Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chocolate Helped Me Lose Weight

If you've read my past posts, you know that I lost more than 30 pounds and 5 pants sizes last year by eating vegan and following WeightWatchers and a comprehensive exercise program that focused on strength training. During that whole time I was losing weight, and since I reached my goal and have been maintaining, I had a treat every single day: chocolate, a cookie, or other vegan treats. Because I keep my sweet tooth happy, I never feel deprived. Feeling deprived can make you miserable, and there's only so much of that most people can take before their unsatisfied cravings take over and lead to binging.

WeightWatchers supports this philosophy, which is why there's nothing you can't eat on the program. A few articles in Fitness Magazine also confirm this:
  • From the April 2011 issue: “If you bring a salad for lunch every day, it’s no wonder you’re likely to ditch it for pizza. Include indulgences a few times a week, but keep portions reasonable. Packing a few cookies to satisfy your need for something sweet is a better strategy than depriving yourself until you rebel and eat a huge sundae.”
  • From the January 2011 issue: “Indulge yourself—in moderation. Sure, you can try to substitute your way out of a craving, first by noshing on an apple, then a couple of graham crackers, followed by a fat-free pudding. By you’ll probably end up consuming more calories than if you had simply enjoyed a few squares of chocolate or whatever it is your really want.”

The key, of course, is to indulge in moderation. If it's literally impossible for someone to have a single cookie, this isn't a good strategy. But I think because I know I can have a treat every day, I'm satisfied with having just a little. Hooray for being a healthy weight and having my cake too!

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