This post is not about the nutritional profile of chocolate or any newly discovered health benefits to eating it. There are no embedded links to published research or journal articles on the antioxidant content of cacao – no listicles of conditions that may be improved by regular consumption of dark chocolate. That information is out there and easily found with a few keywords and a click.
For now, it’ll suffice to say that a little chocolate is not a bad thing in an overall well-balanced diet. But we’re still talking confectionery here, i.e. candy, calorie-rich and sugar-laden – maybe less so the darker, bittersweet varieties, but even those contain added sugars. And, as we all know, sweets, including chocolate, are to be limited in general, and altogether avoided when trying to lose weight. At least, that’s what common nutrition sense and conventional diet wisdom tell us.
Let’s digress for a moment and talk about pizza.
Pizza is, for me, a special class of food all by itself, set apart from anything else I enjoy on a regular basis by its power to render my satiety signalling pathways completely kaput. A good New York-style pepperoni pizza with the perfect crust that’s simultaneously tender to the bite yet crisp and browned on the very bottom (never soggy in the middle) is quite literally a slice of heaven. When I’m having pizza, no matter how many slices I’ve already eaten, no matter how full I am, I always want more.
That was the case last Friday night. Capping off a busy week, hungry after the long grind and too tired to cook, we went out for pizza. One large slice…then another. I ate slowly relishing every bite. Two slices down, I waited and began contemplating my next move. I wanted to keep going. Just one more, I thought. But I was full – and fully aware that one more slice would tip the balance toward too much.
What entered my mind at that point (strange as it might sound) was chocolate, specifically the dark caramel sea salt bark I’d purchased earlier in the week. I visualized myself relaxing and enjoying a piece of it later in the evening while stretched out in front of the TV watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I also thought to myself that it wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable right after gorging myself on pizza.
That was the decisive moment at which I resisted the temptation to keep eating. We concluded our pizza meal by asking for a to-go box.
Chocolate is no longer just a sweet indulgence. It’s a strategy.
Later that evening, I got comfy in front of the TV and feasted my eyes on the extravaganza that opened the games in Rio. And without further delay…gratification.
I’m so close to my goal weight now.