Monday, October 15, 2012

Can I lose weight and still eat chocolate? aka the Chocolate Nazi

It's October and you know what that means? 

It's chocolate-overload time. Chocolate mini-candies and chocolate bars. Chocolate everywhere. Half of Walmart is candy right now, in preparation for the ultimate chocolate holiday - Halloween. Forget the costumes, get the candy. Make sure you get the good stuff so there is enough left over for you after the trick-or-treaters. I know what you're going through. I'm a Chocoholic. I know.

Every year in October, I bring out my No-Candy Pledge and get it going. 31 days for the month of October. No Candy. No candy in the house, no candy in the car, no candy at work. Pretty extreme, huh? Not if you are a candy or chocoholic. When candy or chocolate is a trigger food for you, it's the best thing you can do. Because you can't just have one. Let me just make it clear:

- This article is not for those people who absolutely LOVE candy and chocolate and are offended when anyone won't partake in it like they do.
- This article is not for those people who are not trying to lose weight.
- This article is not for those people who are not interested in being healthy.

That being said, can you still lose weight and eat chocolate? 

Not exactly. Well, let's be more specific. Not really. I don't think so. Okay, now I'm turning into a Chocolate Nazi. Just a little bit.

There is a big difference between LOSING weight and MAINTAINING weight.
There is a big difference between a toned, fit body and a skinny body.
There is a big difference between a healthy lifestyle and an unhealthy lifestyle.

When you are losing weight, you need to have a plan. How you are going to lose the weight, what workouts you are going to do, what nutrition you are going to have. It's better than just waking up every day and saying "Hey, I think I'll lose some weight today". However, when you are maintaining your weight, you have some flexibility. You can miss a workout and not worry. You can have a little extra when it comes to eating. You are not trying to lose weight - or gain it - you are just maintaining your weight. And that's where some of the problems come in. You may be trying to lose weight and your friend, you know, the one who loves candy and chocolate is just maintaining. Therefore, she can eat candy and not worry about it. But you cannot. Or you may be trying to lose weight and your friend, the one who loves candy and chocolate doesn't care about her health.

It doesn't matter.

This is your weight and your health. 

If candy and chocolate is a trigger food for you, meaning when you have one you just have to have another and 10 candies later, you are still eating it, then it's okay to just stay away from it. Instead of being teased by friends, "You can have just one", "One is not going to kill you" and "That seems kind of extreme not to have any"; buck up and be strong. Who cares what people say about you not eating candy or chocolate? Do they have to fit into the jeans you are trying to fit into? Do they see your doctor about your health?

So now let's talk about the actual "health" of eating candy and chocolate. We are told that "it is okay" and that "dark chocolate is actually healthy for you". Bought and paid for by our chocolate producers. Chocolate CAN be good for you. The actual cacao bean that is. Not the over-processed, highly chemical additives, nonsense chocolate that is in 98% of our products today. Dark or milk or white. It's not the cacao bean. In it's natural form, chocolate is healthy, but we don't see it in that form today. In the typical "Snickers", "M&M's" and other candy bars, there is no form of healthy chocolate. But there is marketing and advertising, as well as our childhood habits of stuffing ourselves with chocolate and candy starting in October every year. Funny, that's when people start getting sick too. Hmmm.

Can you lose weight and eat chocolate? Tell me your story.