Yes, you read that right. I’m a PT and I eat chocolate pretty much every day.
Over the summer I went away with some friends and one of their girlfriends introduced the idea of having some chocolate with your coffee every morning, simply because it’s a nice way to start the day. She’s Norwegian and said it’s pretty common in Norway. If you look at the league tables for happiness it won’t take you very long to find Norway – this year’s report had them right at the top. Figuring they must know what they’re on about and taking any excuse to eat chocolate I started doing the same.
Then, I started to notice something.
I pretty much stopped craving chocolate in the evenings. Not completely, but there were definitely more days when I didn’t than when I did. Plus, when I did, it was a lot easier to ignore.
See, just because I’m a PT doesn’t mean I’m any different to you. I’m not some fitness cyborg that runs on chicken breast and broccoli. I like chocolate, and I can eat a lot of it. It’s part of the reason I’m not 0.2% body fat, and part of the reason I can live without being 0.2% body fat.
So, what do I do? Every morning with my coffee I have a square or two (or a whole row depending on the brand) of chocolate. The darker the better, but remember we’re doing this for enjoyment. Fit it in to your daily calories, and enjoy it. From doing this I’ve found 2 main benefits:
Reduced cravings. If I tell you not to think about a white elephant, what is the only thing you can then think about? (You’re thinking about it now, aren’t you?!) Food is the same. If I tell you that you can’t eat something, you’ll be thinking about it all day. You might go a day without it, you might go a week without it, but eventually you’ll crack. When you do, you won’t do it in moderation either. You’ll binge. I know, because I’m the same. By allowing ourselves this every day, it takes that psychological battle out of the equation, and odds are you’ll probably even find you’ll have days where you don’t actually fancy it and can go without.
Easier to avoid cravings. The second part is that when you are then sitting there at night, watching the TV and get the urge for a family size Toblerone, it’s a lot easier to ignore that feeling when you know once the morning comes you’ll be having chocolate with your coffee anyway. Then you only end up having your square or two in the morning instead of demolishing the whole bar at night.
Take the time and look at yourself honestly. If you like chocolate, you’re probably not going to succeed on a diet that cuts it out completely, and even if you do – why would you want to?
I’m not here encouraging you to start knocking back a dairy milk every day, but a square or two is going to be between 50-100 calories, if you choose to spend those calories on a little bit of chocolate (or whatever your dietary vice is) to keep yourself sane and on track then doesn’t that make sense?
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