How to Lose Weight and Get More Energy in 15 Days
How to Get Slim While Still Eating Chocolate
Is it possible to melt the pounds away while still having a little chocolate melt in your mouth? The internet abounds with testimonials from dieters who have managed to lose weight while still enjoying chocolate. For this to work for you, you'll need to be armed with a healthy eating plan and practice good chocolate discipline to allow this indulgence to exist within your diet and still lose weight.
Establishing a Healthy Diet Plan
Discuss your interest in losing weight with your doctor or professional nutrition specialist.Some people who want to go on a diet don't need to (and perhaps shouldn't) lose any weight, and those who could benefit from shedding some pounds should strive to do so in a healthy, responsible manner.
- Work with your healthcare professional to determine your current health status, any underlying or potential health conditions, your fitness level, and the type of weight loss regimen that is right for you.
- Let them advise you on finding a diet suitable to your needs. Low carb, low fat, whatever it may be, it is important that your diet is tailored for you and emphasizes healthy food and regular exercise.
Be realistic about chocolate's place in any diet plan.Don't expect to find a realistic, healthy diet plan in which chocolate is anything more than either a complementary food or occasional treat.
- The internet is full of “eat more chocolate” diets, most of which should be treated with a healthy dose of skepticism.Chocolate, like many of the good things in life, is best in moderation.
- Regardless of your Willy Wonka fantasies, you're going to be adding some chocolate to a healthy diet, not making a diet centered around chocolate!
Talk about your desire to consume some chocolate as part of your diet plan.Your physician or nutritionist can help you to tailor your plan appropriately to make room for this treat.
- You can point out, for instance, that studies have shown that both overweight and obese women have managed to lose weight while eating chocolate. You should also note that Hershey’s sponsored this study.
- That said, there is legitimate evidence that the higher calorie counts in chocolate are at least partly counteracted by its boost to your metabolism, and that allowing yourself an occasional treat while dieting helps prevent bingeing on unhealthy foods.
Discuss the potential health benefits of eating chocolate.Consumed in purer forms and in moderation, in deference to its higher fat and calorie content, chocolate has been demonstrated to benefit the body in several ways.
- Up to seven ounces per week of dark chocolate (see the importance of this distinction elsewhere in this article) has shown the ability to potentially decrease blood pressure and “bad” LDL cholesterol, increase blood flow and improve mood, and provide beneficial nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
- The primary “do-gooders” in dark chocolate are flavonoids (also found in tea and red wine, for instance), which act as antioxidants that help remove cell-damaging free radicals from the body.
Lose weight in a healthy manner.Barring particular medical conditions or a need for surgical intervention, for instance, your healthcare professional will almost certainly advise that you lose weight by consuming fewer calories, burning more calories, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. As discussed in this linked wikiHow article on losing weight:
- Learn to track your calorie intake, perhaps by keeping a food diary that tracks what you eat daily. Knowing how many calories you consume gives you a better picture of the reductions required for weight loss.
- Establish a meal plan and schedule. Planning a daily, even weekly, menu ahead of time makes it easier to track calorie intake and prevent spur-of-the-moment, unhealthy eating options.
- Drink lots of water. It is good for your body and can be surprisingly effective as an appetite suppressant.
- Spend your daily calorie allotment on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Get the most nutritional benefit from each calorie you consume.
- See also How to Eat Healthy for more ideas.
Employ a sensible exercise regimen to burn calories.A diet is only as good as the exercise accompanying it. And what makes a better reward for a good bout of exercise than chocolate?
- Be sure to discuss the exercise routine that is appropriate for you based on overall health, age, weight loss goals, etc., with your healthcare professional. Some general advice, from How to Lose Weight:
- Focus on aerobic, cardiovascular exercises as per your fitness level. Start just by walking for 30 minutes three times weekly if necessary, and add time/frequency/variety as your progress. Try other cardio workouts like swimming, biking, dancing, and so on. Regular aerobic exercise is critical to burning calories.
- Join classes if that helps you. Aerobics, yoga, cycling, martial arts, you name it. Burning calories alongside others can provide more variety, interest, and motivation.
- Don't ignore weight training. It is also beneficial to weight loss and overall health. Start slow, as appropriate to your fitness level and to reduce injury risks, and focus on major muscle groups. Leg presses and bench presses are good examples of exercises to try.
- See also How to Lose Weight Just by Exercising
Choose only the best and purest of dark chocolate.Pure, high quality dark chocolate will give you the most “bang for your buck” — that is, the most nutritional value and antioxidant benefits (and flavor) per calorie consumed.
- Dark chocolate has a higher cocoa content, which is the source of the beneficial flavonoids. As a primer, cocoa powder typically contains 88%-96% cocoa; dark chocolate, 45%-80%; milk chocolate, 5%-7%; and white chocolate, 0%. This is also the order in which they rank in antioxidant benefits.
- White chocolate lacks any cocoa solids, and thus any antioxidant benefits. It is, by and large, just a sugar/fat/calorie bomb and should only be considered a rare treat with no health benefits. Milk chocolate, for that matter, isn't much better.
- Quality dark chocolate should be at least 60% cocoa, have little or no added sugar, and contain cocoa butter, not palm or coconut oil.
Skip the excess sugar, fat, calories, and ingredients.No, most candy bars, heart-shaped box candies, and chocolate Easter bunnies will not make the cut.
- Compared side-by-side, dark chocolate contains slightly more calories and fat than milk chocolate, but has half the sugar, less cholesterol, and more of almost all the beneficial nutrients found in either.
- Also, remember that dark chocolate has ten times or more cocoa content, and thus substantially more flavonoids. Milk also tends to counteract antioxidants, even further reducing the value of the flavonoids found in milk chocolate.
- Sorry to say, but you’d have a tough time finding a valid “How to Get Slim While Eating More Sugar” article. You’ll have to learn to savor the chocolate while skipping the excessive sugar.
Explore the variety of dark chocolate flavors.If you think that dark chocolate means nothing but a bitter, unsatisfying block, think again. Now more than ever, there are numerous options when choosing dark chocolate.
- Variations in cocoa content make important flavor differences, but so do ingredient choices and chocolate-making techniques. Try different brands and see which ones truly tickle your taste buds.
- Dark chocolate that has been flavored with essences or spices can make a nice change from plain dark chocolate without adding calories. Many boutique chocolate stores specialize in such delicious varieties of dark chocolate.
Treat dark chocolate like fine wine.Both contain beneficial flavonoids; both offer a wide variety of flavor profiles and price points; both can present problems in the face of overindulgence; and both should be savored. Think of each as an investment in enjoyment and, when done right, health.
- As there are ways to choose wine carefully, so too are there ways to choose dark chocolate. Yes, price is often one indicator of quality, but not always. For instance, look for bars that are solid, dark, and glossy, without white or gray tones, spots, or small holes.
- Treat your chocolate like wine, but also enjoy it with wine. Go ahead and double up on your flavonoids. When paired well, wine and chocolate make an indulgent combination that is surprisingly suitable for many a diet plan.
Find dark chocolate recipes.Enjoy dark chocolate as a treat, and make it a part of other treats that can be sensibly added to your diet plan in moderation. Recipes using dark chocolate can be found all over the internet. Just keep an eye on how much fat and sugar are added to any recipe. Some examples include:
Savoring Small Doses
Eat the chocolate in moderation.Set a limit on how many squares of chocolate you're allowed per treat portion and stick to that. This can allow you avoid guilt, which can trigger stress eating of diet-unfriendly foods.
- Usually one to two squares is enough per treat time. Whether you treat yourself daily or every few days depends on your diet's treat allowance and your self-discipline at eating only one to two pieces at a time.
- Consider dosing out and packaging up your treat allowance ahead of time. Break up a dark chocolate bar into one or two square segments, then bag them individually. Perhaps even mark the day for each and a motivational message, if that will help keep you going with your diet plan.
Enjoy the chocolate experience thoroughly.When you do include chocolate as part of your slimming regimen, appreciate its taste fully. To this end, it is recommended that you do the following:
- Set aside the chocolate treat time for the end of the meal. Your stomach will already be full from eating the meal, so there's less danger of exceeding your limit.
- Really focus on tasting the chocolate, not simply crunching it into pieces and swallowing it. Take your time, let it melt on your tongue and savor very small bites of each square so that eating it is a slow but mindful process. See also How to Taste Dark Chocolate.
- Good quality chocolate can be a form of relaxation or even meditation when eaten slowly.
- Enjoy the chocolate squares in place of a fattening dessert that you might once have had. For example, two squares of quality dark chocolate can replace a slice of cake or pudding.
- Have some of your dietary allowance of fruit with the chocolate. Make sure it complements the taste, such as a few slices of mandarin orange with orange flavored dark chocolate.
Enjoy a piece or two of chocolate with your favorite hot drink.At snack time, this can be a tasty way to have a morsel of chocolate and avoid snacking on something unhealthy.
- Coffee and chocolate are often considered a natural combination, but remember that if you use milk, you risk neutralizing the beneficial antioxidants.
- Tea, on the other hand, contains additional flavonoids and can pair just as well with chocolate.
- Try matching the chocolate flavor with the tea flavor. For example, try rose infused dark chocolate with rose tea. The flavor alone will linger for a long time, helping you to appreciate a small morsel and not feel compelled to over-snack.
- Learn to focus fully on the flavor and you'll be retraining yourself to eat chocolate with restraint and full appreciation.
Enjoy chocolate drinks.Chocolate drinks are a great way to get the flavor without the calories, provided you choose the right drinks.
- Choose a sugar-free or low-sugar hot chocolate mix or dark, quality cocoa and make up hot chocolate for a lovely, guilt-free evening drink. Sip slowly and savor the flavor.
- Add sugar-free cocoa to cold milk when the allowance for the milk is part of your diet. Mix well and again, savor the flavor. But again, remember that you’ll be neutralizing those antioxidant benefits with the milk.
- Avoid chocolate milkshakes, milk drinks with sugar and chocolate, and any chocolate alcohol drinks. All of these will be too calorie and sugar-laden.
Sprinkle cocoa powder over raw fruit.This can give you the taste of chocolate with a fraction of the calories.
- The same principle applies to putting a few dark chocolate shavings on top of your morning yogurt. Maximize the flavor impact of every bit of chocolate you consume.
- Raw cocoa nibs are another option. These are available from health food stores. Be aware that they're quite bitter though and are somewhat of an acquired taste.
QuestionCan I eat milk chocolate during my diet?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAs long as you eat it in moderation or as an occasional treat, yes.Thanks!
QuestionWhy do I feel depressed about my weight?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou probably want a change. Use your frustrations to give you strength to exercise. Remember that health is the overall goal, and that eating healthy will make you feel less depressed.Thanks!
QuestionCan I eat chocolate on alternate days?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerEat a few pieces of dark chocolate a week. Reduce your intake of chocolate if you want to lose weight but are a chocoholic.Thanks!
- Look for Fair Trade chocolate; if you're embarking on changing your own health for the better, consider also trying to help those who grow the cacao beans that go into making chocolate earn a fair living.
- Some diet programs include chocolate flavored treats which are low in calories, such as mousse, etc. Inquire about these sorts of treats from the diet provider or manufacturer.
- Search online for low calorie chocolate dessert ideas.
- A little treat daily can fend off huge binges on calorie- and sugar-laden foods. Practice training your mind and body to enjoy the feeling of leaving most of the pieces of chocolate uneaten in the packet, awaiting another day to have some more. After a while, this self-restraint will come easily and will be a source of both pride and comfort to you. Dieting should be about changing your mindset as well as your body, so that you can remain a slimmer you without feeling deprived in the future.
- Use common sense when choosing and consuming pieces of quality chocolate during a diet. One to two pieces is good, while a whole bar daily is likely to keep the pounds in place.
- Remember, moderation is key. Keep yourself from going for seconds or thirds by doing something to keep your mind off of chocolate.
- You don't always have to stick to the plan! While it is good to keep a good routine going, if it's chocolate time and you really don't crave any at the moment, then don't have any. This doesn't mean that you should double your chocolate intake the next day, however.
- If you have an urge to devour an entire bar of chocolate, wait it out. Do something different before allowing yourself to do this, such as drinking a glass of water, calling a friend, massaging your mate's sore neck or sorting out your scrapbook. After 20 minutes, most food cravings pass.
- If chocolate sets off a sugar binge, you may not be able to include chocolate initially as part of your slimming regime. If so, settle for more fruits in your diet and return to having chocolate in moderation when you've lost your weight and learned to control the binge triggers.
- Avoid cheap, large blocks of chocolate. Just having these in the house will tempt you and they are the poorest form of chocolate around. As well as losing weight, treat the diet project as a way of retraining your food habits and attitude toward treats. By learning to appreciate much smaller amounts of higher quality treats, you're learning how to really look after your health and be satisfied more simply.
- There are so-called "chocolate diets" everywhere online. Take most of them with a pinch of salt. And take the diet you like to your doctor to see what he or she thinks before trying it.
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