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tea chocolate and charms chocolate swirl background with text how to stop eating chocolate 8 tips

I had someone ask me on Twitter how I managed to stop eating chocolate as a self-proclaimed chocolate lover. I will never give up chocolate completely especially dark chocolate due to its benefits. That said, I have completed 7-day to 30-day sugar-free challenges in the past. This year, I completed a 60-day sugar-free summer challenge and I’m currently attempting a 100-day sugar-free challenge (Chocolate for Christmas I’m calling it).

My aim in these challenges is to remove all processed sugar from my diet which of course includes chocolate for a specific length of time. It certainly is challenging but I’ve learnt a lot from my experiences. I, therefore, wanted to share my top 8 tips on how to stop eating chocolate for a period of time.

How to Stop Eating Chocolate

1/ Prepare Yourself

When you decide to stop eating chocolate for a period, it helps to prepare yourself for the challenge that you have chosen. That does not mean eating all the chocolate you currently have so that you don’t waste it. Rather, it’s about preparing yourself mentally as you develop a plan to deal with the chocolate temptation and cravings that you will face.

Know yourself and your tendencies too. Plan accordingly to set yourself up for success. Some people can go cold turkey when giving up chocolate, while others need to make small gradual changes. Think of it like going into the sea at the beach. Some people dive right in. Others dip their toes in and gradually work their way up until their whole body is wet.

how to stop eating chocolate- man jumping into the water

It’s important to note that gradual changes are generally easier to maintain over long periods.

Don’t be afraid to start small with your challenge, if it’s half a day without chocolate, that’s a beginning. However, make sure that you are not delaying eating the chocolate by pushing back when you eat it. Remember, the goal is to decrease your chocolate intake (to zero) and not simply shuffle around the times that you eat chocolate.

2/ Prepare Your Surroundings

Ensuring that chocolate is not easy or convenient to grab by simply not having any around can make it easier to stay committed to the challenge. Remove all the chocolate that you have at home or stashed at work (gift it others) and start with a clean slate. “Out of sight, out of mind” has certainly been helpful for me as I created my personal sugar-free zones.

3/ Distract Yourself

This tip is important when experiencing chocolate cravings. It doesn’t help to sit and think about all the chocolate that you can’t eat at the moment. Distract yourself by taking the focus off the negative ie what you can’t eat or what you are giving up. Focus on the positives and what you GET to eat. I found that fruits became my go-to treat. I became really excited about the types of fruits that I could have.

In addition, I found that trying new activities or channelling my energy and emotions in another direction was a great way to distract myself. Occupying my mind with some other activity definitely shifted my focus, and pushed the craving to the back burner in my mind. It wasn’t easy, especially in the beginning. However, that was where I benefitted from the sugar-free zones I had created at the start of the challenge as I did not have chocolate lying around as additional temptation.

4/ Discover Substitutes & New Recipes

This tip flows on from #3 as I distracted myself with substitutes. As I mentioned, I turned to fruits when I still wanted to enjoy a sweet treat. It is crucial to note that fruits still should be consumed in moderation. Even though they contain natural sugar, the sugar content can still be quite high if you eat a lot of fruits. Not all fruits are sweet so I made sure to mix more citrus and acidic fruits with the sweet ones for balance.

Tea was also a substitute for me as I had made it a habit to have a sweet treat after my dinner. Instead of trying to break the habit, I swapped and simply started to have tea after dinner which is good for health. The additional liquid helped to make me feel full and less likely to look for something else to eat so this was a win/win.

Trying new recipes was a great strategy too. I was able to use ingredients and items with which I was very familiar in new ways. It was a great way to add variety to my diet and keep the focus off what I wasn’t having.

5/ Know your Why

Understanding your real reason for giving up chocolate helps you to dig in when the going gets tough. When I first tried the sugar-free challenge, it was more about if I could do it and make it all the way. However, after the first 3 days, the rest of the first week became really tough as my body detoxed from the sugar.

It quickly became crucial that I find a reason that truly mattered to me on a personal level to help keep me committed. Maintaining good health through eating well and exercising makes it possible for me to pursue my goals in life. In addition, there are lots of benefits associated with exercise and healthy eating.

how to stop eating chocolate- white question mark on blackboard

6/ Be Accountable to Someone

This tip is really helpful and definitely makes a difference to have someone that you are sharing how you are doing frequently. This could be a person who is participating in the challenge with you. Alternatively, it could be someone else who will support you, check in on you and most importantly call you out if you start to waver.

For my first sugar-free challenge, my friend and I attempted it together. It was certainly a huge blessing to have someone who could relate to what I was experiencing and we were able to encourage and motivate each other.

I’m also part of a Facebook group where we share our fitness journeys and encourage each other online.

7/ Stay Motivated

With all the content available to us online and offline, staying motivated is easier than before. I’ve found that saving motivational fitness quotes as the background or lock screen on my phone helps me to visually and mentally focus on my health goals. Watching videos on Youtube on fitness and nutrition allows me to learn new information as well. It is inspiring to see and learn from others further along on their journey. One of my favourite channels is AthleanX as you’re guaranteed to learn something new. There are hundreds of blogs out there to choose from which can help keep you motivated and moving forward on your journey.

Then, as you gain momentum, creating a chain of back-to-back chocolate-free days, it became easier to keep going.

8/ Reward Yourself

Last but not least, celebrate and reward yourself for successfully completing your challenge. Find non-food ways to reward yourself. I’ve personally found this to be a bit easier mentally and emotionally. Also, you don’t have to wait until the end of the challenge to celebrate and enjoy some rewards. As you hit important milestones along the way, you can reward yourself with smaller rewards. Add a charm to your bracelet, enjoy a mani/pedi, purchase an item on your wishlist, the possibilities are numerous based on your interests and personality.

how to stop eating chocolate- gold and black balloons

Make sure that you pause and take time to celebrate your progress 😀 (that’s important) then KEEP GOING!

 

One final encouragement– Your tastes do change when you undertake challenges like these and with momentum on your side, it really becomes easier as you progress in the challenge.

Post Author: Tamika G

18 Replies to “How to Stop Eating Chocolate [8 Tips]”

  1. Dear Tamika, great tips and great post. However I am not sure if I would be able to give up my love for chocolate for even a short duration of time lol. I think you should have a very strong mind to be able to do that. Another addiction of mine is coffee.

    However, I am wondering about dark chocolate though. Is there any reason to give up dark chocolate at all? I know you have already commented on dark chocolates’ health benefits and is the sugar content within dark chocolate not that low that dark chocolate could be exempted from the list when it comes to avoiding sugar?

    Just out of interest. What is the best sugar replacement to use within coffee or at least a healthier alternative to white sugar? What about coconut palm sugar? Or perhaps Xylitol? Stevia perhaps? One other question I have is – How healthy is full cream in coffee? I can easily for example drink coffee without any sugar when full cream added to it. I am just not sure how healthy the full cream is and whether it has a fattening effect. Will be interesting to hear your thoughts on these matters.

    1. Hi Schalk, thanks so much for your comment and questions. To answer these, dark chocolate has great health benefits for you but depending on the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, it can contain varying amounts of sugar so it’s very important to pay attention to this information. For example, I have a 70% dark chocolate with 12g of sugar per serving (40g) which is still fairly high for someone who is looking to limit or eliminate their sugar intake. It does depend on your overall goals and why you are attempting the challenge, I know an exercise programme that still encourages you to have a few squares of dark chocolate while you pursue weight-loss goals so it certainly is doable.

      For me personally, depending on my goals, I can find it harder to limit something I like than to not have it altogether so I essentially learn to do without for a certain period and focus on the other things that I can have.

      With regards to your coffee questions, unfortunately I’m not much help as I’m very much a tea-drinker and I don’t use any sugar or sweeteners in my teas at all (even when I’m not on a challenge). I know coffee drinkers are quite particular with taste as well so I’m not sure how the different sweeteners affect the taste. However, for my baking and cooking, I personally use agave syrup as a sweetener which works well for that context. I’m not sure how it would work in coffee but if you try it, please do let me know. I do know people who have used Stevia as well as a sweetener.

      About full cream for coffee, again I don’t know about this personally as I do not drink coffee. Generally though, “full” options have more calories than their “half” or “low” options. If you are trying to be healthier, I’d encourage you to read the labels and compare the different options available for cream to see exactly how they differ from each other. That way, you can see which option better aligns with your goal to be healthy.

      I hope this information is helpful to you.

  2. I love the concept of eliminating sugars from your diet to improve health. My favorite is milk chocolate. I can’t get enough it’s simply deadly. However, I have gone months without realizing I haven’t had a piece of chocolate during that time. I would definitely be interested in participating in this as a challenge. Not sure if I would be ready for it. 🙂 Thanks for the post.

    1. Hi Viviana, thank you for sharing. You never do feel completely ready for a challenge like this but take the steps to at least prepare yourself mentally and physically and give it a shot 🙂 At a minimum, consider switching from milk chocolate to dark chocolate, that’s a step in the right direction.

  3. Tamika , very interesting website. Chocolate Is a very favorite of our home. This would be very hard not to eat any. I will have to check out more of your site to get more educated.

  4. Golly gosh I don’t know if I could ever give up chocolate even with the solid game plan you have laid out here in this post. I’ll give it a try though! I’ll try anything once,

    I especially like how you have advice to get someone to hold you accountable, I did the same with working as I work from home and it made a massive difference.

    Bookmarking this for future reference 🙂 thanks

    -Will

    1. Hi Will, thanks for your comment. Awesome to know that you’re up for the challenge 🙂

      That’s great to hear that you also used accountability to help you be productive working from home. A lot of the tips are definitely transferable.

  5. Oh my goodness….I would have to indulge in some chocolate at some point in my life. I think eating chocolate in moderation or any foods for that matter is the key. I couldn’t deprive myself completely of anything so good. LOL.

    1. Hi Geri, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had chocolate at some point although I do know a few people who don’t like it. Not having chocolate completely would be really unusual and that’s not what I’m talking about in this post. It caters to people who may choose to go without chocolate for a specified period of time for various reasons.

  6. Thanks for this. I have tried everything under the sun but most of the time the diets rely on me going cold turkey which just does not work for me. I really appreciate you breaking it down into different parts to focus on – trying it without any of the steps it incredibly difficult as I don’t think I have prepared my mind for the adjustment. I will definitely keep this in mind when trying in the near future.

  7. These are excellent tips which I will certainly be putting into practice the next time I need a break from chocolate. Ever since I quit smoking my appreciation for chocolate quadrupled!

    I absolutely agree with preparing your surroundings. I find I can handle cravings if the temptation’s not there, it’s not usually enough to make me get out of my PJ’s to drive to the shop!

    Dates are sweet too and can help with cravings. I like the suggestion of tea after dinner, I think that’ll definitely help me. I’ll probably give this a go after Christmas, thanks for sharing Tamika!

    1. Hi CJ, thanks so much for your comment. Yes, I completely agree once the temptation isn’t physically there I’m usually too lazy to actually leave home to get it.

      Dates are a good option I’ve heard. I’m not a big fan of dried fruits so I’d probably have grapes but the substitution is really what is key. If you plan to try tea, be sure to check out my posts with some options of teas for you from exotic colourful ones to those that help with stress.

  8. Tamika,
    Your personal touch to this article made it that much more interesting to read. I really like that you let us know about yourself and the way that you have done things. This shows me that it can be done! These tips were very simple but helpful, thanks for breaking it down! I think in the new year I will have to use these tips. I currently am going back and forth from being on a keto lifestyle and having this mindset could definitely help with that as well!

    1. Hi Molly, thanks for your comment. I know a few people who maintain a keto lifestyle and it works for them. Some of these tips are definitely applicable to the mindset needed to succeed with a keto diet. All the best with building a consistent keto lifestyle in 2020.

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