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5 Tips to take control of your chocolate cravings

 

Everywhere you look in the weeks leading up to Easter there’s chocolate!  It gets harder and harder to control your cravings, with foil covered eggs and bunnies calling out to you.  Seriously, it feels like the shops are out to undermine your latest commitment to eat healthier, avoid sugar and hopefully drop a kilo or two.

The good news is that there ARE health benefits to consuming chocolate, but moderation is the key.  Don’t deny yourself completely and then blow your diet by bingeing when your willpower finally gives in.  Try these tips to help you make healthier choices and enjoy chocolate in moderation.

 

Tip #1

Buy chocolate with higher cocoa (or preferably cacao) content and less sugar.

  • Cocoa is the key ingredient associated with the health benefits of chocolate. It’s rich in flavanols (antioxidants) and minerals such as; magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, copper and zinc.
  • Cacao is cocoa in its raw state and is less refined and higher in nutritional value.
  • The drawback is that cocoa and cacao are both naturally bitter, so the higher the percentage, the more bitter the chocolate. If you need the sweetness try to consume chocolate sweetened with natural sugars like honey, coconut sugar and maple syrup.
  • Generally, the darker the chocolate, the higher percentage of cocoa and the lower the sugar content, so look for chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa.

Tip #2

Buy certified organic chocolate and avoid brands laden with chemicals and artificial ingredients

  • Certified organic foods are grown with minimal human interference (like genetic engineering and use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers).  As always, nature knows how to provide the most nutrition and health benefits.
  • Look for good quality chocolate containing cocoa/cacao, cocoa butter, coconut oil and natural sweeteners as the main ingredients.  Avoid cheaper brands that are often loaded with soy products, hydrogenated fats, thickeners, and other additives.

Tip #3

Buy chocolate that contains nuts to naturally increase the protein content and reduce the sugar.

 

Tip #4

This is my favourite tip for moderating how much chocolate I eat. Remove the wrapping, break the chocolate into small pieces and keep it in a plain container in the FREEZER (preferably at the back)

  • Frozen chocolate tastes the same but takes longer to eat, allowing more opportunity to savour the flavour.
  • There’s no bright packaging to attract you every time you open the fridge.
  • It makes you more mindful of what you’re doing when you have to open the freezer, then the container, take out ONE piece and put it all back again.

Tip #5

Think about the physical and psychological reasons you might be craving chocolate.

 

  • Dehydration – When you are dehydrated it becomes more difficult for your body to metabolise your glucose stores for energy so your body craves sugar to provide a quick source of energy.
  • Mineral deficiencies – As I mentioned earlier cocoa contains antioxidants and minerals, but there are better sources of the same nutrients e.g. leafy greens, nuts and whole grains.
  • Imbalance in your gut microbiome – Sometimes the beneficial bacteria in your gut becomes overwhelmed by yeast or “bad” bacteria, causing gas and bloating, and other seemingly unrelated symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue and joint pain. Every time you consume sugar you’re feeding the yeast party in your gut.
  • Craving “sweetness” in life – When you feel your life is lacking joy and fun, you may subconsciously look to replace that ‘sweetness’ from your diet.  PS Did you know that chocolate contains phenylethylamine (abbreviated as PEA) which is the same chemical released by the brain when we fall in love.  This means that chocolate cravings can be an indication that you are “hungry for love”….

Kinesiology has many methods of helping you understand your own reasons for chocolate/sugar cravings, and then find your personalised strategies and solutions to overcome them.  If you would like to know more on how Kinesiology can help you, please phone me on 0414611382 or contact me online here.

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