Sunday, 3 February 2008

Chocolate - Friend or Foe on Valentine's Day

When it comes to temptation, nothing packs a punch like chocolate. For centuries, chocolate has been loved by the people of the world, from drinking it in cocoa to eating it in bars. So what is a woman who wants to lose weight supposed to do about the delicious box of chocolates she receives from her true love?

If you enjoy your chocolate in moderation and cut back on other calories throughout the day to compensate, you'll be fine. Think of moderation as one or two truffles. Period. Not one or two truffles a day for the entire month of February. Now for many women trying to lose weight, having a pound of chocolate on the kitchen counter will not work. The temptation is far too overwhelming. So here's some advice about what to do with your chocolate love gifts:

1. Eat only dark chocolate. Give all your milk and white chocolate pieces away to your skinny friends. Enjoy dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa. Research shows that flavonoid-rich foods like dark chocolate may keep high blood pressure down and decrease your risk for heart disease. So as long as you're indulging, make it dark chocolate.

2. Give yourself a chocolate allowance. Enjoy 2000 calories worth of chocolate throughout your Valentine's celebrations, or have five pieces of chocolate, or one piece of cake. Decide beforehand what you are going to do. Indulge all at once by ordering that rich cake for dessert on Valentine's Day or savor your chocolate over a longer period of time (like one piece of chocolate, five days in a row). But after you have your allowance, you are done. Finished. Just like when you were a kid and your parents gave you a dollar a week, once the dollar was spent, you didn't have money to buy anything else.

3. Get creative with the leftovers. Chances are you're going to have some chocolate left after you've had your allowance. You can wrap chocolate pieces and give them away to your friends and neighbors with notes of appreciation. Or if your truffles came from your husband who doesn't really want to see his hard earned money going to buy chocolates for the neighbors, you can put the chocolate in the freezer and have a celebration when you hit your goal weight.

4. Ask your family for help. Tell your husband you would love to get some chocolate for Valentine's Day but just a little bit. Ask for something without calories like flowers.
When you focus on the true source of love in your life, the chocolates you see lining the supermarket shelves will take a backseat this Valentine's Day. Be moderate with chocolate but lavish in showing love to your friends and family!

Today's Action Step: What will you do to indulge smart this Valentine's Day?

Je t'aime Valentine's Day Gifts Hearts + shipping discounts

Arlene Pellicane, mother of a toddler and infant, helps women lose their baby weight and thrive as wives and mothers. Her weekly podcast "Losing Weight After Baby" is full of practical ideas that work for busy moms. Visit Arlene's website for FREE articles and exercises at and
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