Eating Chocolate Without Overdoing It

nutrition twinsGuest bloggers, The Nutrition Twins® Tammy Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT are the authors of The Secret To Skinny: How Salt Makes You Fat and The 4-Week Plan to Drop a Size & Get Healthier with Simple Low-Sodium Swaps (HCI, Fall 2009) and Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever. You can visit the Nutrition Twins website for more information on this dynamic duo.

Chocolate: It’s the mouth-watering aphrodisiac that’s synonymous with Valentine’s Day.

But can you enjoy chocolate without sabotaging your weight loss efforts?

Yes, you can!  The trick is to have a small, yet satisfying serving.

Follow these pointers:

1. Fill up on nutritious meals that include small amounts of healthy fibrous carbohydrates, like brown rice, oatmeal, lean protein, like fat free yogurt, fish or chicken breast and lots of veggies. Enjoy chocolate after your meal. You won’t be hungry and it will be easier for you to be rational.

2. Eat slowly and savor the chocolate, which will allow the taste to last a long time. Plus, you’ll enjoy the experience more. Sit while you eat it.

3. Allow yourself to indulge in small portions, just about 100 calories worth of chocolate regularly – not just on Valentine’s Day. Completely steering clear of chocolate has been shown to increase cravings for it.chocolate

4. Remove chocolate cues, like chocolate candy sitting on your desk or leaving chocolate out on your counter top.Visible chocolate will only increase cravings.

5. Enjoy pre-portioned servings. Think fun-sized chocolate bars, fudgsicles, 100-calorie chocolate snack packs like M&M’s or Oreos or a chocolate pudding cup.

6. If you prefer quantity, try having a lower calorie chocolate alternative. For 100 calories you could enjoy one of the following treats: One small piece of chocolate,  ¼ cup chocolate ice cream, a half cup of fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate syrup,  two cups of fat-free hot chocolate or a ½ cup low-fat frozen chocolate yogurt.

7. See if a little bit will do it. Can you be satisfied by a kiddie-sized chocolate frozen yogurt? Or will grating a little dark chocolate over a banana or strawberries do the trick?

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