Apart from the obvious health benefits of dark choc such an antioxidants which I’m sure you’ve all heard and read about to death, the many times you were googling chocolate to justify to yourself why you should be eating it so I won’t bore you with that again, I’m going to tell you why having 1 or 2 squares of chocolate could be the best thing for you. Not only mentally, but in the long term could help you reach your goal weight and also help you maintain it. Now there is a time when having chocolate would have given me anxiety, it would have made me think Ahhh I’m so unhealthy I may as well eat junk the rest of the day and throw healthy eating out the window because I’ve eaten chocolate. And I see this all too commonly with my clients.
Now before you get all excited and run out to the nearest shops and buy the biggest block of choc or pack of tim tams hear me out.
The amount of times I’ve heard a client say I’m going on a health kick starting today and then promptly goes home and throws out all the junk food in the house (which I applaud) to then only come back and say ... it lasted 2 days. I just couldn’t stop thinking about chocolate and junk food (because they restricted it) and they then went and ate a whole block. After which they then feel so guilty that they decide that the “health kick” is over and go back to how they were eating previously. We’ve all been there. There is a reason that sugar has been shown to be just addictive as heroin and cocaine.
Now I’m not saying to have a kit kat or mars or bounty everyday, I mean the really good quality, no added sugar, actual chocolate made from real ingredients. Think Loving earth, Alter eco, Pana just to name a few. And trust me ... once you’ve had these you’ll definitely find it hard pressed to go back to Cadbury.
Having those 1 or 2 squares of chocolate will help you to feel like you’ve had a treat and aren’t missing out. I know it can be very hard if you are on a weight loss or fitness journey or are just starting out on one and you see all your friends or co-workers doing the 3pm chocolate run and you miss out or on the couch after dinner and your partner brings over the block of Lindt or Dairy Milk. A few days of that and it can cause even the most motivated person to want to want to stray. Having a block of good quality chocolate at your desk at work and having 1 or 2 squares will help you feel still feel part of it and like you aren’t missing out. It can also help stop you binging on other chocolate, sweets, lollies, anything you can get your hands on if you cut it out completely and then decide to have a piece and then bam before you know it a whole block has gone. And honestly those good quality chocolates you can just have 1 or 2 pieces and feel satisfied. There isn’t all the sugar going to your brain telling you that you want and need more.
NOW I’m not saying it’s not impossible to overeat or binge on that good quality chocolate, of course it is. You can binge on pretty much anything, although I’d like to meet a person who binged on spinach or zucchini, I mean apart from Popeye. But what I am getting at is you will be less likely too and will stick to eating healthier the other meals of the day because you aren’t depriving yourself of every little thing because honestly life is all about balance.
And I’m not saying go and have chocolate everyday. Not what I’m saying. I’m saying that you need to feel comfortable with the thought of having a piece of chocolate and not letting it derail your healthy eating. You need to get to the mindset of ok I had a piece of chocolate, so what move on, back to eating veggies and greens. If you do have a piece you need to stop feeling guilty about and then throwing in the towel and eating like crap the rest of the day. Yes ok a block a day might be a tiny bit excessive but one square isn’t going to harm you or make you put on 10kg (just like eating one salad isn't going to turn you into Elle Macpherson).
And who knows you may even get your co-workers or partner converted to the good stuff and then the real fight will be who gets the last squares.