Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Controlling a craving

I don't know, the things I do in the name of research. Putting myself in danger of becoming obese, spots and pimples erupting all over my face, and clogging up my arteries by consuming excessive sugar. That's what you get when you uncontrollably stuff your face with chocolate. But in the name of research I have decided to carry out this little experiment.
We all know that chocolate tastes yummy, and we shouldn't really eat too much of it. But it is so tempting to reach for a bar at the checkout, because we know it will put a smile on our faces and lift our spirits. A nice treat to eat on the way home in the car, or while out and about, or anytime we fancy it.
We all deserve a treat now and again, don't we? The taste of chocolate can take away all our worries, and all our anxieties, if you are feeling low, eat chocolate. If we've had a crap day chocolate puts things right.
If scoffing chocolate is having a detrimental affect on your health, and your purse, there are steps you can take to minimise the risk, without cutting it out all together. You don't have to go cold turkey to wean yourself off the stuff. All you need to do is to cut down, and it isn't difficult if you follow my guide.
 I discovered this little trick while out walking last week. I fancied a bit of chocolate and popped in a shop and bought a Mars Bar. While I was plodding along I took a bite and instead of chomping at it like a person demented, I wondered how long I could make that Mars Bar last me. So I didn't chew it I sucked it slowly. I wanted to savour the flavour fully around the taste buds in my mouth before I swallowed it. The same with the second, third, and fourth mouthful. In fact it took me an hour and a half to get through the whole thing. By the time I got to the end I felt a bit queasy, I didn't really need to eat that much.
So that got me thinking, if a Mars Bar is too big for me, why not buy something smaller, I will still get the same choc fix, but I won't feel sick, and it will be cheaper. So this is my experiment. I bought four different types of children's size bars. These you will find on the lower shelves in the shop. They are 20p each.       
 
Then I cut each one into four pieces, inserting them into my mouth one piece at a time, one after the other, and timed how long it would take to suck each bar until it had all melted. Amazingly I got 41 minutes worth of choco fix out of the Fudge bar. Really good value for money in my opinion.
  
The Chomp Bar was a close second at 40 minutes, it has a caramel filling, these two are almost the same size. The Milky Way has a softer centre so dissolved a lot more quickly and only lasted 22 minutes, while the toffee filled Freddo took 20 minutes of sucking before it was gone completely, it was a much smaller bar.

So the conclusion to my experiment is, when you need a fix of chocolate, first, exercise strict discipline and do not enter any shops, but if you find yourself uncontrollably lusting, look on the lower shelves and pick up a 20p small bar, and suck it and see. On no account stuff the whole lot in your mouth in one go. If it doesn't touch the sides you wont get that lip smacking feel good factor and it will be a waste of money because all it will do is play havoc with your innards. I will add another small but important point here, chocolate is not an every day food, it should be an occasional treat, no more than one small bar a week. And plain dark chocolate is better for you than the sweet sickly milk variety. Have fun.
Toodle pip 

17 comments:

  1. I don't know if you have the small candy bars in bags like we do here in the US. They get much cheaper in September and October, the run up to Halloween. They are called "snack size" and about three pieces are called a serving size. Each one easily fits into the palm of your hand. I stock up on these bags and have only one piece a day, and this one I will cute into two or three pieces and only eat one piece an hour. They disappear fast because the kids will drop by and grab a handful but my thin husband will eat them sparingly also. Then I will skip days completely knowing I can have one the next day. They will last months and when they run out we will wait patiently till Easter when the same thing happens. Summer finds us with not much candy in the house at all. We wait patiently until September. I bought some yesterday (I always wait till it is on sale) and haven't opened it yet. This afternoon, this afternoon........

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  2. Whoever invented the peanut Kit Kat should be marched to a wall and shot , not content with the fact i have the backside of a hippo already, i was blessed with the will power of an ant where chocolate is concerned . Bless you for having will power , any idea where i can buy it from locally?

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  3. I have discovered that I never get the munchies for a chocolate bar these days ever since I started having one square of decent 70% dark chocolate every evening with my after dinner coffee. Mind you I passed this tip on to a chocoholic friend and she said it didn't work she had the square of dark chocolte and followed it up with a milk chocolate bar as well! Oh well some you win some you lose.

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  4. When I was on my cognitive behavioural therapy course it was suggested that if you can resist a craving altogether for about twenty minutes it extinguishes itself. I fancied a glass of wine a minute ago and went to get one before the urge went away! After all I am on holiday and a tipple will go nicely with watching the 'Great British Bake Off'. x

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  5. I'm not a big chocolate eater - I go through chocolate-y phases every so often when I have it quite often for a little while, but then don't have it for ages. If I've had a bad days and feel the need for a bit of extra sugar, I often buy a fudge as it's small and cheap(er) but big enough to do the job! Sometimes I have a larger bar, usually one that is on offer at the supermarket and have just a few squares each evening until it has gone.

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  6. This is what I like to do! Though my sweet craving is for doughnuts, I had one today yummy, my last one was December last year! My chocolate of choice is Cadburys I do not like dark chocolate. And I had a cadburys crunchie about three weeks ago. Curly wurlys are good value for sucking on, especially if you put it in the fridge.
    My big vice is houmous and carrot sticks. Chips and dip.xx

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  7. I like to buy the "snack size" here in the U.S. and keep them in the freezer. It's easier to make myself slow down and suck on them when they're frozen hard. I'm not so tempted to just scarf it down and get another one!

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  8. Jan - I was going to say the same thing. I too live in the US and freeze the snack size Mars bars or the individually wrapped Rolos. I currently have tiny Caramel Apple Milky Ways in the freezer. Had to try them! Yum!

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  9. Go vegan,the chocolate (only raw not processed) is so expensive it's for Christmas/Easter only!
    Jane x

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  10. I don't often buy chocolate bars - my weakness in more in the fruit-filled pastry area! - but I've been doing the "cut into pieces" thing for several years now. Lots of times, I find just one or two little pieces satisfies the craving, and the rest goes into the fridge for another time.

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  11. I sometimes buy the choccie bars on offer whereby you get 4 x toffee crisps for a £1 and I hid them away from DH and when we fancy some chocolate, I get a bar out and cut it in half and share between us. We have cut down on our chocolate fix and saved loads of money.

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  12. If I'm having a big bar of chocolate (Mars/Snickers etc) and I'm at home I cut it into slices with knife and put the pieces in a dish, it's like eating chocolates out of a box that way and lasts a lot longer, I do struggle to make myself suck it though, I am a chewer by nature.

    I solved the 'treat yourself to a chocolate bar at the checkout, because you deserve it' urge by having a bar of dark chocolate in the car at all times, knowing I can have a square or two once I get back to the car saves me at least 50p each shopping trip.

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  13. I've found a company here in Australia that sells chocolate sweetened only with glucose. I plan to buy some dark chocolate to try - and make it last by having a small amount each time I have a craving. I agree with you Ilona, chocolate is not something to be eaten regularly.
    Cheryl x

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  14. I have never seen the kids' size candy bars here in the US. But like others said, we do have the snack size bars that come in a bag. The only problem with that is you have a whole bag of them in the house. It's a pretty large bag and it's so tempting to have more than one at a time. I buy the bags for Halloween and they're supposed to be for the kiddies but then I keep some on the side for myself. I don't do this during the year but once in awhile, I buy myself a bar of good dark chocolate and take a piece of it every day. It's tempting to eat more but for some reason, the real dark chocolate in those bars satisfies me and I don't need more than a chunk of it. Next time I'm out shopping, I am going to see if we have those smaller bars like you bought but I have never seen them here.

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  15. Thanks so much for undertaking this onerous and dangerous bit of research for us! I struggle with moderation so buying snack size is the only way.

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  16. Mmmm chocolate, one of my favourite subjects. I've got no willpower where things like that are concerned, once i open the packet i've got to eat it all.
    I look at the health benefits, milk is good for you and since cocoa beans grow on trees they must be fruit that counts as one of your 5 a day.
    Dave

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  17. Don`t ask me how I can resist the chocolate bars. I just do. I never buy any. Occasionally I`m given some as a gift. I can make a chocolate bar last weeks as I just brake off a small piece at a time. No idea what makes me so different from other folk. I do have that self control. Have no idea what I would do without it. I hardly ever eat any chocolates, but can`t often resist a home baked cake when it`s on offer or I made it myself. I`m not baking any now for some time so that I can stick to my healthy eating regime that helps me to lose weight. I occasionally sprinkle some dark chocolate chips over my breakfast yoghurt and fruit. It gives you very little chocolate in one helping but does satisfy any craving for it. I usually make that little bag of chocolate chips last me weeks as well. I`m glad I don`t suffer from cravings much.

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