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Healthy eating and exercise for life

How to Kick Your Chocolate Craving

It's three o'clock. You've had yogurt, a plain bagel and orange juice for breakfast. Two stalks of celery with peanut butter were your snack. And, lunch was a small turkey sandwich with strawberries and 15 pretzels. You've got a healthy dinner planned for later this evening, but you begin to feel a craving come over you. At first it's small, but as time ticks by it becomes bigger and bigger and you just can't ignore the rush - the craving for CHOCOLATE!

You don't want to give in, but the urge is too great. After all your work and effort … your eating habits have been so healthy and to sabotage them now seems pointless. But, you can taste it, the way it melts in your mouth with its smooth consistency and delicate sweet taste.

Well, the good news is you don't have to forego your chocolate craving while trying to lose or maintain your weight. In fact, studies indicate that dark chocolate may be beneficial to your health.  However, we’re not suggesting that you indulge in the king size Snickers or a large bag of M&M's. But if it's a consistent or daily craving, we suggest you find other satisfying choco-choices. There are things you can eat that will get you through those chocolate cravings and still keep your healthy eating habits in check. In other words you won't undo all the good you've done through healthy eating and increased physical activity. Try one of these healthier, yet "chocolatey," alternatives.

"Chocolatey" Food

Fat

Calories

1 low-fat chocolate chip cookie

2

45 calories

1 cup chocolate milk (2%)

5

179 calories

½ cup chocolate pudding
(made with skim milk)

0

140 calories

1 oz. chocolate covered raisins

5

120 calories

1 oz. chocolate covered cherries

5

123 calories

1 fat-free fudge ice cream bar

0

90 calories

1 oz. fudge (w/ nuts)

5

119 calories


As you may have noticed from the chart above, all of these chocolate snacks have less than 200 calories! And while you can have your chocolate and eat it too (so to speak), the key here is eating small portions. Remember to focus on what you're eating and enjoy the great taste - you'll find you don't need to eat a large portion. Eating a small amount of chocolate will satisfy your craving and won't send your healthy habits packing.

Additionally, there are many reduced-fat and low-calorie chocolate products that allow you to enjoy your favorite "chocolatey" foods without excess fat and calories.