Our Health and Wellness bloggers from Body Fusion are back, with some VERY GOOD news for fellow chocolate lovers!
You can eat chocolate and still lose weight, just follow these tips!
Chocolate. Ohhh chocolate. There is no denying it one of our favourites! As Easter rolls around we are literally bombarded with chocolate everywhere we look. If you find it terribly difficult to say no to those gold wrapped bunnies and shiny mini eggs, you aren’t the only one.
Let’s clear up one thing right now, eating chocolate does NOT make you naughty, bad or a failure. If you are on a weight loss journey eating one chocolate egg will not make you put on 5kg. Chocolate is just chocolate, a formula of cocoa, milk solids, sugar and sometimes added flavours.
This Easter look at chocolate differently to prevent over eating these goodies and still achieve your health goals with these top tips:
- Try Having Chocolate at Morning Tea
YEP! Try it. Work with your mind and appetite, when you feel less emotional, less tired and less likely to want to use chocolate as an escape from your busy day. The key here is PORTION SIZE: eat 50g of your favourite chocolate (S-L-O-W-L-Y) after breakfast and before lunch.
eg. 2 x mini Lindt bunny OR 6 mini choc eggs OR 1 hollow egg.
- Don’t Skip Meals
“I won’t have breakfast because I know I’m going to want chocolate later.’ Sound familiar? Skipping meals is often a terrible idea. Chocolate is high GI as it contains added sugar and spikes your blood sugars and a hormone called insulin. High GI foods do not fill you up for long, they are rapidly digested and the sugars are released into your bloodstream for fast energy.
High GI foods send your blood sugars rapidly rising and falling. Picture a rollercoaster ride, you start off cruising, but then you steadily began to fall, (because you haven’t eaten in a while), once you chow down on your chocolate bar, a spike happens and you ride that high for no more than half an hour. All of a sudden, your sugar levels drop back down again where you can feel hungry, tired and even irritable.
This pattern results in binges throughout the day and not just on chocolate. High insulin levels also tell your body to store fat! Healthy balanced meals are just as important now as ever. Don’t forget to load up your plate with lots of vegetables and a palm of lean protein like tuna, salmon or chicken.
- Go Dark
The great thing about chocolate is that it has some nutritional benefits, (yippee!) mostly compounds called polyphenols, found in high amounts in cocoa. The darker the chocolate the better because it has less sugar, milk solids and additives. Wait for a moment, this doesn’t mean it is low in calories though! Most chocolate is still high in fat, particularly heart damaging and cholesterol elevating saturated fat.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
1 regular sized Lindt bunny = 1086 calories, the equivalent to 10 slices of bread!
Or at least HALF of what an average adult needs for the whole day (which is approx. 1500-2000/day).
- Do a Body Scan and Eat Something Healthy FIRST
If you find yourself scoffing down half your kids easter bunnies just to ‘get rid of them’, stop and ask yourself – I can have it, but do I realllllly want it? Stop before you eat, do a body scan and check the hunger level of your stomach; ask yourself why you are actually eating?
If you are hungry, great, allow yourself to eat something healthy first. Try a piece of fruit with a little peanut butter or some natural yoghurt with some fruit.
HEALTHY NUTELLA ALTERNATIVE: If you really have a taste for chocolate, try a cacao & date spread instead. One of our faves is Mayvers Cacao Spread, give it a go with a banana or on grainy toast with strawberries – you won’t be disappointed!
If you are tired/emotional/stressed: will chocolate really fix the problem? Opt for a non- food related relaxation first. A warm shower, half hour of yoga or a little walk in the fresh air do wonders for the soul!
- Stop Saying No!
As soon as you do the mind often starts to rebel and break any rules you initially set about not eating chocolate. This Easter time, say “yes” but by making smart choices to enjoy your chocolate mindfully and without guilt.
Sending many happy Easter wishes from the Body Fusion Team!
Accredited Practising Dietitians (and fellow chocolate lovers!)
At Body Fusion, we work with adults, children and families to develop individualised and tailored advice. We understand the importance of food and nutrition during all stages of life. As Accredited Practising Dietitians, food and eating is our speciality, and we can help you find what’s right for you.
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