Diet chocolate may sound like an oxymoron; after all, what effective diet could possibly include chocolate? Well, the good news is that if you’re on a diet, chocolate can be a part of your day, and you can even have it every single day. But only if you make smart choices about when, and how, you eat chocolate. If you’re on a diet, chocolate can actually help you lose weight. If you deprive yourself of your favorite things when you’re on a diet, chocolate included, you’re more likely to give up on your program and stop taking care of yourself. If you let yourself have chocolate, you’ll be more likely to stick with your goals because when you give yourself a treat, you help motivate yourself to stay on track and on target. So if you’re on a diet, chocolate can be your best friend! Read on and learn how to make smart choices that will let you get your chocolate fix without falling off your diet.
Dress It Up
For anyone on a diet, chocolate represents danger not primarily because it is “bad” for you, but because it can be difficult to stop eating it after you’ve had those first few healthy bites. If you’re on a diet, chocolate and overindulgence may seem synonymous. However, there is one great way to make yourself feel like you’ve had enough chocolate: dress it up with fruit! Try taking a few chocolate chips and mixing them into a bowl of fresh strawberries or raspberries. Or, slice up a couple of bananas and drizzle a few tablespoons of luscious melted dark chocolate over them. Then, serve the whole thing attractively arranged on a nice plate, and tuck in. By the time you’ve finished your treat, you’ll have taken on enough chocolate to feel satisfied, and enough fruit to feel nourished so that you’ll be less likely to crave a bigger chocolate fix.
Choose the right chocolate.
If you’re on a diet, chocolate is not all created equal. Choosing dark chocolate over milk or white chocolate is the best way to get maximum chocolate flavor for minimum chocolate calories. Plus, some studies show that eating small quantities of dark chocolate may even have positive benefits for your heart, so for your heart and your diet, chocolate that is heavy on the cocoa bean and light on the sugar and cocoa butter, like delicious dark chocolate is, makes for the smartest nibble.
One of the most important parts of keeping track of any food on your diet, chocolate or not, is learning to pay attention to what you eat. Really pay attention, and not just to the caloric content, but to the taste, the texture, the way you feel after you’re done. When you increase how aware you are of the way food affects your body and mind, you increase your ability to make smart and informed choices about what and how you eat. If you want to sharpen your food senses on your diet, chocolate is a great way to get started. The next time you want a bit of chocolate, try giving it your full attention. Switch off the television or the radio, take the telephone off the hook, and lock the door. Take a bite and close your eyes, savoring the feeling as the chocolate melts in your mouth. If you make chocolate an intense sensory experience, you’ll only want a little bit, whereas if you just open up a candy bar while you’re watching a favorite sitcom, it will disappear before you’ve even noticed. As part of a healthy lifestyle and diet, chocolate should command your full attention. As you’ll soon discover, it’s definitely worth it!