longing for chocolate without destroying your diet.
1. Nine Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Kisses have only 180 calories and 12 grams of fat. You can easily work that into any diet without overwhelming your daily calorie count.
2. Look for specific diet-friendly chocolate choices. Today’s market offers thousands of choices. Try low-fat frozen yogurt, single-serving 100-calorie cookie packages, chocolate rice cakes, sugar-free fudge pops, puddings, candy and hot chocolate. Every major diet program includes chocolate-flavored products to help you deal with chocolate cravings.
3. When you’re losing weight, it’s always good to include more protein in your diet. Look for chocolate protein bars, which fill you up and keep your blood sugar stable.
4. Dip fruit pieces into sugar-free chocolate syrup. Try bananas, pineapple, strawberries and orange slices.
5. Subscribe to a magazine that features low-calorie desserts. Choose one new chocolate recipe to work on each week.
6. Bake a chocolate cake and substitute applesauce for the recommended amount of oil. Your cake will still be moist, and you won’t notice a difference in taste, but it will be much healthier for you.
7. Have a small bowl of chocolate cereal that is fortified with fiber.