If you’re watching your weight (or health!) and feel under-pressure at occasions such as Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, Mother’s Day etc. where you are deemed ‘not normal’ if you don’t join in and indulge in your body weight of chocolate then read on for my top tips on how to cope..
1) Ask for Flowers or Vouchers.. or GIVE THEM AWAY!
If you are lucky enough to have friends or family who love to buy you chocolate at special occasions then tell them (before you see them), that you’re really trying to be healthy and are avoiding temptation of all kinds. If your lovely friends or family insist on buying you something then there is no harm in suggesting a bunch of flowers or even vouchers.. then they will feel good having still got you something (so not ‘leaving you out’) and you won’t be faced with the temptation/pressure to eat more chocolate than you would like.
And if this tip doesn’t work.. and you still get given heaps of chocolate and you really don’t want even the temptation then why not do some good and offer your chocolates to a charity/hospital/homeless shelter.. the generosity will be much appreciated and you will feel good on two levels!
2) Set a 250 Calorie Limit
If you want to join in with the ‘eating feast’ then why not set yourself an allowance? 200-250 calories is roughly 10% of your daily calorie (kcal) allowance. My advice would be to read the label and become familiar with how many calories are in your chocolate treats and then decided how many calories you’re happy to eat (decide this first!).
Remember that dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) has a much more of an intense flavour, meaning that you will feel satisfied with a smaller amount. Dark chocolate also has more antioxidants, which are great for health, as well as less added fat and sugar than milk or white chocolate!
3) Melt & Mix with Fruit
To make your chocolate go that little bit further why not melt some dark chocolate in the microwave for 1-2 minutes and then dip in pieces of melon, strawberries or kiwis (or any fruit for that matter) – as mentioned in my Valentine’s Day blog post! This way you are on your way to achieving your 5 a day and will feel much fuller (and perhaps more satisfied) after! Tip: Chill the chocolate covered fruit in the fridge for 30 mins to harden the chocolate before eating (check out my chocolate covered banana & nut butter bites for inspiration!).
Choosing dark chocolate is a healthier alternative to milk and white chocolate as it contains more antioxidants and has less added fat and sugar. My advice would be to check the calorie content of your bar and then decide how much you want to eat of it/share.. a small bar (~250kcal) per person could be a limit to set or 1/4-1/2 of a large bar (~250-500kcal).
4) Cheater’s Guide
If you struggle with temptation and can’t bear the thought of chocolate being in the house (as you could easily demolish them in one sitting) then why not get your chocolate fix another way.. here are some lighter ways to enjoy chocolate:
Treat Size Chocolate Bar (~100kcal)
Light Chocolate Mousse (<100kcal)
Cereal Bar with Chocolate (~100kcal)
Light Yoghurt with Chocolate Pieces (~100kcal)
Cracker with a Calorie Free Chocolate Spread (!) & sliced Strawberries (~100kcal)
Hot Chocolate (the indulgent ones made up with water & splash of milk are ~100kcal)
5) Don’t make it a 4 day event!
Try to keep your ‘indulgent eating’ to just one day. This means you have something to look forward to and can ‘balance things out’ in the days before and after.. i.e. eating healthy and avoiding extra treats and perhaps engaging in some light exercise. After all – it is only once or twice a year that such nationwide celebrations take place!
I hope you find these tips useful and remember.. if you do indulge DON’T WORRY!!!! What’s done is done.. just enjoy it and get back on track the next day.. we are allowed to occasionally indulge.. it’s ok! You won’t gain weight from one day of over-eating. Say that it’s your ‘20%’ of naughty food for the week. See my 80:20 rule post for more info.
*This blog post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer page for more information.