Expert advice on how to satisfy your chocolate cravings without overindulging

You can savour every bite of chocolate without going overboard. File image

You can savour every bite of chocolate without going overboard. File image

Published Jun 20, 2024


FOR many, indulging in chocolate is one of life’s sweetest delights and greatest pleasures.

But due to its high sugar content, health experts advise that these irresistible cravings should be enjoyed in moderation, which can often prove to be challenging.

With this in mind, Jason Vishnefske, from the internationally renowned confectionery brand Barbara Chocolate, shares his top practical tips for turning your chocolate cravings into a healthy and guilt-free experience.

“We’ve got the ultimate guide to help you savour every bite without going overboard,” he said.

Mindful eating

The chocolate expert believes that this is a powerful strategy for managing cravings.

“This practice involves paying full attention to the experience of eating, savouring each bite, and recognising when you are truly satisfied,” he said.

To apply mindful eating to chocolate consumption, Vishnefske advised slowing down and taking small bites to allow the chocolate to melt in your mouth.

“This lets you fully appreciate its texture and flavour.”

He also suggested focusing on your senses by noticing the aroma, taste and feel of the chocolate.

“This heightened awareness can enhance satisfaction and reduce the need for larger quantities.”

Portion control

Vishnefske believes that this is a key to enjoying chocolate without feeling guilty.

To do this, he explained that the chocolate needs to be pre-portioned, instead of eating them directly from a large bar or bag.

Another strategy is to opt for individually wrapped chocolates or mini bars, which can help you enjoy a treat without overindulging.

“Decide in advance how much chocolate you will have and stick to that limit,” he said.

Choosing high-quality dark chocolate

High-quality dark chocolate, which is rich in antioxidants and has less sugar, can be a healthier option compared to milk chocolate or other sugary treats.

“Look for chocolate with at least 70% cocoa to ensure a richer taste and more health benefits,” he said.

He added that selecting chocolate with minimal ingredients and avoiding those with added sugars and artificial flavours can also be a healthier way to enjoy the sweet treat.

“Even high-quality dark chocolate should be consumed in small amounts to avoid excess calorie intake,” he warned.

You can savour every bite of chocolate without going overboard. File image

Integrating chocolate into a balanced diet

Incorporating small amounts of chocolate into your diet can be part of a balanced approach.

“Pair chocolate with nutrient-dense foods like fruits, nuts or yoghurt to add nutritional value and make the treat more satisfying,” Vishnefske suggested.

He added that chocolate can be used as a flavour enhancer in smoothies, oatmeal or even chilli for a rich and complex flavour.

“Include chocolate as part of your meal plan to enjoy it without feeling guilty or deprived,” he said.

Healthier chocolate alternatives

Finding healthier alternatives can satisfy your cravings while providing additional nutrients, Vishnefske believes.

“Consider cacao nibs, which are less processed and have a stronger flavour, making them a great topping for yoghurt or oatmeal.”

He added that unsweetened cocoa powder can be used in smoothies or baked goods to add chocolate flavour without the added sugar and that dark chocolate-covered nuts or fruits can also provide the sweetness of chocolate, with the added benefits of fibre and healthy fats.

The importance of moderation and mindful eating

Moderation and mindful eating are essential to prevent overindulgence, the chocolate expert stressed.

“It’s not about deprivation; it's about balance,” he added, recommending the enjoyment of a small piece of chocolate when you crave it.