Valentine’s Day is coming up next week and that means two things: chocolates and flowers! Flowers definitely won’t impact your weight loss goals, but chocolates might be a bit more problematic. We’re here to offer a few tips to avoid ruining your diet completely on this special day and to make you feel just a little bit better for some of the choices that you make that you might think are bad.
Have A Game Plan:
If you are going out to dinner with your significant other, or even with friends, have a plan of attack ready before you head out the door. Preparation ahead of time can help you make better, healthier choices during the dinner. If you know the restaurant and can access the menu beforehand, you will be able to do some research on the entrees and choose something that fits into the boundaries of your diet. Also, leaving things up to the last minute can lead to more impulse selection of unhealthy options. If you are planning on having dessert, which is highly likely on Valentine’s Day, go ahead and skip the appetizer course.
During dinner you probably want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage and you certainly shouldn’t deny yourself a few indulgences on Valentine’s Day. If you do have alcohol, you are better off drinking wine — preferably red wine. Red wine actually has some health benefits when consumed in moderation according to many studies. Dry wines tend to have less sugar than others, so try selecting something close to a cabernet. These studies cite flavonoids, antioxidants and resveratrol in red wine as having health benefits for fighting cancer and actually being good for your heart. Again, this is in moderation and if you aren’t used to consuming alcoholic beverages, consult your physician when making major changes to your diet.
If you are going to eat any chocolate on Valentine’s Day make sure it’s dark chocolate. Dark chocolate in moderation has a lot of health benefits for the heart and brain. Studies have shown that dark chocolate also is rich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that help to lower blood sugar and even harden tooth enamel! Again, remember that it’s in MODERATION, so don’t go out and start eating a ton of dark chocolate based on these conclusions.
If you have chocolates leftover, there are a couple of things you can and should do. Try to get rid of them by taking them to your company’s break room at work or give directly to co-workers or friends. You can also try putting them away for another day—out of sight, out of mind!
It’s Only One Day:
If all else fails and you want to indulge a bit, by all means go ahead and do so. Celebrate the special day guilt-free because you can always just get back on track tomorrow!
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!