I love chocolate. I do. I seem to be one of those rare men that would prefer a big bar of milk chocolate to a rump steak. I pop a block in my mouth, and I melt along with it.
It is no exaggeration to say that chocolate has been a ‘gamechanger’ in my battles with weight loss over the years. Learning how to control my chocolate cravings has been my Everest – and one of my proudest achievements as far as self-control goes.
At my chocoholic peak, I would need chocolate every day.
And I obliged. I would get a huge bag of my favourites, usually M&Ms, and quietly munch on them throughout the day. Or I might buy a six pack of Snickers, which I could easily demolish in a day (I don’t know about you guys, but there was no way I could ration those things. They had to be eaten in that day. HAD TO.)
One day, whilst moping about my great excess weight, I did some very rough math in my head. I figured that if I consumed around 800 calories a day in chocolate, which was very feasible at that time, I was taking in around 24,000 excess calories each month.
If a pound of fat is worth 3500 calories, that meant that I was adding nearly 7 lbs to my weight each month for no good reason.
7 lbs doesn’t sound a lot to those of us used to working with big weight figures, but that really mounts up over the course of a year.
Continuing the masochism, I then calculated how much less I would weigh if I had not touched any chocolate over the previous three years. It was mind-boggling.
What’s your poison?
For you, it may not be chocolate. Perhaps it is chips, or maybe soda, or beer, or numerous caffe lattes with sugar each day.
Whatever it is, I am fairly certain that most people struggling with their waistlines have one food or drink vice that is doing the ‘gamechanging’ damage.
Just imagine the difference you could make to your weight if all you did was cut that vice out. Heck, imagine the difference if you just cut it down by 50%.
And this is where patience kicks in…
Cutting down on a vice will not make you thin overnight, but the physical change can be astonishing over the course of a year. Looking at weight loss in terms of a long-term gameplan is the first, crucial step in actually getting it done, once and for all.