If you’re a self confessed sweet tooth, eating a chocolate bar everyday may be your norm. But maybe you wish it were different.
Are You Addicted To Chocolate?
You eat chocolate when you’re feeling happy.
You eat chocolate when you’re feeling sad.
When you’re feeling stressed, tired or anxious.
You eat chocolate when you’re celebrating a victory, or commiserating a loss.
Probably even when you’re distracted watching TV, or driving in the car.
Sometimes you eat chocolate for no apparent reason and find it hard to stop at one, even though you want to.
But the truth is, as much as we’d like to think that chocolate can fix a multitude of things, of course it doesn’t. It’s a temporary band aide and lets face it, eating chocolate everyday just isn’t sustainable in term long term.
I’ve used chocolate as a source of comfort many times and when I was going through phases of eating chocolate every day it left me with a whole host of issues:
- Bad skin
- Moodiness and foggy head
- An initial boost, then energy slumps
- Guilt and regret
- Unable to wear my favourite pair of jeans because they become too tight
- Constantly feeling blah all the time
- Eating even more junkfood
- An insatiable appetite for more and more chocolate. The more I ate, the more I wanted!
- Obsessed with where I could get my next chocolate fix
So, if we know giving into these chocolate cravings all the time is bad for us, what can we do about it?
How Can you Stop Eating Chocolate Every Day and Not Hate Your Life?
For me, there have been six things I’ve implemented into my life to help me to stop eating chocolate everyday.
As a result, I’m making better food choices, have more energy, and uncontrollable sweet cravings are a thing of the past.
1. Drink More Water: Did you know that when you’re hungry and craving something sweet, you might actually just be dehydrated? You might think you need something sweet to take the edge off, but what you really need is a big glass of water. Next time you feel a craving for chocolate, drink some water and monitor your intake overall to ensure to stay hydrated. I don’t go anywhere without my water bottle!
2. Eat More Protein: I make a point of eating some kind of protein with my breakfast, lunch and dinner so that I feel fuller for longer. For breakfast, it’s usually Greek yoghurt with berries and nuts, or shortcut bacon on a slice of rye bread on weekends.
Lunch is chicken or salmon patties and salad, and dinner is varied, but always with a lean protein, lots of veges and some carbs like sweet potato, brown rice or soba noodles.
3. Eat More Good Fats: Eating healthy fats are a huge factor in helping me to manage my cravings. I love avocado at breakfast, snacking on hard cheese and water crackers, putting nuts (walnuts, pecans and cashews) in all my salads, and plenty of salmon for dinner
4. Choose more Low GI Foods: We have a history of diabetes in our family so I’m big on eating Low GI. What does this mean? It means choosing complex carbohydrates that are more slowly digested and absorbed into the body.
They don’t spike your insulin levels, give you sugar highs or make you want to eat more than you should.
5. Set Boundaries: I don’t keep chocolate in the house or in my desk drawer at work. I have removed the temptation so it’s not right under my nose.
Because I also follow the rules of Clean Eating and the 80/20 principle, I give myself permission to eat chocolate 1 day per week, so long as I’ve been good the other days of the week. This way it becomes a true special treat that I look forward to, not something I mindlessly snack on.
When the time comes to munch on your chocolate, check out The Good Chocolate – the first zero sugar been to bar maker in the US.
If you’re in Australia, you might like to check out Sugarless Chocolate, or this no added sugar white chocolate bar, or these no added sugar chocolate covered macadamias
6. Manage Your Stress: Find other ways to manage your stress, other than eating chocolate. Make a list of all the non food ways you can comfort yourself during emotional times. One that I turn to every time is exercise.
Whether it be going to a yoga class, a walk on the beach, or a boxing class at the gym - these are things I turn to on a regular basis to manage my stress. A saying I once heard was that you change your psychology by changing your physiology. In other words you have to get your body moving to get out of your head and back into being in the moment.
TIP: If you’re skipping meals, either intentionally or out of habit, you might have noticed that your sweet cravings increase, especially in the lead up to the hangries where you feel like you could scoff a entire box of chocolate bars. To keep you chocolate cravings under control, avoid skipping meals and get into the habit of meal planning instead.
How To Manage Chocolate Cravings
If you’re craving chocolate in the afternoons, try this
- Full fat Greek yoghurt with berries: this provides natural sweetness from the berries and healthy fats to fill you up quickly and knock those chocolate cravings on the head.
- Hard cheese and nuts (almonds or plain cashews): this is a great protein snack to take the edge of cravings and you’ll probably find you only need a little of each before you feel full and cravings are gone.
If you’re craving chocolate at night, try this.
- Have a hot chocolate drink – there are plenty of healthy options where you just add boiling water, making for a simple and quick treat
- Have one slice of very dark chocolate. I find this works a treat because it’s so rich, over eating this type of chocolate is almost impossible.
Try This Chocolate Craving Quick Fix
A technique I come back to time and again to help me overcome chocolate cravings is Urge Surfing. It can take some practice but once you get the hang of it, it can be a useful little quick fix to help you mange pesky cravings.
The key to stop eating chocolate everyday is small lifestyle changes that when combined together create a powerful shift. You’ll begin to notice that chocolate looses it’s hold over you because you become more satisfied. Cravings are gone and you feel better than ever.
Where to start?
- Start small. Start by drinking more water. As a rule of thumb a good place to start is eight 8 ounce glasses, which is about 2 litres or half a gallon.
- Then, add more good fats into your day, like nuts, yoghurt, salmon and avocado.
- Next, work out ways to manage your stress better that don’t involve food.
- Next, ensure you’re getting enough protein. Try to eat some protein at each of your main meals.
- Then, when choosing what to eat, choose Low Gi versions where possible.
- And, set boundaries by not keeping chocolate within reach.
It is possible to stop eating chocolate everyday. I did it, and you can too.
Looking for some healthier alternatives to sugary chocolate treats? Why not make your own healthier chocolate sweets. Here are some of my favourite healthy chocolate recipes:
- Choc Mint Bliss Balls
- Cocao Bliss Balls
- Chocolate Sweet Potato Muffins (you can't even tell there is sweet potato in them)
- Super Healthy Low Carb Black Bean Rich Chocolate Fudge Cake