Thursday, October 9, 2008

How to Eat Chocolate and Not Get Fat

Some of my readers have been asking me how I can eat all this chocolate and not gain weight. Usually the question goes something like "How can you eat all this chocolate and not get fat, you bitch?" Okay, not the "you bitch" part - no one ever says that (out loud anyway).

I wish I could say I can eat anything I want and never gain an ounce! HA! I WISH! I would give just about anything for that - I love to eat! There was a time when I actually could do that - about TWENTY years ago! I used to be able to run, now I have arthritis!! ARTHRITIS!! I'm only 43!

Now, before you start envisioning me as about 90, here's a recent pic:

Here are my tips:

1.) You gotta pay to play. If you want to eat chocolate (or other sweets, or cheese, bread, nuts, pizza - let's face it, just about anything good!) you are going to have to either cut back elsewhere or exercise. No other options exist.

2.) Keep a food journal. For this to work, you have to know how many calories a day you can eat and not gain weight. The Mayo Clinic has a great calculator: Keep track of everything you eat. Hey, you asked!! Yep, I do this. If I ate everything I wanted, I'd get fat. This helps me make better choices.

3.) I exercise A LOT. I walk 5 miles a day five times a week. I also wear a heart rate monitor to make sure I keep up the pace. This takes about an hour and 20 minutes and burns 500 calories. I also lift weights and do a killer ab workout. Don't have time for this? DON'T EAT SO MUCH. That's it - either or. I like to eat, so I exercise. The benefits? My good cholesterol is almost 100 - my Doctor loves me. And I sleep like the dead. Having trouble sleeping? Exercise!

4.) I weigh myself almost every day. I overeat sometimes - doesn't everybody?? I try not to beat myself and get back on track ASAP. If I get 5 pounds over where I want to be, I tighten up the calories, maybe add a day of exercise. The key is to stop the weight gain before it gets out of control and you get discouraged and overwhelmed.

5.) I taste a lot of these chocolates, but if they're no good, I spit 'em out! (I know - maybe too much information, but...I'm not getting fat for Russell Stover! Now, Reese's......)

6.) There are some great things out there that don't have a lot of calories. Some of my favs are Vitalicious muffin tops and brownies. For only 100 calories, these are a gift from the diet gods!! Hated the bran, loved the chocolate and corn muffins. Also Jello has some sugar free puddings (in the refrigerated section of the grocery store) for only 60 and 70 calories that are great!!

7.) I keep the REALLY tempting stuff out of the house. I can't resist cakes and cookies, donuts, ice cream - I just can't do it. Little Debbie is the Spawn of Satan. If I were to buy a box of Swiss Cake Rolls, I would eat all of them. I can, however, limit my chocolate consumption (most of the time). Know what you can't resist and cast out those demons!

8.) Keep it real. I'm no size two and I never will be. Supermodels and actresses look like skeletons to me. Don't compare yourself to them. Just decide what weight works for you - a weight that allows you to have some chocolate if you want some. Part of the joy of living is eating! Healthy and happy is ALWAYS better than skinny. (Hey, a few extra pounds hides the wrinkles!!)

Follow these tips and you CAN have your chocolate AND fit into your jeans!


Diane said...

Thank You! Every now & again I need a good reminder and I love how you worded it.

Heidi said...

You rock, girlie.
I am 20 pounds heavier than I was a year ago, and I do love my chocolate. However, I don't do the exercise to the extent that you do. People need to make choices. If they're going to whine about their weight, then they need to exercise or not eat as much. If they're unwilling to do either, stop whining. I probably will never look near as good as you do because I don't get the discipline down as well. But I am content, and it tastes great, and life is good. So why should I whine and complain?

Denise Ryan said...

Heidi, You look awesome yourself, GF!!! But thanks for the kind words!! Now if I had a hubby and child, I'm sure I wouldn't spend so much time exercising!! Great comments about choices!!