Last year I made the decision to go ‘chocolate free’ until Christmas 2019. The reason for this drastic measure was that I had recognised that chocolate was becoming a crutch for me. I was eating chocolate in some form, every day. Because I was beating myself up about it, I really wasn’t enjoying it anymore, but I was still eating it out of habit . My plan was that I would eat no chocolate from 1 September 2019 until Christmas Eve. This would be a huge challenge for me, but I’m very happy to report that the plan was a success.
Introducing chocolate into my diet on Christmas Eve, and enjoying it over Christmas definitely added to my experience of the holiday period.. After all, who wants to give up their favourite treats, while around them, everyone else seems to be indulging?
By Christmas Eve, I had been chocolate free for 115 Days. I was a little concerned that I may go crazy and eat a truck load of chocolate over just the Christmas/New Year period, but that didn’t happen. Not because I have willpower super powers. But because after so many days without eating chocolate, I had lost the taste for it.
At the end of the new year holiday period, I then set myself the challenge to continue to be ‘chocolate free’. But this time there would be a difference. I would go without chocolate for the entire year of 2020. Well not an entire year. Of course, I would allow myself a challenge break over Easter. There is no way I could miss my favourite Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies. I’m now counting down until Easter. I don’t plan to eat a huge amount of chocolate, but I do plan to eat chocolate.
After Easter, the challenge will begin again until Christmas 2020. An entire year! Can I do it? I’m really not sure that I can rise to this huge, perhaps even impossible challenge. But I’m going to give it a red hot go.
This is not an official challenge, but just a simple little challenge for me, that I made up myself, and which seemed to suit me and how I was feeling at the time. Looking back I’m really pleased, and feel quite proud, that I have been chocolate free for 205 days. Back in September 2019, when this challenge started, I didn’t really think I would get through one week. I’m not at all sure why, but my will power in doing this has been really great.
Benefits of Dark Chocolate
I don’t mean to suggest that chocolate is bad for us, or that anyone else should give up chocolate. Usually I would say have a little of anything that you love and it’s all about moderation. But I wasn’t able to have a little and definitely didn’t eat chocolate in moderation. I am now sure that at the end of 2020, I will be able to go back to eating small amounts of chocolate as a treat. The thinking these days is that there are health benefits to dark chocolate, so maybe I’ll make dark chocolate my preference.
- Improved blood flow and lower blood pressure
- Improves several important risk factors for disease
- May reduce heart disease rish
- May protect your skin from the sun
- Could improve brain function
The above benefits relate to dark chocolate. Not all chocolate on the market has these benefits, but it has been shown that there are health benefits to dark chocolate, with 70% or higher cocoa content. Just because there are health benefits to chocolate, I still don’t think it’s a good idea to eat lots of chocolate, or even to eat it every day. Regardless of the health benefits, chocolate is very high in calories, which brings other problems. The key word is moderation.
Are you a chocolate lover? Are you able to eat it in moderation? I love it when we chat and promise to reply to all comments.
More about the Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
This post is linked to Life This Week
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