Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cure Your Chocolate Craving...Without the Guilt!

We're post-Easter now, but there are probably plenty of chocolate eggs and bunnies lying hidden around your house. They sure are tempting! So how do you cure that urge to indulge without blowing your plan for a healthy diet?

What if I told you the answer was having chocolate when you crave it? That's right--but just a little. The key is to have a small portion and to "train" yourself to be satisfied with a small indulgence. In fact, recent reports have told us that chocolate might actually help us lose weight (and benefit cardiovascular health). I don't think we know enough yet to recommend regular consumption of chocolate in large quantities, but most any food is okay to eat in moderation. Having a small portion of a food you really enjoy will probably help you avoid the feeling of deprivation that causes many diets to fail.

Here are some perfectly portioned chocolate treats with calorie levels that won't blow your budget.
  • Mini chocolate egg: 30 calories
  • Individually wrapped Dove chocolates: 45 calories
  • Hershey Kiss: 25 calories
  • 10 plain M&Ms: 40 calories
  • 4 peanut M&Ms: 40 calories
  • 1/2 cup Jello chocolate fudge pudding made with skim milk: 100 calories
  • 1 teaspoon Nutella on 1 graham cracker square: 75 calories
  • 1/2 cup 1% chocolate milk: 90 calories
Whatever you choose, make sure that it can be eaten in small pieces--this helps force portion control. Seal your treats in a container and place it out of sight, so it stays out of mind. In other words: on a high shelf in your pantry or cupboard so it's not staring you in the face every time you open the door. When it's time to indulge, take out the appropriate portion size and but the container back. Now walk away. Pay attention and take your time while you're enjoying your treat so you can really savor the flavor.

Who said dieting was about deprivation?!

How do you stick to your meal plan without feeling deprived?

Don't forget about my Mother's Day give-away! Contest ends April 29. Visit RDbyyourside on Facebook to enter. More details here.

Photo credit: Stuart Miles