Wanna Lose Weight? Eat MORE Chocolate!
Sounds a little strange, doesn’t it?
I had a client who was a self-proclaimed chocolate addict. Frequently she would proclaim her new cold-turkey, chocolate-free commitment to me. She’d give it the ol’ “college try” every few weeks it seemed, and hands down every single time she would get discouraged, give up, and become more and more convinced that she would never get the body she wanted because of her chocolate addiction.
So one day we were chatting, and I asked her “Do you WANT to give up chocolate?”
She essentially gave me a big “HELL NO” as a response.
Ya see she thought that the only way to ever get control of her addiction was to go cold turkey or never have it again.
When we dug a little deeper we actually discovered found that giving up chocolate completely left her feeling really LOUSY, and she was (literally) having daydreams about eating it. But she also felt like crap when she inevitably binged on it– both mentally and physically.
Now I know I tend to have some out-of-the-box ideas, but just roll with me for a moment as I share with you where the wheels in my head started turning from there.
I went on to ask her, “If you could eat chocolate as many times per week as you wanted to and it wouldn’t impact your body and fitness goals, how many days of the week would you ideally WANT to eat chocolate?”
Her immediate reply was “EVERYDAY!”
I then asked her “What is that ‘sweet spot’ (no pun intended) where you would be able to get that delicious fix you were looking for, but without pushing yourself over the edge or leaving you in a lethargic sugar coma”?
Here’s where it got downright unconventional and where she got thrown a major curveball– one that she wasn’t expecting and one that would seem very counter-intuitive to someone trying to take control of their chocolate intake.
I recommended that we actually design a food plan-of-attack that incorporated her ‘sweet spot’ size serving of chocolate as an everyday component.
There’s a few reasons I felt this would be a good strategy:
1. She wouldn’t feel so deprived or feel like she was on a “diet”. She obviously wanted to make chocolate part of a healthy lifestyle, so this was a great way to do that.
2. She could feel that sense of control that she was looking for by sticking to her portion-controlled chocolate treat every day.
3. She wouldn’t be setting herself up for what I refer to as “a losing game”. Whenever we set out to do something that we KNOW we aren’t willing to do or simply aren’t ready to do, it’s essentially setting ourselves up for failure.
4. She wouldn’t have to use up her limited resources of willpower (everyone has limited supplies of it– even those most seemingly disciplined person) so now she could spend her willpower supplies in the places she really needed it.
No joke and no exagerration, she lost 6lbs in the next 3 weeks! For her already-slim petite fram, this was A LOT to lose without changing anything else. All she did was commit to eating a certain portion of chocolate every single day. She even decided on her own to make it dark chocolate.
Now keep in mind we did set parameters and “rules” for her. The portion size was pre-determined and the frequency was only ONE time per day. That meant that if she had it after lunch, she couldn’t have it after dinner and visa versa.
But here’s the thing that I was most excited about. She was actually EXCITED to start this experiment. She had this vigor about her like she knew she was finally setting herself up for a WINNING game. She no longer had the urges to go on an all-out choc-binge after a few days, and she finally had that control she was looking for initially.