Tackling Chocolate Head On!

I was always one of those girls who used to roll my eyes when I heard other girls finish a chocolate biscuit and say “I am so full!”. How on earth can you be full on ONE biscuit, and even if you were full, how can you not just want ONE more because they are so yummy?

When I started to make changes in my life and diet I decided I needed to change how I perceived and ate different foods, especially chocolate.

Change your approach

In order to change how I approached problem foods; i.e. chocolate, I looked at how I used and abused it in my diet. I actually didn’t eat very much chocolate but when I did I would always want more, I would pick the biggest bowl of ice cream or the biggest pieces in the chocolate bowl.

I would eat more than others and would seriously do just about anything for that last piece. Finally, I decided to try something a friend told me: To buy a block of good quality chocolate and leave it in the pantry and whenever I wanted some I could have a piece or two.

Personally I thought I would just have one bit and then about 10 minutes later I would finish the rest of the block. However, I found that over the first week or so I had one or two pieces a day, everyday, and then the second week I had one piece a day, in the evenings usually after dinner when I was watching TV or just mucking around the house.

As I was writing all of my food and drink down in my food diary, it was pretty hard to eat 500 calories all in one go as I would then be forced to write it down.This continued for weeks, I was so stunned at my control I told everyone (who would listen!) about my newfound restraint.

It was about this time I realized I had a couple of different flavored chocolate blocks in the cupboard now and I hadn’t eaten any for a couple of days! This was ridiculous. Me! Not eating chocolate even when I was allowed to!

I suddenly realized I didn’t even want it, and so my new patterns had begun! I learned that if I want a piece after dinner I could have one, and if I really want I can have a second, just not the whole block. The best part was, I didn't want the whole block anymore.

A little tip

Another great trick is to look at the type of chocolate that you buy. I started buying Lindt chocolate because it comes in a block that is the same size as all the other blocks, however the whole thing is half the width of others.

In addition, the squares are much bigger than normal (around 1.5 inches) which means you can break them into a few little pieces of around ½ inch squares. This makes you feel like you are getting a lot more than if you put the whole piece in your mouth all at once.

I would then savor each piece and really taste the chocolate. I found that I would get so much more pleasure out of this one piece than I would when I used to eat half a block!

Share the chocolate love

Sharing this idea with your family and friends can have a mixed effect. My parents and brothers came over for dinner one night and when I brought out a plate with 6 pieces of chocolate on it they looked at me and giggled!

They actually thought it was a joke. I told them it was how I ate my chocolate now and that you only needed one piece however if they felt they needed more then there was some more in the pantry.

Within seconds the four of them had gobbled down their chocolate and were looking at me very warily as I broke my piece into 6 smaller pieces and then ate one at a time.

I am pretty sure they thought I had lost the plot, however the next time my dad came for dinner he tried eating the chocolate my way and broke it up and while he still gobbled each bit down quickly, he did acknowledge it went a little further than he thought.

The next time he came he broke it up again and said that he didn’t need anymore. Needless to say my Mum and brothers still think I am nuts (and all continue to eat lots of chocolate!).