Chocolate diet

Sarah-Belle Murphy
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Chocolate diet. Image: Getty

What it is?
"Chocolate" and "diet" are two words you'd least expect to see together. But this is a popular fad that has spread around the globe. Created by British diet author and editor, Sally Ann Voak, it spells out a clear diet plan that allows you to stay slim and eat one of life's little indulgences.

The plan is to break your addiction to chocolate and, by doing so, safely incorporate it back into your regular eating plan. Chocolate addicts are divided into six different categories:

  • Secret bingers eat chocolate in secret and hide it in unusual places.
  • Romantics are often single people who use chocolate as a substitute for physical and emotional affection.
  • Comfort eaters eat chocolate when they are feeling tired or stressed. These are the most common type.
  • Weekend indulgers use weekends or celebrations as an excuse to overindulge.
  • Sugar addicts obtain most of the daily calories from carbs and may eat chocolate to boost their energy levels when tired.
  • Premenstrual cravers are women who overindulge in chocolate only at certain times during their monthly cycle.

What's involved
Depending on the category you fall into, a stringent diet plan is laid out for you. Think you're going to be eating pain au chocolat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Think again. The meal plans provide 1000 calories per day in week one and 1200-1300 per day for week two and beyond. Men can have an extra 300 calories per day.

Oh, and chocolate is banned on week one! From then on however, you'll be allowed to eat about 150 calories of chocolate a day. The plans vary for each category but in general, include a 250-calorie breakfast, one or two small meals of around 300 calories, and one main meal of around 400 calories.

Since it is a reduced-calorie diet, weight loss may occur as long as you stick to the plan and exercise as often as the chocolate diet recommends. If followed correctly, you are expected to lose 3kg in one week.

Recommended exercise
The recommendations vary depending on what type of chocoholic you are. Secret bingers, sugar addicts and premenstrual cravers are advised to walk briskly for at least 20 minutes every day in addition to being involved in a relaxing exercise such as swimming or yoga a couple of times a week.

Romantics and comfort eaters are advised to swim or do yoga several times a week. Weekend indulgers are advised to take up a sport such as golf or tennis and to do it often, especially on weekends.

Pros

  • Alleviates deprivation that is often experienced while dieting and this may increase the ability to stick to the diet plan.
  • Especially good for dieters who don't want to give up chocolate or crave it every day.
  • If good-quality dark chocolate is selected, the diet can provide a source of anti-oxidants in the diet.
  • Has an exercise component.
  • Promotes intake of vegetables.
  • Detailed maintenance plan.

Cons

  • Calorie allowances are too low for most dieters especially those who are very physically active.
  • Most dieters will feel hungry on this plan.
  • Some dieters may find that chocolate, even in small amounts, increases their cravings.
  • It lacks specific guidelines for how to select appropriate foods and plan meals.
  • Three kilograms of weight loss in one week is an unrealistic and unhealthy goal.
  • May not be helpful for dieters who do not crave chocolate.

For your copy of the chocolate diet visit www.amazon.com.


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