When I was in college, my roommate decided to go on a diet. She loved chocolate and knew that she couldn’t live without it. She decided to create her own diet and call it “the chocolate diet.” She figured out she needed to eat around 1500 calories each day to lose weight, so she created a meal plan for herself consisting of 1500 calories per day of only chocolate foods. She ate chocolate ice cream, chocolate pudding, chocolate cookies etc.
At the same time she was indulging in chocolate every day, I was studying nutrition and I thought she was nuts! I was sure this process would not work for her and the more vocal I was about her craziness, the more determined she was to prove me wrong. Turns out, she did prove me wrong; she lost 10 pounds in one month eating only 1500 calories per day of chocolate food. She was most likely highly undernourished at the end of the month, and she had a pretty big case of stomach cramps the entire time, but she did lose weight.
You might ask, “How this is possible? Chocolate is high in calories and fat—how in the world would it be possible to eat only chocolate for a whole month and lose 10 pounds?” The answer is simple: my roommate created a calorie deficit for herself and it promoted weight loss. This is the biological law of our bodies. When we create a calorie deficit in our diet, we will lose weight. When we eat too many calories, we gain weight. With that said, it is monumentally important to note that all calories are not created equal. I know this is basic common sense, but even when we know this to be true, we tend to still skimp on nutrient-dense foods when restricting calories.
Nutrient-dense foods are the types of foods that give you the biggest “bang for your buck.” They are lower in calories and high in nutrients. They include things like eggs, vegetables, fruits, fish, milk, and some whole grain foods. They exclude CHOCOLATE, candy, cookies, white breads, soda etc.
A really important factor to remember when you are restricting calories is to make sure the calories you consume also contain enough protein. It is really difficult to get adequate protein and still stay on a low calorie diet. Adequate protein is important especially if you are engaging in a fitness plan while losing weight to help with muscle tissue repair and prevent muscle loss. Focus on lean meats, egg whites, and one of my favorite ways, a fitmixer® protein™ drink (32 grams of protein and only 180 calories).
A minimum of 30 percent of your calories should come from protein. This is how you calculate how many grams of protein a 1500-calorie diet should have:
1500 calories times .30 = 450 calories
450 calories divided by 4 = 122.5 grams of protein
A 1500-calorie diet should contain 112.5 grams of protein. Sounds like a lot, but it is completely reasonable when you are eating protein rich foods and making good food choices to meet your caloric needs.
At the end of the day, a little dose of chocolate never hurt anyone, (as long as you don’t sabotage yourself and overindulge). Just remember that making really good food choices by choosing nutrient-dense foods is the ultimate way to restrict calories and still maintain adequate nutrition.
P.S. fitmixer® protein™ comes in CHOCOLATE!