I used to think of chocolate as a food group all of it's own - it was called necessary and I indulged in it almost daily. Galaxy from the UK was my favourite. North American chocolate is not quite so yummy (in my opinion) so living in Canada has curbed the temptation somewhat except when I am prepared to spend the extra on good quality chocolate. In Victoria I love Purdy's and Rogers chocolates.
I'm not sure when my chocoholism began but I remember days when I was a teen where I would literally crave chocolate. Back then I didn't have a problem with weight and was pretty active so not too much damage except for spots - now I don't have spots but it sure slips on the hips easily.
However I think cutting something out of a diet completely, even whilst trying to loose weight is a set up for failure. This is not wishful thinking - honest. During a recent study Janet Polivy a researcher at the University of Toronto found that dieters were more likely to be successful by indulging in a little of something sweet or savory than to cut out that food altogether. "When you cut something out of your diet, you're more likely to overeat it when you do encounter it."
I have managed to reduce the amount of chocolate I eat and the cravings for it by overall reducing the amount of sweet foods in my diet and replacing them with natural sugars. A diet that does not include fruit would simply not work for me. As I confessed in an earlier step when I am really stressed and the chocolate is there I can gorge with the best of them - but for the most part I keep a block of dark Lindt chocolate in my baking cupboard and limit myself to three squares when the chocolate fairy insists I indulge! Making sure that I count those calories in and recording them rather than pretending oops I didn't did I!
For some people savory is equally as compelling as chocolate and those can really pack on the calories as well. If crunch is the pay off try crudites or find some 100 calorie snack packs that work for you. Ice-cream, savory chip and chocolate makers have caught on to this "include and reduce" style of weight loss so there are quite a lot of choices.
Changing our mindset is a really important factor in successful weight loss as well as maintaining a healthy weight and body style. Working out your metabolism and calorie intake is important for success.
I am still working on a five day gluten/wheat free weight loss plan which I will post - some fine tuning still needed so watch this space. Of course if you are not gluten and wheat free it will still work for you with the added bonus of natural carbs. And, Yay I lost another pound today - thanks to curves yesterday and staying within my calorie limit.
Knowing what foods we consume and what foods make us feel good vs fatigued or bloated is going to promote health and wellness and greatly contribute to overall happiness. If weight loss is not one of your goals, I have suggested an alternative in the step 18 exercise below.
Weight Loss - make a list of all the foods you like to eat, ones you can't imagine life without and foods which you aren't bothered about and eat because they are important for balance or are a habit.
Create a spreadsheet - just as if you were planning a budget and figure out how many empty calories you consume in an average week (not one where there is a special celebration), how many nutritional calories you eat and how many calories are in liquid intake such as tea/coffee with milk or cream, beer, wine, soda etc. To help you figure out calories visit http://www.thecaloriecounter.com/
Non weight loss - make a list of all the foods you like to eat, ones you can't imagine life without and foods which you aren't bothered about and eat because they are important for balance or are a habit. Think about how much liquid intake you consume and include healthy (water and non healthy (soda) drinks. What foods/drinks contribute to your overall health and well being and what foods might you consider reducing.
Eating wheat and gluten free
Staying within my calorie limit
NOT having carrot cake at dinner when everyone else was - I had 3 squares of dark Lindt instead
Wanting the carrot cake
― Mother Teresa