This article is Step Three in the series How to go down three dresses without really trying. Click here for the introduction and here for Step One and Step Two.
I think you will love Step Three because it’s all about eating chocolate! Not the shop bought kind, which is nutritionally dead and just empty calories, but your own home made chocolate … and please don’t panic, thinking that making your own chocolate would be far too difficult, because it is incredibly easy. Even I can do it!
So this article will show you how to get your daily chocolate fix without it adding to your weight.
But let me first of all explain how this helped me go down three dress sizes without really trying.
It’s mainly to do with blood sugar balance, known as the glycaemic response … but it’s also about eating chocolate as a nutritious superfood rather than a naughty-but-nice treat.
The easiest way for the pounds to melt away without going hungry or getting cravings is to regulate your glycaemic response (GR). A high glycaemic response causes the pancreas to flood the body with insulin, and the body cannot burn fat in the presence of insulin.
If you generally eat high glycaemic response foods – such as white bread, white sugar, white rice, and other such denatured products – you will experience the ups and downs of blood sugar level peaks and crashes. When you’re in a crash, your body will tell you that you feel hungry, causing you to reach for more sugary or denatured snacks, and off you will go again, soaring and crashing. This is also often why you feel hungry on an ordinary slimming or calorie controlled diet, which doesn’t address the glycaemic load factor. But if you eat whole foods, which have a lower GR, you feel much more full, most of the time.
(Confusingly, glycaemic response (GR) is also known as glycaemic index (GI) and glycaemic load (GL). It’s probably a ruse by the sugar lobby to confuse the issue, because they come out all of this pretty badly!)
There are tables across the internet showing which foods have a high glycaemic response, and which are low; this is quite a good one, because it also gives you more information about the health dangers of high GR foods.
The GR of a food is measured by how quickly it raises blood sugar levels. For instance, glucose is given a GR or GI of 100 and everything is then measured aqainst that. So if a food has a GR or GI of 50, then it raises blood sugar levels half as much as pure glucose.
What you’re actually looking for, to avoid the insulin response, is a sugar or a sweetener that has a GR of below 50 and there are several of those…. but not refined white sugar, which has a GR of about 68 per two teaspoonsful.
In my homemade chocolate, I use coconut sugar which, because it is less processed and still contains some nutrients and fibre from the coconut palm, has a low GR of about 35. Now obviously, if you eat a lot of it, you will consume almost as many calories as you would with refined white sugar… and be back to putting on weight again…but you won’t, and I’ll explain why …
If you’re anything like I used to be, you can easily consume a whole big bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk in three minutes flat! I used to wolf them down at a rate of knots. Even as I was sucking on one square, I’d be breaking off the next… poised, ready to pop into my mouth as soon as I finished the previous one. It was a bit like chain smoking, but with chocolate. I’d often wonder if they had put an addictive drug in it… but once I started to make my own chocolate, from raw organic ingredients, I realised that it probably wasn’t that.
Here’s where I think chocolate addiction come from: As soon as you break off a square of shop bought chocolate, the delicious aromas start to waft up your nose and this sends a message to the brain to prepare the body for a wonderful chocolate experience. But because what you’re eating is denatured, although it still smells like chocolate, it isn’t the chocolate nutrition that your body needs. So subconsciously you feel compelled to keep eating and eating until the whole bar is gone.. .and still your body craves more.
Not so with home made chocolate from raw, organic ingredients which hasn’t been boiled or baked to death … the organic cocoa powder and cocoa butter are are just melted together in a bain marie. I find that I only need one or two of these tiny, delicious sweets daily to achieve full chocolate satisfaction. Added to that, you don’t feel guilty because you are getting all the nutrition of the pure, organic cocoa bean and its attendent health benefits.
The ancient Aztecs of the Americas famously used raw organic chocolate for medicinal purposes and found that it had so many health benefits, they termed it ‘the food of the gods’. It is certainly very high in antioxidant flavanoids, sulphur and magnesium. Added to which, the essential fatty acids found in raw chocolate may help the body to raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol and the theobromine, which is present, is a mild, non-addictive stimulant which some find to be very good for depression.
As I said, it’s very simple to make this delicious, nutritious, guilt-free home made chocolate and the recipe is in my article Ho Ho Ho Heavenly Chocolate, along with some recommendations on where to buy the ingredients.
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