Chocolate and Lose Weight
eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource
Does the thought of
"death by chocolate" sound pretty painless to you? Would you sacrifice your
most valuable possession for a lifetime supply of scrumptious chocolate mousse?
Is the thought of never indulging in another piece of white chocolate enough to
bring you to tears?
Hi, my name is (fill in the blank) and
I'm a chocoholic...
OK, so you cant actually become
addicted to chocolate. So why not live a little and eat chocolate -- even when
you are on a diet?
Well, the reality of it is a little quickly
becomes A LOT! The average person consumes 12 pounds of chocolate per year. And
we all know that satisfying your sweet tooth on a regular basis can make the
calories and fat go straight from your lips to your hips.
Studies show chocolate is the single most
craved food in the United States. Of course, a die-hard chocolate lover can
quickly point out the health benefits of nibbling on a piece now and then. For
starters, chocolate contains high levels of phenolics, chemicals which may help
lower the risk of heart disease.
Fortunately, you can have your chocolate
cake and eat it too... provided you do it in moderation. Or even better, you
can enjoy a daily chocolate fix if you follow the tried-and-true advice of
renowned nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge.
Having spent more than 20 years in private
practice, the Washington-based healthy eating expert has worked with thousands
of clients. While names and faces may have changed, their love of all things
chocolaty remains the same. From white to dark to milk to Swiss, there are few
dieters that are ready to bid adieu to chocolate, Tallmadge says.
"One of the main reasons people are afraid
to start a weight loss program is the fear of feeling deprived or giving up
their favorite food," she tells eDiets. "Of course, you dont have to --
you need to figure out how to fit your favorite foods into your lifestyle.
"You cant tell a person to follow a
rigid plan and no cheating. We dont even use that word. You have to come
up with practical solutions for everyday life. Its not practical to tell
a person they can never have chocolate or sweets again."
In her latest book, Diet Simple
(Lifeline Press), Tallmadge explains that you cant expect to eat 800
calories of chocolate a day and still lose weight. That's just not going to
happen. But you can opt for lighter alternatives that are just as satisfying.
Tallmadge says that when it comes to decadent desserts you can save up to 380
calories a day simply by making a few smart substitutions.
Tallmadge warns determined dieters to beware
of the fat-free trap. Sure, those Snackwells Devils Food Cookies
may seem like a dieter's dream come true. But even they come at a price.
"The danger with fat-free advertising is
that somehow deep in our subconscious fat free is a license to eat as much as
you want," she says. "What people dont realize is those things contain
calories. It used to be that when people cut fat, they were also cutting
calories. Thats why they lost weight. But with the newly manufactured
fat-free food people are no longer going without."
Tallmadge says if you want a little
chocolate every day, you should keep your snack under 150 calories. And that's
exactly what you can do with her five tips.
But if you need the real deal -- chocolate
cheesecake, a double fudge brownie, etc. -- you can indulge in her "Death by
Chocolate" dessert splurge alternative. It works like this: save up all your
chocolate cravings during the week, then splurge on one luscious chocolate
extravaganza over the weekend. Tallmadge says youll be saving calories
from your good behavior and satisfying your cravings without the guilt.
What if youre a person who
doesnt know when to say when? Well, Tallmadge even has a solution for
"There are some people who really feel
addicted to sweets. The more they eat, the more they crave and that little
150-calorie snack opens the door for them," she says. "What I find often
happens is that youve been depriving yourself for so long that when you
finally get around something, you cant stop. If people allow themselves a
treat, they wont binge as much because theyve allowed it.
"Once they realize they can have desserts
and still lose weight, they feel less guilty and that reduction of guilt helps
them not overeat. They get used to eating things in moderation rather than
Common sense should tell you if you
cant resist the temptation, dont bring a box of chocolates or a
gallon of ice cream into your house. Your best bet is to sample one of
Tallmadges five tricks for eating chocolate and losing weight.
1. Dark chocolate! A hunk of deep,
dark chocolate smells luscious and the very first bite is very satisfying.
Since it's so rich and flavorful, most cravings can be satisfied with very
little. And dark chocolate is only about 110 calories an ounce!
2. Chocolate sundaes! Make a
chocolate sundae with fresh fruit instead of ice cream. Lite or regular
chocolate syrup is only 25 to 50 calories per tablespoon!
3. Old-fashioned chocolate "ice cream"
floats! For hot summer nights, make a frosty chocolate float. Place a
half-cup nonfat chocolate frozen yogurt in a glass and add your choice of diet
soda. Our sundae serves up a cool, refreshing drink that satisfies your
chocolate craving for about 110 calories.
4. Chocolate pudding pops! You can
find a variety of low-calorie frozen chocolate pudding pops at your
supermarket. Even Starbucks now offers a Frappuccino Mocha frozen pop that
weighs in at only 120 calories.
5. Chocolate chips! For a sweet
after-dinner snack or even a chocolaty breakfast treat, sprinkle semi-sweet or
milk chocolate chips on your yogurt. One tablespoon of semi-sweet or milk
chocolate chips packs just 50 calories.