Monday, February 16, 2009

Eat Dark Chocolate and Lose Weight

The next article that tells me to ‘savour a piece of velvety, rich, fabulous quality dark chocolate’ is going to have the stuff smeared all over them. As my closest link to ‘them’ that would be the computer screen. I don’t read many things telling me how to lose weight anymore, but each time I dip my toe into that vast ocean, some writer suggests dark chocolate. Apparently this is the fashion at the moment, rewarding poor unfortunate sods on a diet with dark chocolate. This is everything that is wrong with the weight loss world and all those that peddle their theories on the latest way to lose weight. It’s the one size fits all philosophy which is rampant and ironic given the numbers of people trying to lose weight and therefore not fitting into a particular size at all.

Google dark chocolate and the top results all tell you how healthy it is. No, not Google against me too! But in any case, that’s old news. What annoys me is that everyone repeatedly advocates a ‘treating yourself’ with a square of dark chocolate as the ultimate reward. Apparently French women savour only the best quality dark chocolate.

Unfortunately despite the superiority of this food substance, my tastebuds don’t seem to agree. I just can’t accept it as a ‘treat’. Usually when it enters my mouth, it is immediately chewed and promptly swallowed to minimise the bitterness in my mouth. In all fairness, dark chocolate contains plenty of antioxidants that the other varieties don’t, so if choosing a treat it’s better to opt for something healthier.

The real problem I have with dark chocolate is the way it is pushed by anyone currently peddling a weight loss methodology. Chocolate may be the flavour of the month at the moment, but given time, there will be a new ‘wonder food’. Each time a new study comes out touting the benefits of a particular food, it paralyses me in my decision making process. I begin to wonder if I can actually select recipes, buy food and cook it for myself without expert knowledge backed by years of scientific research. Perhaps at the entrance to the supermarket they should have dieticians checking your weekly menu plans and ensuring you are stocked up on the current ‘wonder food’.

Maybe I’m just annoyed by the number of magazines on my book shelf whose covers predictably have catch phrases like “Foods you must eat to lose weight”. Or the authors of diets who tout a specific food as their magic diet snack. Really, it’s a matter of choosing something healthy that you really enjoy as a reward or a snack. Everyone is different and no amount of science is going to make me eat dark chocolate (or plain low fat yoghurt for that matter) again.

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