I feel the urge to have some chocolate pretty much every day. Whether it’s the stress from family, kids, or just the taste in general, the first thing that comes to my mind to decompress is something sweet and chocolatey. How can I avoid this?
I can start by telling you that this is not something abnormal at all. Multiple studies have shown that cacao – e.g., chocolate – is both healthy and to some degree addictive. Our bodies also tend to crave things that they “need” as part of our basic biology. Some people may be more inclined to cacao than others. I’d like to give you three pieces of advice to help you conquer your little vice.
Firstly, options. There are plenty of healthier chocolate options than the ones you may be used to having. Cacao is somewhat addictive, but there is a much more unhealthy and dangerous “addictive” ingredient in the chocolate we eat: SUGAR. Chances are you’re craving the sugar combined with the chocolatey flavor rather than just chocolate alone. Wean yourself down over a week or two from regular milk chocolate to darker alternatives. The higher the cacao percentage, the darker the chocolate and the less sugar there will be in each piece. As an added benefit, a higher percentage of cacao means more of the healthy benefits of chocolate in each piece instead of the unhealthy sugars.
Second, portions. Add the chocolate to your diet as a treat and consult your nutrition counselor about how much you can have each time you make the change to a darker chocolate that has less sugar. You may be able to have more as a treat if the nutritional content of the darker chocolates allows!
Lastly, look for alternative treats to help ease those cravings. If they’re just due to stress, try to get a quick workout in. If they’re hunger driven, look for healthy alternatives that substitute the chocolate with a protein-packed snack such as flavored or unflavored Greek yogurt with no added sugar or a high-fiber protein bar. These types of options will help curb your cravings and keep you fuller longer until your next meal.
Chocolate Brownies Recipe:
- 10 Medjool dates
- ¼ cup applesauce
- ¼ cup peanut butter powder
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup cocoa
- Truvia, to taste
- ¼ cup sugar-free chocolate chips
Mix everything together.
Place inside a glass Pyrex (8” x 8”) over parchment paper.
Bake at 325°F for 30-40 minutes.
Divide into 8 squares.
Count one square as a snack.
Alice Harrosh, Alice Harrosh is a Nutrition Counselor and Manager at Nutrition by Tanya, with 12 locations, including one on Main street in Queens! Alice knows that making healthy choices is not always easy, as she has been through the struggle herself. As an optimistic person, Alice’s favorite quote is: “It’s never too late to start eating better. If you have a bad morning, make it a better afternoon.” For more information on Nutrition by Tanya or the TAP (Tanya-approved products) food line, please visit www.nutritionbytanya.com or call 844-Tanya-Diet (844-826-9234). For daily tips and inspiration, you may follow @nutritionbytanya on Instagram.