Saturday, June 26, 2010

Trolling for Chocolate

On a recent grocery trip, I found myself scouring the candy aisle, my sweet tooth leading the way, when I remembered a friend's facebook post which read, "How do all you dieters get your chocolate fix without blowing your diet?"

I have noticed that there are times when I have serious cravings, and other times I don't. There are several factors that lead to food cravings. Most commonly known are the hormone imbalances caused by premenstrual syndrome, and depression. Another is adrenal fatigue caused by stress, or sleep deprivation. And the least familiar cause of food cravings is the increasingly popular 'low fat' diet.

"If you eat a low-fat diet in the hope of losing weight, you unintentionally make the problem worse. If, like millions of dieters, you have eaten a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet for many years, or followed fad diets, the odds are good that you have become at least partially insulin resistant, which means your body stops responding to insulin, and instead grabs every calorie it can and deposits it as fat. So no matter how little you eat, you will gradually gain weight. At the same time, your cells cannot absorb the glucose they need, so they signal your brain that you need more carbohydrates or sugars. The result is persistent food cravings." Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP 

Address the issues above to curb future cravings, and read my suggestions below for the days when you find yourself trolling for chocolate anyway.
  1. Remember that sometimes it's not about discipline and indulge yourself.
  2. Know that marketers have done a phenomenal job of portraying chocolate as a dirty secret that you should feel guilty about because sin sells.The definition of indulge is: to yield to, to satisfy, and to gratify. It does not, in any way, shape or form, mean wrong, shame worthy, or any of the other negative connotations commonly associated with indulgence.
  3. Make sure you buy only high quality sweets. Leave the corn syrup and colors out of it. Reach for milk and dark chocolate in things like chocolate chips, (like the kind you bake with), chocolate covered almonds(good fat!), Hershey kisses or chocolate bar, Dove dark chocolates, Nutella Hazelnut Spread, or Hot Cocoa You Can Feel Good About. 
  4. Don't buy sweets (or any junk for that matter) in bulk. The more you have available in your home, the more you will eat. If the chocolate is regarded as a delicacy, you will eat less of it, and enjoy it more.
  5. Keep these old cliches in mind when dealing with kids and sweets: 'Out of sight out of mind,' 'A little goes a long way,' 'And they always want what they can't have.'
With the above principals in place, I allow my children to have one small treat a day, after lunch. This small treat includes anything with more than 10 grams of sugar, like a cup of my healthy hot cocoa, a hand full of chocolate chips, pretzels or fruit dipped in Nutella, a scoop of ice cream, a couple of gluten free cookies, honey or agave sticks, etc. The point is that if they know that can indulge in small doses, and with wise choices, they don't crave it and resent the moderation. In addition, I am content knowing that the key ingredients of the treats we have in our home are high quality and pass the food prude standards.

This same concept works with adults. If you are disciplined enough to only buy treats with quality ingredients, and don't over eat them, you too will enjoy being able to 'indulge' without the guilt.

1 comment:

  1. Great news thanks for sharing! This is something I want to remember!


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