Valentine’s Day chocolate – love it or leave it?
Maybe you are lucky and are able to walk by the displays of valentine’s chocolate with nary a glimpse.
Or maybe you look wistfully at those heart-shaped samplers filled with chocolates, wishing you didn’t have prediabetes.
I’ve been both those people. Some years, I could care less about Valentine’s Day candy. Other years, I really want to feel “normal” and dig in.
If you want some holiday chocolate, there are ways to enjoy it and still keep to a blood sugar friendly eating plan, many experts say. The key: Learn to eat a moderate portion of what you crave, which is not easy, but possible.*
Here are some suggestions:
How to Eat Valentine’s Day Candy with No Regrets
❤️ Make a decision before Valentine’s Day that it’s OK to eat some candy, and that eating chocolate does not mean that the whole day is blown. (That all-or-nothing approach is common for those who struggle with excess weight.)
❤️ Be picky about the candy you choose to eat. For instance, if your favorite is caramel filled chocolate, plan to eat only that, rather than to “surf” a Valentine’s sampler.
❤️ Eat the chocolate at the end of a meal, rather than as a random snack. Eating protein with a high carb/sugar food will lessen the chance of blood sugar spikes. Blood sugar spikes are inevitably followed by crashes, which increase hunger and the desire to eat more carbs and sugar.
❤️ Budget carbs. If you want to eat several pieces of chocolate for dessert, choose a main dish that is high protein and low carb, such as lean meat or poultry, fish or tofu. Keep the sides lean and green – salads and steamed or grilled veggies.
Also, make sure to eat enough food and to drink plenty of water with the meal; this will lessen the urge to overeat at dessert.
❤️ Enjoy your candy mindfully, with no distractions. Pair your chocolate with a cup of hot tea or coffee – if you take sips between bites, you will be able to eat chocolate for a longer time without overdoing it.
❤️ Have an exit plan for the leftover candy. If you decide to keep some Valentine’s Day chocolate, figure out a way to make it inconvenient to get. I’ve had success doing this – even chocoholic me hesitates to go into a frigid garage late at night or walk down steep stairs to the basement.
Enjoy Valentine’s Day! Whether or not you have a partner, with or without chocolate, make it your own sweet occasion.❤️❤️
* Some eating plans stress abstinence from all sugar and refined carbohydrates.