- Does eating chocolate make you feel GUILTY?
- Taking EXTREMES slows down your metabolism
- Coconut pie to die for with printable recipe
Last week I wrote about The ONE Thing you can do to make losing weight EASY. Here’s a hint:
Eat NATURAL food.
(Most importantly I wrote WHY eating natural food makes weight loss easy.
When you UNDERSTAND it’s sooo much EASIER to make change lasting.)
This week I’m telling you eating chocolate helps you lose weight.
This is TRUE too!
Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, World Chocolate Day, your birthday or any old night of the week… eating chocolate helps you lose weight.
For 10 years I didn’t know eating chocolate helps you lose weight
The whole time I was struggling to lose weight, I was sure eating chocolate would make me gain weight. So eating chocolate was blacklisted.
Cake, cookies, candy, ice cream… and every other sweet was also banned.
But after I lost weight I realized NOT eating chocolate and restricting other treats set me up to fail.
Why NOT eating chocolate made me GAIN weight
Declining dessert always felt awkward, and drew attention to the fact I was on a diet.
Then I’d feel deprived.
I was SURE my metabolism was slow.
And worse, when you can’t have something it’s human nature to think about it more.
Eventually I’d end up eating chocolate or another blacklisted food. Then I’d feel like I ruined EVERYTHING. So to help me feel hopeful I’d plan to restart my diet tomorrow and follow it PERFECTLY.
Over time this chain of events included over-eating.
- restricting food
- being on and off diets
- aiming for perfection and dramatic change
all trigger over-eating.
…And after over-eating I’d restrict again. No more eating chocolate!
Soon I was whirling around the starve-binge-purge cycle; believing if I could summon enough WILLPOWER to stop eating chocolate I’d lose weight.
No matter where you fall down the spectrum of restricting food, all these thoughts and behaviours are preoccupying. They’re MENTALLY and PHYSICALLY exhausting and take you away from what matters most: your interests and how you use them to connect with the world.
When you are … suffering from a mental illness, you think you’re in complete control. But the opposite is true. You are, in fact, completely out of control.
– Sophie Trudeau
For years I blamed myself rather than my weight-loss method.
Why eating chocolate helped me LOSE weight
Eating chocolate helped me lose weight because… (drum roll):
Eating chocolate once in a while, means you’re not restricting. Then you’re less likely to over-eat.
Whereas WILD extremes, like:
- being on and off diets
- yo-yo dieting
- restricting and then overeating
- starving and then binging
- purging via exercise or other means
confuse your body and put it into survival mode. YOUR BODY WANTS TO KEEP YOU ALIVE. So your metabolism slows down to conserve energy and then it’s hard to lose weight.
Our bodies are beautifully designed!
When your eating is sporadic your body assumes you’re in trouble. So it slows down your metabolism, like a bear in hibernation. Then you can survive on less.
Work WITH your body!
Occasional sweets break the cycle of going to one extreme and then the other.
Sweets in moderation are part of losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight. Don’t wait until you’re a healthy weight to start eating chocolate. Make eating chocolate part of your weight-loss journey.
How I’ve been eating chocolate the last 19 years
From the ages of 14 to 24 I was lost in the vicious cycle of starving, binging and purging. It was a confusing decade. And I didn’t have a road map to BREAK the cycle and learn how to get and stay healthy. But having the chance to share what I learned makes that 10-year struggle worth it.
While I aim to eat natural food as much as possible, my healthy approach to eating is:
Eat roughly balanced meals made mostly of whole foods
That means I’ll occasionally eat processed foods, like a cupcake with blue icing at a birthday party or a handful of cinnamon hearts on Valentine’s Day. But I’m not in the habit of eating processed foods, so they don’t appeal to me.
However I do enjoy baked goods here and there, made of REAL food, like eggs, butter, sugar, etc. And most nights I’ll have a few squares of chocolate to round out dinner.
In fact, when you eat roughly balanced meals made mostly of whole foods your body naturally flushes out the extra energy (calories) from the occasional treat so you don’t gain weight.
Slowly I’ve started to eat DARK chocolate (the first ingredient is cocoa vs. sugar) and I love the chalky taste. (Disagree with me in the comments! What’s your favourite kind of chocolate?)
Eating chocolate on Valentine’s Day
One day I was walking home from a documentary on Bloor Street in Toronto and I wandered into Wanda’s Pie in the Sky. It’s this really cute bakery in the heart of Kensington Market.
Somehow I ended up coming home with a Coconut Pie.
Anyways, Alex loved it so I tried out a few recipes and chopped and changed them to include more natural ingredients. Here’s the final cut and there’s a printable version, in case you, or someone you know, wants to give this pie a go.
If you’re looking to bake a dessert to enjoy with family, friends or your flame on Valentine’s Day, this is a great one!
A. After years of trying to do everything PERFECTLY I’m a relaxed baker. Guess-timating, eye-balling and slap-dashing it all work like a charm. Don’t worry about doing the below exact. I never do and I’m always happy with the results 🙂
B. You can buy or make a pie crust. Remember, it’s no big deal to eat processed food once in a while. Or if you like to bake, dough can be made up to 3 days ahead of time if kept in refrigerator.
Prep: 10 minutes + chill for 1 hour
Bake: 20 minutes at 375 F
Ready: pie crust will cool while you make filling
Ingredients for 1 pie crust:
- 1.25 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/4 cup chilled lard cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2.5 tablespoons (or more) cold water
10 easy steps:
1. blend flour, sugar & salt
2. add butter & lard until mixture looks like coarse meal
3. put in medium bowl & mix 2.5 tablespoons ice water with a fork until dough clumps together; add water if dry
4. make a ball of dough, flatten into a disc, cover & place in fridge for 1 hour
5. let dough soften slightly at room temperature & turn oven on to 375 F
6. roll dough out round, large enough to fit in pie pan
7. put dough in pie pan & prick a few times so air can release as it cooks
8. do fancy stuff around edges with fork prongs
9. cook at 375 F for 20 minutes (or until edges start to brown)
10. set crust aside & make coconut filling
Coconut Pie Filling
Prep: 20 minutes
Ready: chill for 4 hours before serving
Ingredients for 1 coconut pie filling:
- 1 pie crust
- 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 3 cups half & half cream
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
- 1-2 cups whipping cream (35% MF)
10 easy steps:
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. spread coconut on baking sheet & bake on middle rack for 2.5 minutes, take out of oven, stir & bake for 2.5 more minutes or until golden brown
3. mix flour & salt in bowl
4. combine half-and-half cream, eggs, sugar and flour & salt mixture in a saucepan & stir together
5. bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly
6. cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly
7. remove pan from heat & stir in vanilla + 3/4 cup of toasted coconut (save 1/4 cup for topping)
8. pour filling into a cooled pie shell & chill until firm
9. whip cream & spoon out on pie, then dust with remaining toasted coconut
10. decorate for Valentine’s Day or another occasion
Ta-dah! You’ve baked a Coconut Pie
Eating chocolate is my preferred treat and it just seems wrong NOT to be eating chocolate on Valentine’s Day. So I also picked up this bar of coconut chocolate to decorate this pie.
And who better to enjoy this pie with than my cat, Coconut? Also known as Coco…
Make Today Count
Do you have a list of food you’ve banned? No food should be off limits! Eating chocolate and other treats occasionally curbs cravings.
Choose a treat and share it with a friend (rather than eating secretly). Then get on with your day—whether it’s homework, laundry or a fun activity you’ve planned.
MAKE TODAY COUNT
Build healthy eating and exercise habits. A healthy weight will follow.
Whether you’re eating chocolate all the time or you’ve banned eating chocolate, it’s important to find a healthy balance. Sign up for my newsletter below and I’ll send you the best habit-building strategy I learned. It will help you STOP taking extremes and build healthy eating and exercise habits.
Listen for the lyric:
“Sugar don’t you worry…”
And flip it around: “Don’t you worry about sugar…”!
Eating chocolate, sugar, natural baked goods and even processed foods are not a big deal once in a while. Don’t worry!
So do you love the chalky flavour of dark chocolate or are you a milk chocolate lover?
Either way… let every day be Valentine’s Day whether it’s by eating chocolate in small quantities to curb cravings or telling those you love that you love ’em!
Sharing what I learned makes those 10 years worth it