Chocolate and Wine Diet
Eating chocolate and wine would surely have to two items that any self-respecting diet would immediately ban? Yet the fact is that both of these foods have numerous redeeming qualities, so perhaps it’s time we looked again at them: and whether we should stop casting them as the enemy for dieters.
Psychologists will tell you that by banning something on a diet you’ll provoke the following thoughts in the mind of the dieter… They will be so aware that they mustn’t eat whatever it is, that it will dominate their thoughts, depress them, frustrate them – cause them not to go in certain stores that stock these forbidden products… until finally, inevitably, the dieter caves and goes on a devastating binge. This pattern has been witnessed time and time again, and most of us who have attempted diets can remember going through it.
And for some food and drink it’s entirely sensible to 100% abstain from them, but in the cases of chocolate and wine things are much less clear cut. Let’s look at chocolate first. A growing number of studies into chocolate have concluded that small amounts of chocolate, far from being bad for you, can actually be good for you – this especially applies to dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is loaded with what might be euphemistically referred to as ‘happy chemicals’ such as dopamine and serotonin. These cause to feel more happy, generally better about life – so if your life is based around a diet, that means you’ll feel better about the diet. Dark chocolate also contains a lot of antioxidants – in fact it’s been calculated that in dark chocolate with 40% cocoa there are roughly 8 times the amount of antioxidants you would find in a portion of strawberries.
The same is true of wine – not only does the alcohol relax you – essential for dieting, because anxiety uses a lot of energy, and that energy would be far better saved up and used on concerted exercise – but it is packed with antioxidants. These antioxidants are enormously beneficial, for the heart in particular.
Red wine is also extremely helpful with digestion, as it serves to break down the fat in your food – which is why a glass of red wine with dinner is especially advantageous.
There are two provisos I would like to make: firstly, while red wine and dark chocolate in small doses are helpful, if you drink a bottle a night and a whole bar of chocolate you will be doing yourself harm. Moderation is not just a watch word, it’s essential. Secondly, for some people, and I count myself in this group, a small amount of chocolate has a negative effect – what it does is get me wanting more. If like me you have what could be termed an ‘addictive personality’ it might be best to steer clear, particularly of chocolate. For people who can have a couple of chunks of chocolate a night and easily resist the urge to have more, I would thoroughly recommend this course of action. If, however, once you’ve got a taste for it you can’t stop yourself, it is almost certainly better to not have any chocolate (or wine, if you feel the same compulsion after a glass) in the house.