Sticking to a plan can be difficult—especially in the first few days. The temptations are legion. It is especially hard in the first week of a new program, mostly because the house is still full of items once enjoyed but now forbidden. Boxes of cookies, bags of chips and bowls of chocolate can really test one’s resolve. The easiest would be to clean house and dispose of those things, but when living with other people that isn’t quite fair. Even if you clean house, the temptations don’t stop there. Yesterday, while going through the store looking for items allowed on my eating plan, I had to walk from the groceries over to the pharmacy side, which involved walking past aisles of chocolate and candy. I noticed something new. I found myself thinking, “What is that smell? It’s chocolate! But it’s all packaged. Am smelling them through the wrapping?” Of course this may have simply been psychosomatic—a vivid memory of such pleasures—but the aroma seemed to follow me all through that area of the store. Next time I’ll take a different aisle.
In case you didn’t guess from the above episode, I really like chocolate. I have loved chocolate all my life. My mother tells a story about me, at three years old, sneaking a jug of chocolate milk out of the refrigerator and drinking it all, then puking it back up. Chocolate has to be my Kryptonite.
One thing that helps is finding an alternative. No, I’m not talking about the scores of things people claim will relieve a craving for chocolate. I remember one dietician telling me chocolate cravings were caused by a shortage of magnesium—“Just take some magnesium and the cravings will go away.” Wrong! I found myself thinking I should sprinkle the magnesium over chocolate ice cream. As I read on it, I saw this was mostly true for women craving chocolate while on their period. I’ve never craved chocolate on my period—probably because I DON’T HAVE PERIODS. For me, the best way to beat a chocolate craving is something that tastes like chocolate.
On the Take Shape for Life program, Medifast makes a “Chocolate Mint Soft Serve” that is allowed. It’s actually quite good and I have been using it as a nice end of day pleasure (for my last meal replacement of the day). A serving only has 110 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 14 grams of Carbs. While the taste isn’t quite like real soft serve ice cream, it is a nice chocolate treat. Believe me, this will be in my next shipment.