The Best Times to Eat Chocolate

Because some times are better than others.

Disclaimer: Chocolate is an incredibly delicious tasting food that is high in saturated fat, added sugar and overall energy density. 30g (1 row) of chocolate provides enough energy to power 15 minutes of continuous pushups on your toes (with no rest). This is equivalent to the energy found in two slices of bread. 

It offers no measurable nutrition in the way of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (there’s a little of these things present but on the list of nutrient dense foods, chocolate doesn’t even make the top 100) and 30g can be consumed in approximately 20 seconds or less, with the likelihood of further consumption very high. Please partake at your own risk and if your sugar cravings persist please see a nutritionist for help. The author of this article is not responsible for loss, injury or death that may result as a consequence of over- or under-consumption of this arguably addictive substance.

Yes, you heard right. Chocolate can be very necessary some days. But only under certain conditions.

No. 1: When you’re premenstrual.

In my opinion, the importance of chocolate being available during this time is absolutely vital for the survival of the male population and our young children. Please note: emotional eating can actually be a serious problem for some people, but I’d like to point out that I’m not emotional when I’m premenstrual. I only want to abuse the whole world because it deserves to be abused, not because I’m some erupting emotional volcano who can’t control my mood. Seriously. Chocolate is very soothing and it helps me cope with the stupidity that persists all around me.

It is a fact that during the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle, a woman’s metabolism actually increases by up to 500 calories a day. Something that a simple row of chocolate or two can easily meet.  So, until your period comes, people may not be safe if there is no chocolate available.

No. 2: When you’ve just done a workout.

Straight after a long (over 60 minutes) intense, aka lots of huffing, puffing & sweating, workout your body is primed to refuel its glycogen stores. Glycogen stores are your body’s carbohydrate storage centres in your liver and muscles. Your body relies on this energy to fuel its activity during exercise.

Post workout is the BEST time to eat chocolate. Seriously. Your body is a sugar burning machine straight after exercise, so if you’re gonna eat it, which we all know you are, eat it then. You’re body sends that sugar straight into glycogen storage. Yay!

“What about the fat?” I hear you say. Well, exercise is one of the best ways to encourage fat burning by the body particularly when activity lasts longer than 30-45 minutes. Double yay!

There’s no such thing as ‘undoing’ your workout by eating chocolate straight after it. You did that workout, you can’t take it back!

Please note: There are much better things to eat post workout, and depending on your goals, you should seek good advice as to what these foods are. I’m just saying that if you’re really craving some chocolate, work your little butt off for an hour or so and then eat it! I also wrote a weight loss plan that’s super easy to follow and will complement most training regimes! Check it out!

No. 3: When there’s no guilt.

If you have a moment, think about your emotional attachments with food, and you may find that eating certain foods make you feel guilty or ashamed. It is not necessary to feel this way. Food doesn’t hold a moral value. It’s not right or wrong. It’s not good or bad. It’s just food.

Don’t ruin the experience of 4 out of 5 senses being blown away by the moment that is popping a piece of chocolate in your mouth. Eat it. Enjoy it. Own it. You chose to do it. Don’t feel guilty. Feel empowered. You are the master of your mouth and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying something that you love.

No. 4: When you’re with friends.

Do you have a whole block of chocolate in your pantry right now? Or is it in your secret underwear drawer stash (are you reading this mum)? Well, if you do, don’t eat it alone.

Aloneness fosters guilt, mindless eating, and is generally not that great (unless you’re a mother of a small child and you can’t even pee in private – in that case, by all means eat your chocolate alone!)

Chocolate is good for you when shared with friends. There’s nothing quite like a freshly brewed espresso, a few pieces of quality dark chocolate and a chick flick with my girlfriends! So fun! I always share chocolate with friends. Firstly, because it’s just a lovely thing to do, and secondly I like to share all those calories over many bottoms, rather than have them stored on just mine!

Apart from being slightly crazy at times, I’m also a pretty good nutritionist who offers simple, fresh, balanced healthy eating advice to help you reach your goals. Contact me for help!

Article by Kate Freeman

Registered Nutritionist. Writer. Presenter. Home cook. Mother. Wife. Runner. Hiker. Amateur photographer.