Chocolate can be lovely, and of course food should be fun, including some loveliness sometimes, but the problem with chocolate or sugar in general, is that you are taking in a whole heap of empty calories. There is nothing inherently ‘wrong’ with sugar in my opinion. The biggest health factor from eating too much sugar is largely dental. Each time you eat something sweet your mouth produces an enzyme that can break down your tooth enamel, so the more times in the day that you indulge in something sweet, the more times the enzyme attacks your teeth.
But sugar is our fuel. Our brain needs 130 g of glucose each day just to function, and all those great complex carbohydrates are just molecule after molecule of glucose. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with sugar, unless you take into account that it provides empty calories. It is not nutrient dense food, so you are taking a whole heap of energy without getting anything other than energy out of it. Chocolate of course is also composed of fat, and milk if you eat milk chocolate, so there is that!!
If, as some people are, you would like to get more control of your chocolate or sugary treat consumption, here are some tips for how to give up chocolate or to treat it as an occasional indulgence:
1. Have a glass of water instead
Very often, we mistake the craving for sugar, particularly after dinner as a thirst. Actually, if you are not used to drinking a lot of water, signals of thirst can also be mistaken for hunger, perhaps because there is some water in food.
If you are craving sweet things after dinner, or other times, try drinking a glass of water, to see if that quenches your cravings.
2. Drink green smoothies
I think it is true, that these wonderful glasses of green juice in the morning can have a significant impact on all sorts of things, cravings being one of them. I notice when I drink them in the morning, that I don’t crave chocolate after dinner at all! Give it a go for a while, and see if you notice the difference!
3. Drink herbal tea
It is nice to have something after dinner. Have you considered herbal tea? It can have a sweetness that satisfies the sweet cravings, while giving you refreshing water and herbal essences.
4. Don’t buy chocolate
After a while of green smoothies and drinking water and herbal tea, you might find that you can go the extra step and simply not buy chocolate. If it is not in the house, then you won’t be tempted to eat it!
5. Get inspired
Sometimes it is easier to cut out a habit from within the scheme of a whole plan of healthy eating. If you are needing some inspiration, about your eating in general, maybe you could seek some guidance or a consultation with a nutritionist or dietician to get inspired.
Sometimes I feel that all it takes is to be conscious about your eating in general, to let go of the bad habits. It seems to work that way!
Savouring the sweetness.
I am sure you would agree that chocolate, especially dark chocolate can be a lovely sometimes food. To really savour a piece of chocolate after dinner is divine. It has a lot of beneficial properties for your health. It is just that you can get into the habit of eating it every night, or more of it than you should! In which case, it might be good to reduce it or cut it out.
Do you have any other tricks for cutting out sugary snacks?