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One of My Clients Brought Me Chocolates…

martha-and-chocolate.jpgFor those of you who are regular readers of my blog, you know that I have a chocolate obsession. Since I don’t keep it around, I am generally in control of my intake. I allow myself small amounts here and there (like the 25 cent mini chocolates found in deli’s). This satisfies my chocolate urges. However, if someone were to give me a box of chocolates or bake me a cake (like my stepmother did – check out this post), I would be in trouble due to my lack of control.

A box of chocolates appeared on my desk
This week I was working with a client who also has trouble controlling 1208742479_1208742467_pink_box_chocolate.jpgher intake of sweets, especially cookies and chocolates. She had been keeping boxes of chocolates in her apartment and had been able to stay away from it …. until recently when she started to eat them. At our last session, I strongly advised her to get rid of the chocolates in any way she could – give it her doorman, a homeless person or just throw them out. I hadn’t expected she would bring the boxes of chocolates to MY OFFICE at our next session. While I was very pleased with her ability to part with the chocolates, I was a bit nervous how I would handle this delicious box of truffles (that was already opened) sitting in my office.

How I handled the situation
After the client left, my “nutritionist” side won over the “chocoholic” side. I immediately gave the box to another woman who works in my office and told her to hide them. My plan was to bring in my camera the next day to take a picture of them for this blog as I thought it was an amusing story. So the next day, I brought in my camera, took the above pics, ate TWO of the truffles and gave the box away to my co-worker to take home.

Tips to handle your problem foods
1. The first step is to acknowledge that you have a control problem with certain foods. It is unlikely that you will suddenly learn how to moderate your intake of these foods. I have had many clients come to my office and ask me “How can I learn to have just one?”  Unfortunately, I do not have the answer! It is quite likely that you will never be able to have just one.

2. Do not keep these foods in your house – or office – if possible. How many times have you bought this particular food telling yourself that it was for your husband or if company dropped by, but deep inside you knew it was for you?  So rule number one is not to keep it in your environment. If you need to buy desserts or snacks for your family, buy something that does not trigger cravings or uncontrolled eating.

3. If you feel you can handle your trigger food if it is in packaged into an individual serving size, try buying 100 calorie packs, individually wrapped ice cream products, etc. The question is…. can you have just one 100 calorie pack?  If not, do not buy them.

4.  Since everyone is different, you will need to consider whether it would be best if you totally avoided your trigger food OR allowed yourself a moderate portion in a controlled environment. For example, if you love pasta but can not stop eating it if you make it at home, consider allowing yourself a pasta entree in a restaurant several times a month. Or allow yourself a real dessert on occasion in a restaurant, but do not keep sweets at home

5. Pay attention to how your body feels after eating the trigger food in the above controlled environment. If it still sets off cravings into the night or the next day, you are likely better off totally avoiding the food.

6. If you feel really out of control with your eating, you should seek counseling as it can be a sign of an eating disorder.

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MEET MARTHA

I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.

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