Weight Loss Tips for Vegetarian Chocolate Lovers
The fact that chocolate is vegetarian is both a blessing and a curse! Since chocolate is plant based, it’s naturally vegetarian. In fact, there are many chocolate products that are vegan. It’s fine to reward ourselves with chocolate. However, since meat is off-limits, many of us already consume a high amount of carbohydrates. Every time we’re presented with chocolate our thought process might be: “It’s not meat, so it’s okay for me to have some.” What this leads to are many vegetarians who are out of shape despite our “healthy” diets. And we’re supposed to be the healthy and fit ones, right?
But there are ways to reward ourselves with chocolate and maintain our weight. We can even enjoy chocolate when we are dieting and trying to lose weight. The key is to pick the right kind of chocolate, control your portions, and eat a balanced diet. Here are some suggestions for taking care of your health while you indulge your sweet tooth.
Choosing the Right Chocolate
- Eat dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is good for your heart and overall health. Studies show that it contains plant flavonoids and antioxidants that can improve the functioning of your blood vessels and protect you from clogged arteries. When you want something sweet, go with dark chocolate.
- Drink cocoa. Cocoa is the ingredient that endows dark chocolate with its health benefits. Drinking unsweetened cocoa powder in skim milk is another way to get the flavor you crave without much fat or calories. Just keep in mind that milk can interfere with how your body absorbs the antioxidants. Another alternative is to sprinkle some cocoa in your yogurt.
- Try chocolate-flavored products with no calories. Suck on sugar-free hard candies in chocolate flavors. A small indulgence can help keep you from feeling deprived, which will keep you from splurging on something that will wreck your diet.
- Avoid milk chocolate and white chocolate. White chocolate contains no cocoa solids, and milk chocolate contains much less than the darker version. Dark chocolate is much more nutritious, especially when you’re trying to limit your overall calories.
- Plan ahead. Limit your treats to once a day. If you want fudge brownies with dinner, pass on the birthday cake at the office. When you’ve had a chocolate croissant for breakfast, eat berries for dessert.
- Eat slowly. Enjoy your food by sitting down and savoring every bite. Eating slower will also help you notice when you’re full.
- Share desserts. Many restaurants serve huge portions. Ask for one dessert and two spoons so you and your companion can share. You’ll both be better off.
- Buy individual truffles. Many bakeries, candy shops, and department stores sell individual pieces of candy or slices of cake. If you find it difficult to resist the lure of a whole box of cookies, take just one home.
- Give away holiday chocolates. Getting a huge assortment of chocolates for the holidays or your birthday may be too much temptation for any chocolate lover. Take them to the office and be a hero or put them out for your house guests to enjoy. Most artisan chocolates should be eaten while fresh, but some varieties may be frozen for a later date.
Eating a Balanced Diet
- Know your calories. A three-and-a-half ounce chocolate bar contains about 480 calories. A single Hershey’s Kiss has about 25 calories. Even though dark chocolate is healthy, you need to closely monitor the amount you eat if you’re trying to lose weight. Those calories can add up fast!
- Replace other sweets with dark chocolate. One easy strategy is to replace less nutritious snacks and desserts with chocolate. Two Hershey’s Kisses is far less calories than a bag of almost any potato chips. And if you have a chocolate treat as part of your daily routine, you’ll be more motivated keep eating the complex carbohydrates, plant foods, and lean proteins necessary for a balanced diet.
- Get more exercise. Complement your healthy eating with regular exercise. Daily aerobics is the best way to lose weight safely. Take a walk or go ride a bike. Look for opportunities to stay active throughout the day, like doing floor exercises during television commercials.
You may not remember all these tips as you’re out and about in your daily routine, you may want to save this article with Pocket or Evernote so you have it on your phone. Just remember these two points: as long as you stick with dark chocolate you’re almost always better off; and practice moderation. With these tips you can enjoy chocolate every day if you want without gaining weight or sabotaging your diet.