Chocolate Fix for People on a Diet

Chocolate Fix for People on a Diet

There is that one craving that never seems to go away, the craving for chocolate. Unfortunately, chocolate is typically a high-calorie treat containing saturated fats and added sugars. Chocolate can be incorporated during weight loss and when following special diets, as long as dieters make smart choices and practice self-control. Satisfying that chocolate craving may even make the diet more successful by preventing feelings of deprivation and boredom.

Select Individually Wrapped Chocolate Treats
To prevent over indulgence, portion control items that come individually wrapped. Eating one Hershey's Kiss, which has 22 calories, after lunch will not break the bank, but eating a Nestle Crunch bar that has 220 calories will. Pick the "fun-sized" chocolate candies that are small and have less than 60 calories a piece. Plan specific times of days to enjoy this treat. Do not eat them whenever you feel like it, because this could lead to overindulgence. When planning a chocolate treat after lunch, pack one piece every day, instead of leaving a stock pile in a desk, which may quickly become a binge snack when self-control is low.

Avoid Fancy and Gourmet Chocolates
While that one Hershey's Kiss only contains about 22 calories, a fancy chocolate truffle contains a minimum of 73 calories. Truffles contain creamy centers that increase the caloric content of the treat due to added sugars and fat. Try and stick with pure chocolate rather than a chocolate truffle with caramel or peanut butter, both of which are high in calories. Truffles may be pretty, but they have more calories than plain chocolates.

Go Dark
All chocolate is made from cocoa, but dark chocolate contains a higher percentage of cocoa with less added sugar and fat. Cocoa contains special compounds called flavanols, which work as antioxidants in the body and may decrease the risk of heart disease. This however, does not give dark chocolate a perfect reputation, because it can still contribute a significant number of calories to your daily total. When enjoying dark chocolate, choose one with a cocoa content greater than 65 percent and practice portion control in the same manner as you would with milk chocolate.

Beware of Sugar Alcohols
When exploring "diet" or "sugar-free" chocolates, beware. The low or reduced calorie sweeteners added to them could be sugar alcohols like mannitol, glycerol, or xylitol. These sugar alcohols may have laxative effects, or other gastric effects, in some people. So, though it may be a product lower in calories or lower in fat, the disadvantages may still override the perks.