We’ve all experienced it. Sometimes you just need chocolate, and nothing else will do. Like many who won’t admit it, I have found myself scrounging through the cupboard for a piece of baking chocolate just to satisfy the craving. When dieting, it’s worse. Many sugar-free chocolate candies either taste like wax or cause stomach discomfort. However, there are some ways around this problem so you can stick to your diet and feed your chocolate craving at the same time.
You can do a lot with a little syrup. Regular chocolate syrup has 50 calories in a tablespoon. Putting it over something or dunking something in it spreads it out, making you fuller faster, and still taking care of the craving.
For instance, dipping marshmallows in some is plenty sweet, and marshmallows have just over 20 calories apiece. If that idea sounds too sweet, use graham crackers instead. Each full cracker has only 65 calories. A small indulgence is not going to break your diet.
Nothing tastes more like real chocolate than, well, real chocolate. Just because you are dieting doesn’t mean you have to totally give it up. Snack-sized candy bars, about ½ oz. each, are a great way to squash cravings. They typically have around 70 calories each and can be very satisfying for that sweet tooth.
Milk products are some of the products that taste best with sugar substitutes, but even those with sugar can be used as part of a diet. Fudge bars are a great treat when you are craving chocolate. Because they are cold, they take a while to eat, so you get extended pleasure from enjoying one. The bars are a pretty nice size and yet contain less than 90 calories. (The no-sugar-added diet variety has only about 7 fewer calories.)
You can make your own mocha at home that can really help with the cravings. Combine cocoa, a little sugar, milk and coffee or espresso, and you have it. You can drink it cold, over ice, or warmed up. Use the proportions to your taste. If you want to use sweeteners instead, you can substitute the sugar.
When you gotta have it . . .
A long-term diet is easier to stick to if you don’t feel deprived. Giving up chocolate completely is impossible (and irrational) for some of us. You don’t have to ignore the cravings. Give in with a block of dark chocolate, which has fewer calories and other positive factors, or one of these other suggestions. Chocolate and weight loss are not mutually exclusive.
“Diet and Nutrition.” Livestrong: Dare to Change Your Life. Livestrong.com
“Calorie Count.” Caloriecount.about.com.