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My Diet Makes Me Eat Chocolate😜

November 22, 20236 min read

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Are you one of those people asking, how can eating chocolate be part of a healthy diet? Well, here's the secret to how I did it:

  • creamed/ smoothly blended cottage cheese, preferably low calorie

  • low calorie chocolate protein powder

With those 2 seemingly odd partners, the magic can begin. These form the basis for a high protein, low calorie dessert - what's not to love!

Recipe for Magic

I started with a recipe by The Best Cottage Cheese Edible Cookie Dough - Lifestyle of a Foodie

  • 8 oz cottage cheese

  • ⅔ cup almond flour

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup

  • ½ cup chocolate chunks

However I made some modifications to fit with my not-a-diet but more like a concerted effort to eat-more-protein-while-in-a-caloric-deficit eating pattern (eeek that sounds like a diet but isn't for reasons I'll cover in a future post ;-). In addition to using low calorie versions of cottage cheese and protein powder, the corners I cut include:

  • low calorie almond flour (more expensive but the calorie bomb of regular almond flour gave me a shock. As a side note, the author of the recipe wrote that using almond flour made it gluten free. Personally I'm curious if regular flour will work or in some combination with almond flour).

  • chocolate protein powder cause it was on my shelf, whereas vanilla protein powder wasn't on the local shop's shelf plus I wasn't sure if I would like the recipe... I mean blended cottage cheese and protein powder, really?!?! But, yes, the plot twist worked wonders.

  • half the amount of maple syrup and then added a splash of liquid sweetener.

The first time I made it, I gradually added the flour which turned into good opportunities for me and my teen boy to taste it 😜. And that resulted in a few discoveries:

  • used less almond flour than the recipe required because we felt it was getting mealy

  • in future versions, I added even less flour and it was then more like a cream filling or icing.

When I make the cookie dough version, I eat it with dark chocolate and almond chunks. It is a heavy dessert so a small portion is satisfying. With the icing version, I spread it on plain cookies like digestive biscuits.


And Like Magic, The Weight Disappeared

It's awkward but I have to confess, I'm not a big chocolate fan so in that way my not-a-diet really did make me eat this chocolate dessert everyday (and even when I needed a blog writing snack, what did I turn to...😋). The reason is I struggled to obtain my daily protein goal of 30% of my caloric intake which is ideal for the body re-composition I'm aiming for (mainly more visible muscle and less visible fat). Previously, I ate a lot of beans, almost to an extreme like making tortillas from lentils topped with pea pate, to boost my protein levels. But simultaneously that upped my carbs - not tragic but countered my objective. Then I started to eat a lot of meat, specifically chicken, but that added to my fat macros. There is no such thing as "bad" calories so I won't shame my fat macros but my goal is higher protein intake.


In comes the alchemy of blended low fat, high protein dynamic duo of cottage cheese and protein powder. I started as being "forced into" having a daily dessert, especially cause I ALWAYS thought desserts didn't align with my goals; whereas, now it is a tasty highlight of my day. And though lentil tortillas are good, they are no competition for 2 digestives with chocolate icing!!! In the weeks after I started on this not-a-diet journey, I lost just short of 2lbs/ 1kg per week... I was aiming for half that in order to also have enough caloric energy for playing tennis and all my other fitness activities.

And it's not just me - my teen loves it and I feel good that it's a healthy snack, cause to be honest the boy can eat!!! When I serve it to guests, they ask for the recipe💜. Then I have to admit it's blended cottage cheese (still weird to me but there it is).

Why You Should Consider Performing This Alchemy

When we go on a diet, we often restrict ourselves from consuming certain foods that we consider unhealthy or fattening. This depravation often leads to a psychological response known as the "forbidden fruit effect." This effect makes us crave the restricted food even more and can lead to binging when we finally indulge.


Instead, adding chocolate into your diet is a healthy choice. To quote The Harvard Gazette writing about a study of 19 postmenopausal women who either ate 100g of chocolate in the morning or at night.

  • "Morning or nighttime chocolate intake did not lead to weight gain;

  • Eating chocolate in the morning or in the evening can influence hunger and appetite, microbiota composition, sleep and more;

  • A high intake of chocolate during the morning hours could help to burn fat and reduce blood glucose levels.

  • Evening/night chocolate altered next-morning resting and exercise metabolism."

Basically, chocolate DID NOT cause weight gain and actually lead to a "reduction in hunger, appetite and the desire for sweets." Wowzers!


But there is a "but" to this...

  • Plan ahead for a moderate amount and stick to it. Desserts and snacks become a problem when they are On Top Of your calorie intake (read +++). But totally ok when it's a considered integral part of your sustainable healthy eating. And switching your mindset to get away from any "all or nothing" thinking can help break the "forbidden fruit effect."

  • Although dark chocolate (70+% cacao) has higher calories, it has higher overall nutritional values. Less chocolate, the more space for milk and sugar.

  • Try to use chocolate protein powder in recipes whenever possible.

  • Be aware that baking with chocolate in its self isn't a problem but can become calorie bombs because of the butter and sugar. So if it gives you joy yet you aim to lose weight, then cut a few extra calories from elsewhere in your diet and allow yourself a treat.

Yeah you CAN satisfy your chocolate cravings and enjoy chocolate guilt-free without sacrificing your weight loss goals🎉. What's not to love!


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How Was It? Did You Add Any Special Touches To The Recipe?

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Tanya Spencer

Former stressed out travel risk and crisis management expert turned Wellness & Mindset Coach... and lovin it. Here to empower women 40plus to get rid of yucky stuckness and thrive brilliantly instead - as soon as possible - cause their best lives are in front of them!

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FAQs

What can I do about all my negative self-talk?

A couple things can help, starting with flipping the script and practicing self-compassion and celebrating your achievements:

Practice self-compassion

- Treat yourself like you would treat a good friend.

- Be kind and understanding, especially in challenging situations.

- Acknowledge your mistakes without harsh self-criticism. Remember, everyone slips up – it’s a part of being human💗

Celebrate your achievements

- Keep a journal of your accomplishments, big and small. Did you nail that presentation at work? Write it down! Celebrate every victory.

- Reflect on your strengths and talents. Embrace the things that make you unique and amazing.

I feel like I'm too much in my head and it's holding me back - What can I do?

Some of the things you can do to unlock barriers that hold you back include:

- Self-Reflection: Identify the root causes of your self-doubt and acknowledge them without judgment.

- Challenge Negative Beliefs: Replace self-limiting beliefs with positive affirmations and empowering thoughts.

- Set Realistic Goals: Break down your aspirations into achievable, smaller goals. Celebrate each success along the way.

- Seek Support: Surround yourself with positive influences, such as mentors, friends, or a supportive community.

- Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding. Embrace mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning.

Transforming self-doubt into self-belief involves self-reflection, positive thinking, achievable goals, supportive connections, and self-compassion, empowering you to overcome your barriers and reach your full potential.

I get that physical activity will reduce my stress levels, but I'm a complete beginner and I don't know where to start.

A great starting point is to have the essentials in place. These will prime your body no matter what type of exercise you do:

- Know your 'WHY' - this will help you stay motivated. It tends to work best when it's focused on the positive aspects and benefits you'll experience or feel. In that way, external factors like other's opinions can't define and therefore won't undermine the your achievements.

- Be consistent but be kind to yourself if you get off-track and simply re-commit the best you can.

- Drink lots of water - about a glass of water per awake hour (I know - it feels like A LOT! But, your body will reap the benefits. For me, my sleep improved drastically).

- Protein and carbs are healthy ways to fuel your body. Fats are also essential macros so are needed by your body but should be used moderately because of the high calorie density.

- Set reasonable goals for the amount of days and time to work out.

- Listen to your body.

And, remember, you don't have to join a gym - some people do to help them stay accountable but loads don't since can be inconvenient. There are plenty of ways to exercise that don't involve going to the gym. Walking, for example, is one of the best ways you can exercise. Experts advise that 7,000 - 12,000 steps/ day will provide healthy benefits (oh, by the way, shorter, more frequent walks are super healthy for reducing blood sugar levels and stress symptoms).

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