A Chocaholic Solution: Choosing the Right Bar

Wall of Chocolate bars
Photo Courtesy of Janek Mann

I admit it, I am a chocaholic; I must have chocolate everyday. While research has shown that chocolate has health benefits, such as lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, we all know it should be eaten in moderation. Otherwise the negative impacts squash the benefits, since chocolate is also high in calories and fat.

In my opinion, one of the major challenges for chocaholics is resisting the temptation to eat more chocolate than they should when it’s sitting in a cabinet (or even worse, in a jar on a table) in their home or office. A perfect example is a bag of Hershey’s kisses. There is no way I could ever have that in my house. I would eat it within a day or two, three at most. That’s a surefire way to add on pounds.

Some people say that placing each reasonable serving of chocolate in a storage bag, freezing chocolate, or hiding it may help people resist the urge to overindulge. This has never worked for me. If I buy a lot of chocolate on sale, or buy large bars of gourmet chocolate, I wind up eating way more than I should.

But the good news is, I have found a solution that works for me, and I hope it works for you. I discovered that there are certain types of chocolate that I can resist. I can eat less than one ounce, sometimes even less than a half-ounce, and satisfy my daily chocolate craving. It must be chocolate with very little sugar and high cocoa content, which rules out regular candy bars and bagged chocolate. The one that always works for me Lindt Excellence 90%; two squares is .7 oz and only 110 calories, and sometimes I am fine with only having one square. I have consistently been able to limit myself to at most two squares enough times to say it works for me.

I’ve also learned the hard way that calorie content does not matter if you will only be eating a small amount. Choosing the right chocolate, one that you will be able to resist, is the crucial element. For example, once a store was out of the Lindt Excellence 90%, and I had to choose something else. Of course I read all of the nutritional information, and noticed that some of the sweeter bars actually contained fewer calories. A perfect example is Lindt Excellence A Touch of Sea Salt, which in the past had been very dangerous for me. Even though 2 squares contains only 95 calories, I couldn’t control myself around this chocolate. But I had been so successful with the 90%, I was convinced I could limit myself to 2 squares.  So I chose the lower calorie sea salt chocolate instead of the 85% or 70% bars that were also available. Huge mistake! While my intentions were good, to save that 15 calories when I ate two squares, I wound up eating pretty much the entire bar. This also happened with the 50% bar, although I don’t think I ate as much. A better choice in the future would be 85% or 70%.

So the best thing to do is experiment with different chocolates and see which ones do not make you crave more and more. I’d recommend the darks with very little sugar and high cocoa content, but if something sweeter works for you, go for it (I envy you). When you find a good one, stick with it! Don’t be fooled like I was – when they are out of your chocolate, buy the one that most closely resembles it (check ingredients), and you should be able to stick to 2 squares, or whatever your limit is.

Here’s to daily chocolate without guilt, weight gain, or mad sugar rushes!

I’d love to hear if this or other techniques have worked for you in the comments.

I am not affiliated with Lindt Chocolate.

P.S. – In creating this post, I discovered there are two acceptable spellings for “people who are fond of eating chocolate” – chocaholic and chocoholic!


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