Many of my clients have trouble consuming too many calories from chocolate. They claim, “I’m addicted . . . I can’t control it.” Physiologically there is a reason, and an answer to control the craving without gaining weight…
As women, we demand chocolate and fat. We release a neurotransmitter (genestiein) that causes us to crave the chocolate. This neurotransmitter is released by most of us, in the afternoon, which explains that 4 p.m. uncontrolled snacking urged described by many of my patients.
The answer includes:
Eat a healthy snack before the uncontrollable urge hits (e.g. a high protein yogurt, 14 almonds, bean soup, chocolate low-fat milk)
Keep the trigger foods not handy. Avoid buying the on sale 1 lb bag of M&Ms.
Practice mindfully eating of all foods, especially chocolate.
To mindfully eat chocolate or any food, remember it takes 20 minutes for your brain to register you have consumed the food. If you have a headache and take a medication, do you take additional medication 5 minutes later even though the headache is still there? No. Yet, how many M and M’s do you consume in 5 minutes? By learning to savor the small piece of chocolate your body will feel satisfied with a fraction of the calories.
To be considered a heart healthy, high antioxidant food, select a chocolate that is labeled 75% cocoa or higher. This high level of cocoa has significantly more antioxidants in it for heart health, and will satisfy the chocolate craving with far fewer calories.
I do this deep tasting chocolate experience with my private clients and often include it during community and business speeches on eating well.
Open a small piece of dark chocolate (75% cocoa or higher is best). Before putting it in your mouth, close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Place the chocolate in your mouth but do not chew let it melt slowly. Enjoy the taste and think about pleasant thoughts as you savor this moment. Try to keep the chocolate in your mouth for at least 1 minute. Most of my clients say they never enjoyed such a small piece of chocolate so much.
Here are some other low calorie chocolate treats:
Mix 1 Tablespoon of cocoa powder (not Dutch process) into plain yogurt.
Chocolate Vita-top Brand Muffins.
See’sÂ® chocolate suckers – it is impossible to eat this quickly.
Pre portioned chocolate pudding cups.
Hot Cocoa (make it very hot), you CAN’T drink it fast!