Yes, chocolate can have a place in your weight loss plan…you can indeed eat chocolate and have weight loss success. No food should be off-limits completely in a healthy life for most people.
When we think about losing weight, or going on a diet, we tend to think we cannot have our favorite foods. These foods then become “forbidden fruit”…although rarely are fruits in question. I do not believe any foods should be forbidden. First of all, that is just no fun. More than that though, by placing certain foods off-limits it actually increases the emotional pull they have…it can lead to feeling deprived which then tends to prompt us to binge.
To really succeed at losing weight we don’t want to be in that cycle of craving foods, using will power to not eat them and then finally succumbing in a binge. We want to be in a healthy cycle where we feel good about ourselves and the progress we are making towards achieving our ideal health goals.
So incorporating some of your favorite foods, in small portions can actually help you lose weight in the long run-including chocolate!
Now–don’t let that lead you to believe you can just eat bon-bons all day long! Nor does it mean that we should eat large quantities of the “healthy chocolate” that you see advertised.
It is important that we change our thinking–not just what we eat. Focusing just on the food we eat will always backfire! A lot of people will suggest you substitute a low calorie or low fat version of whatever your favorite food is.
The biggest problem with substituting foods is that you aren’t changing your thought process or behavior-the things that allowed you to gain weight in the first place! If you swap eating a dozen chocolate chip cookies for low-cal cookies you are engaging in the same behavior and will not have weight loss success…the low-cal version won’t always be available or someday it won’t be enough!
I contend that even if what you swap for is carrot sticks you are still not changing the thinking. Because if you still stuff yourself, at some point you will decide the carrot sticks just aren’t cutting it and look out baby–then a super-binge is on the way!
When we change our thinking about food and our bodies and begin to really love ourselves we want to truly take care of these wonderful bodies we have. One of the ways we take care of them is to fuel them properly rather than stuffing them with food because something is “eating us” emotionally! Instead we learn other ways to deal with issues and no longer feel the need to self-medicate with food.
But fueling properly doesn’t mean you never get to have a treat…and chocolate is a great treat AND can actually have some health benefits. Be sure to eat dark chocolate for maximum heart benefits. And take small pieces–you only need 1/4 oz to achieve the benefits–that means a standard size chocolate bar will pretty much last you a week. Savor the chocolate and enjoy using chocolate as part of your recipe for weight loss success.