Are You a Chocoholic?
There seems to be nothing quite like chocolate.
There is nothing like that rich, smooth, creamy taste.
Did you start to salivate as you were reading
those words? When you become anxious, do you turn to chocolate to
make you feel better and then find that it works? Do you have a
really difficult time staying away from chocolate? If so, have you
ever wondered if you have an addiction to chocolate?
Well fear not. Researchers seem to agree that a
true chocolate addiction does not exist, although sometimes it
does feel like it. And even if chocolate isn't a true addiction, it is
still very hard to stay away from!
This subject came up recently in my Back on Track
with Barbara Internet Mentoring Program.
Someone wrote, "...Thanks for the support. I have
lost 5 lbs., so that is great. The only issue is, I seem to be
addicted to eating chocolate. I have an addictive behavior, and I
miss my chocolate!!!! I am still craving the chocolate. I am back
on track though and looking forward to getting my body back. I
even passed up a brownie today, and that was really hard. But
besides the chocolate I was eating crackers, bread, and tortillas.
So I know that eating the carbs and chocolate was my down fall. I
also didn't eat enough protein.
I have always been good at drinking my water and
nothing else. I haven't had soda since my surgery. Oh boy, I miss
my chocolate. But I know I can do this!!"
Although probably not a true addiction, many
people have a physical and emotion tie to chocolate that can be
difficult to break. In fact more people crave chocolate than any
Chocolate is made from the seeds of the tropical
tree, theobroma cacoa. Substances including endorphins found in
chocolate trigger mood enhancing chemicals in the brain which make
you feel good. There are other foods that have the same or similar
properties, yet do not trigger the same response or cause the same
cravings. Therefore it is thought that the mood altering
characteristics combined with all of the wonderful creamy, tasty
properties of chocolate are what makes it so popular and the
object of possible "addictions."
But addiction or not, if you crave chocolate, you
need to know how to deal with it. Even though there are some
benefits to eating chocolate, especially dark chocolate, the harm
of the fat and sugar far outweigh the good. If you are craving
chocolate and feel deprived, sad or anxious without it, you need
to "own up."
The first thing to do is to question why you have
this problem. What is going on in your life or what is not going
on, that you need to use chocolate to feel happy. This is not an
easy thing to discover, but important. Sometimes it takes working
with a counselor who is skilled in working with those with eating
issues to discover the root of your problem.
Try eating more protein and grains for lunch so
afternoon cravings don't hit. They will give you a more sustained
energy boost. Snack on fruit and veggies and have chocolate only
occasionally when those cravings come on.
Since chocolate isn't a true addiction, you can
have chocolate on a very limited basis. Don't have it as a reward,
because you will set yourself up to think of it even more as a
prized food. You are better off rewarding yourself with a protein
Recognize when a chocolate craving comes over you.
That is the time to stop and not immediately indulge, but to use
that time as a learning experience to figure out why that craving
came on when it did. What is happening that wasn't happening 3
hours earlier when you weren't craving the chocolate?
After you have put some thought into what is going
on, you can have a small piece of chocolate. If you totally deny
yourself, you might start to crave it even more, or worse, you
might start to substitute other foods which you will find totally
unsatisfying and you will still be left with the chocolate
A chocolate craving is powerful; there is no doubt
about it. But dealing with, and understanding those cravings to
get them under control, is worth the effort.
Back on Track with Barbara
Internet Mentoring Program
The Back on Track with Barbara Internet
Mentoring Program really concentrates on lifestyle changes. Join our
group and receive lessons via the internet and the support of others who
are struggling just like you are.
suffering from emotional eating and canít stop?
||Are you grazing
on carbohydrates and canít control it?
||Are you lacking
inspiration to lose the weight you have regained?
||Do you feel that
you donít know what to do now that you have had surgery?
||Are you dying to
be in better shape?
My Back on Track Internet Mentoring
Program is just what you
need to start your plan to get your weight under control.
and Listen to a
FREE Telephone Seminar
clicking here and scrolling down to the
bottom of the page.
Help for Deb
From time to time I receive an email that just
breaks my heart. This is one of them. It is short, and I am sure
does not convey the amount of pain that Deb is going through. If you
have any ideas for her, please email me at
Barbara@WLSCenter.com with "Help for Deb" in the subject line.
I know there has to be someone out there
among the 10,000 subscribers to this newsletter that has experienced
this that might be able to help.
I had open RNY gastric bypass surgery in
2002. For years now, I have been having abdominal pain that comes
and goes at any time. It has caused me to be hospitalized a few
times. I have had test done, exploratory surgery, adhesions removed
and a hysterectomy done. Today, I still get those pains and there
are times where I buckle over in pain. Do you know what would be
My only thought is
that since Deb had her surgery in 2002, many surgeons at that time
were not transecting the new pouch. In other words, instead of
totally separating the pouch from the stomach and making them two
entirely separate parts, they just stitched between the two.
Sometimes there will be a leak between the pouch and the old
stomach, and this will cause incredible pain.
If you have had an
experience like this, please email me at
Barbara@WLScenter.com and I will get
the information to Deb.
Inspiration to Lose Weight
Weekly Email Messages that Will Keep
You Motivated to Lose Weight and Stay Healthy
Staying in the proper frame of mind to
continue losing weight can be hard when life's challenges always
lead you astray. Weekly messages will keep you on a steady
track to lose weight.
weekly motivational messages today
to stay on track with your weight loss.
for more information
Here is a sample
Believe In Yourself
gone through life believing in the strength and
competence of others; never in my own. Now, dazzled, I
discovered that my capacities were real. It was like
finding a fortune in the lining of an old coat."
Dieting can really wreck havoc with
self-esteem. We lose weight, and then the pounds can
creep back on. We lose our self confidence. We
lose the ability to believe in ourselves and our
decisions. You can be
successful. Just remember that you
have more strength and resolve
than you give yourself credit for. Sometimes you
have to just trust in the strength that is in you.
Supportive Spouse - Not!
I recently had gastric banding surgery, in fact today is my fourth
week anniversary. I can honestly say that the only down side so
far--before I have had my first fill--is that I can eat more than I
should, and I want carbs.
I am one of those 'mindless eaters' you
speak of: I eat out of boredom mostly. My two weeks out of work
turned into six weeks when, during surgery, the doctor discovered two
hernias which he repaired. Needless to say, being home so much and
still not really up to par as far as physical stamina goes, I have
spent my time reading and surfing and that makes me want to eat.
My husband, who is of normal size, is a
potato chip nut. I will not insist that he give up his favorite
foods, and so chips are readily available to me. So far I haven't
been able to resist having a few, and sometimes more than a few, when
I get that craving. I still have two more weeks at home and also two
or so weeks before my first fill, so I am sure it will change then.
I have to force myself to think before I
eat. Usually I try to reach for a bottle of water or some protein,
but there are those times that I just give in. I am losing weight,
but I am not happy with myself.
I appreciate your newsletter and find it
You are trying so hard! I can really hear the determination in your
words, but it is not easy. Combine the fact that you haven't had your
first fill with the fact that you are at home recuperating from other
problems with little to do except be tempted by food, and that makes
things doubly difficult. What would make things a lot easier is if you
had some support from your spouse, and I am not hearing that.
Regardless of whether your husband is of
normal weight or not, potato chips are not healthy for anyone. I think
it is entirely reasonable to ask your husband to not bring chips into
the house. This is your chance for a normal weight and you need the
support of your family to succeed. Having potato chips in the house is
not being at all supportive.
If you were an alcoholic and your husband
loved wine, and you were trying to remain sober, would you ask your
husband not to have wine in the house? Of course you would.
Let's hope your husband's desire for you to
succeed is stronger than his love of chips, and that the family can
rally around you and be your cheer leaders!
Asking for Your Input
At the Obesity Action Coalition Inaugural
Convention October 25th to 28th in Dallas, I will be leading a
discussion group on online support groups and systems. I would love to
hear what your favorite is. Email me at
Barbara@WLScenter.com. And I hope to see you in Dallas!
Coalition "Your Weight
October 25th to 28th the Obesity Action
Coalition is having their "Your Weight Matters" inaugural convention in Dallas, TX. If
you haven't yet registered, please go to
http://www.obesityaction.org/oac-annual-convention to find out
all about the convention and the incredible program that you don't
want to miss.
Something that is easily overlooked is the
free advocacy training for all those who are registered. It is
Thursday afternoon from noon to 5:00 PM.
If you have ever wanted to know what you can
do to help the OAC, then you want to be sure to register for the
training as well. On the online registration, you have to indicate
that you want to attend. Don't pass up this free opportunity!
Thanks so much to Debbie Sturdevant for
contributing this recipe for a really healthy pizza! And with zucchini
still in season, this should be really inexpensive to make for your
3 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (4 med)
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup soy flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
8 oz. lower carb tomato sauce
Salt, pepper, oregano to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lightly salt the
grated zucchini, and let stand 15 minutes. Squeeze out excess moisture.
Combine zucchini with eggs, flour, Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup grated
mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper. Spread mixture into greased 9 X 13
pan, bake 20-25 minutes, or until surface is firm and dry. Then
cover crust with sauce, rest of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with
oregano. Bake 25 minutes. Cut into 8 squares and serve.
Debbie wrote, "I am not sure about the specifics of
the break-down of nutritional facts, but this is a good pizza
substitute. I think it is: 100 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 8 grams
carbs, 1 gram fiber, 8 grams protein."
If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues of
this newsletter, please send it to me at
Chew Your Vitamins
The OAC is the ONLY non
profit organization whose sole focus is helping those affected
by obesity. The OAC is a great place to turn if you are
looking for a way to get involved and give back to the cause of
There are a variety of ways
you can make a difference, but the first step is to become an
OAC Member. The great thing about OAC Membership is that
you can be as involved as you would like. Simply being a
member contributes to the cause of obesity.
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