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“I’m addicted to chocolate”

How many times do I hear these words in the course of a week!?
Far too many for me to turn a blind eye.

Might I add that I am one of the minority population who actually dislikes chocolate. Perhaps it stems from some childhood trauma I experienced? Who knows. I really have no tangible reason for my dislike, however my “chocolate” has been licorice; a vice since childhood.

Yes, it’s still the sugar hit though minus the brain soothing fat content that chocolate possesses.
The science tells us that a combination of sugar + fat is exceptionally pleasant brain food, however; in excess; not particularly positive for the figure or more importantly for our energy levels, long term.
When tired and under emotional stress; be it work issues, family, or relationships; we all have different coping mechanisms in place.

My observations over the years have led me to believe that the number one choice; coping mechanism; for a large percentage of women, is reaching for that bar or block of chocolate…not just one piece, but the entire block.

Bewitching time; around the 3pm-mark; and in lieu of nodding off at one’s desk, the rational and easy thing to do is to reach for that energy hit. Read: the sugary, fatty kind, namely our fave chocolate bar or similar.

The problem here is that the energy is only temporary and by the time you hit the gym (or home!) at 6pm, there is that lethargy and weariness present, making a workout extremely difficult and almost painful… no matter how enthusiastic your trainer or group instructor happens to be.

There is no judgement here and chocaholics do not feel shamed. As is my food philosophy; everything in moderation. If you enjoy chocolate, by all means you can find healthy ways to enjoy it OR start to enjoy lower-sugar (and cleaner) varieties like this and this from Nadia. What we are talking about here though is excess chocolate consumption and vitally, the motivation behind the consumption. No food should be a crutch for us; this never ends well.

Instead, what I would like to encourage in chocaholics is that they address their day-to-day eating habits and look at why their need for chocolate even arises. Is it daily? Are you not eating enough and hence always a little lacking in energy? Is it only when stressed or unable to cope with general life issues? Does it alleviate your stresses momentarily? Is guilt the proceeding emotion?

There is a sure fire way to end this cycle with your body.

Ensure that you eat regularly throughout the day.

This is especially important if your life is busy and on the go. Small freshly prepared meals….yes this means organization, preparation and dedication….this is the best way to start tackling the problem.
Nadia has posted many delightful, tasty, and easy to prepare delights that one can do over a weekend and have prepared for the fridge at work or at home. Check out our instagram + Facebook as well for inspiration…

The afternoon sluggishness can be a thing of the past when the chocolate fix is replaced by homemade trail mix (sugar + fat still present here), protein balls or even a dense protein shake made by oneself (not the pre-made type bought over the counter).

A handful of goodness in homemade trail mix

A handful of goodness in homemade trail mix

Honestly, it works! I was one of the many who went hungry and by 3 pm desperately needed SUGAR to be able to continue on with my working day. Out came the licorice, or muffin, or processed “health” bar. Temporary relief followed and my personal gym workout after seeing my clients was a dismal effort.

Thankfully, with retraining and education, I can proudly say that there is no more licorice in my kitchen cupboard and at work I have a good store of mixed nuts, home made trail mix with goji berries added to nibble on (a handful at a time).

Give it a go! Set the goal of changing your eating habits over say 12 weeks and see how much better you will feel. How much more energy you will have and how much better you will be able to cope with life and it’s many ups and downs. Dependence be gone and instead you will be able to enjoy chocolate as it was intended; a delicious treat to savour from time to time.

Can you move past being a chocaholic?

Good luck to you all!

Viv xx

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