Okay, I admit it -- I have a bit of a sweet tooth.  I mean, really, who doesn't?

Now, that weakness being admitted, I've at least figured out how to handle it.  That doesn't mean I always CHOOSE to (I'm not always as strong as I'd like to be), but I DO know what I can do to make me the strongest I CAN be.   One thing I've learned is that I can't totally deprive myself of the things I love when I'm losing weight.  Instead, I merely LIMIT the indulgences.

Do I let myself eat all the Halloween candy before it ever goes out the door?  Nooooooooo.

Do I let myself have a SINGLE small bit of dark chocolate many eveinings?  Yeeeeeesssss!!!



I had to learn the hard way that deprivation doesn't equal perfection.  For one thing, depriving yourself entirely - going completely without the so-called 'bad' or 'evil' foods - makes you crazy.  That feeling of self-righteousness in holding off on your favorite things just doesn't hold up, somehow, against the cravings for the things you love.  After resisting for a good long while, eventually I'll give in.  How BADLY I'll give in depends on how badly I've been depriving myself.  Can you say, "binge?" 

So, NO.   ... it's SO much more effective when I actually PLAN INDULGENCES INTO MY DAILY CALORIES. 


The best thing of all?   What actually seems to work?   Hey, it's easy enough -- be honest about it.  That means simply adding some craved indulgence right into MyFitnessPal.  Fine.  Do it.  Then plan the rest of the day's intake to balance it.  Does that crave-able item have a lot of fat?  Then I'll make the rest of my day's foods lower fat.   Does the crave-able item have a lot of carbos?  Then I'll make the rest of my day's foods complex carbs and higher protein.  The point is:  PLAN for it and make it work.

Plus, I can't do without, but I CAN adjust the portion size.   I don't need a restaurant-sized helping that'll feed three people for two days.  Does the restaurant offer a half-portion?  GREAT!   But if not, I find it works to ask the waitress to bring me a take-home box RIGHT UP FRONT, TOGETHER WITH THE MEAL, so that before I ever start in, right when the meal arrives, I put half of it (at least) into the box.  Only THEN will I dive into what I know I can accommodate within my daily calorie allotment.  


My supportive husband went to the trouble of baking me a dark-chocolate, fudge-frosting birthday cake, and how could I say no?  He really IS supportive, but he knows that I MUST have my chocolate birthday cake, thank you very much.  It was, truly, a loving thing for him to do!  But ... how to deal with it?  

First -- indulge.  But, after having ONE slice, I immediately cut up the rest of the cake into half-slice portions, wrapped each one up in waxed paper and tin foil, and put the individual small portions in the freezer.  And ... I LOVED the result!   I got to enjoy a fabulous little bit of cake every once in a while, over the next months, whenever I had an irresistable craving -- instead of wolfing down a whole cake in a matter of a few days.    And that extended the pleasure ... microwaving a single half-slice so it was warm and gooey (mmmmmmm), I was able to portion it out on those few, infrequent days when I felt I 'deserved it' or 'needed it', but in smaller, rational portions I could handle and still account for in my daily calories. 

Damn.  This WORKS.


I believe it was Mark Twain who said, "Moderation in all things, including moderation."

For chocolate (mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ... did I already mention that I LOVE that dark chocolate?), "limited indulgence" means I let myself have a SINGLE dark chocolate square in the evening.  That doesn't mean a single friggin' BAR.  It's a single SQUARE.  But that's enough, I've found, especially if I take my time nibbling it, and truly SAVOR it.

Besides, it's GOOD for you.  Dr. Bale recommends one to 2 squares (7 to 10 grams) of at least 72% dark chocolate per day for heart health, since the European Heart Journal reports that people who ate an average of 7.5 grams of chocolate per day were 27% less likely to have heart attacks and 48% less likely to have strokes than people who consumed less than 1 gram per day.

For another, dark chocolate that has 72% or more of cocoa is actually GOOD for you.  Notice that the list at the following website does NOT include Dove chocolates, Hershey's, and many others commonly seen.   The truly GOOD stuff is easy to find, though (SweetRiot, Lindt, Godiva, Ghirardelli ...)  (http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-risks-72-percent-dark-chocolate-5245.html)

My favorite?  'endangered species' brand 72% cocoa dark chocolate with cranberries & almonds.  Best. Stuff. Ever.


So go ahead.  Indulge yourself a little bit!