Time for a Dechox

20 April 2017 by
First published: 12 February 2017

Have you ever succeeded in giving up chocolate for Lent? No? Then it might be time for a Dechox.

You would think that with so many people around us abstaining from munching on the good stuff until Easter, a Dechox would be easy – but temptation often creeps in. With more than a quarter of UK deaths being the result of heart or circulatory disease, the British Heart Foundation is adding that extra motivation to do without chocolate and get healthy with its annual Dechox.

With the added accountability of having a sponsor and the awareness that your efforts are going towards raising money for life-changing heart research, this fundraiser is helping us to break out of unhealthy habits and save lives. Overcome your sweet tooth and make lasting impact on hundreds of lives this March, with these handy tips from The British Heart Foundation.

Make a healthy swap

Satisfy your sugar cravings with healthy alternatives such as fruit, nuts or plain yoghurt. Guilt-free and oozing with vitamins, these alternatives are not only filling but consuming them is likely to show visible improvements in your skin, hair and nails. Often we choose to indulge in chocolate rather than consume our five-a-day, despite knowing the health benefits. Dechox is the perfect opportunity to retrain our habits, boost our immune system with vital nutrients and try new foods.

Listen to your body

Identify the triggers of your chocolate consumption, whether it’s the unplanned supermarket check-out temptation, secret snacking or general habit. This will help you to make healthier choices, such as filling up on foods that keep you fuller for longer, making an active habit to keep healthy snacks with you on the go or to avoid keeping chocolate in the house.

Plan your meals

Drink water and eat regularly to avoid confusing hunger with thirst. Dehydration often tricks us into thinking we’re going through a sugar slump. Reaching for a chocolate bar will only satisfy that niggling craving temporarily. Aiding weight loss and overall health, it is recommended to test your cravings by drinking water and waiting 15 minutes. If after this time your craving are still persistent, it is likely you’re actually hungry. Planning regular meals can help you to avoid this feeling, however a healthy snack should always be on hand just in case. 

Dechox your environment

Bin your secret stash at home, in the office and anywhere else it might be lurking to banish any temptations. While consumer research has shown that most of us snack to satisfy hunger rather than out of comfort, succeeding in abstaining from chocolate is much more likely to happen if we completely remove unhealthy distractions. If it will help you, encourage those around you to give up chocolate as well.

Mind over matter

Get distracted when chocolate cravings hit by getting active or finding something else to do – anything except comfort eating. Once you’ve Dechoxed your environment it will take an active decision to go out of the way to get chocolate. With the same effort of heading to the shops for chocolate, why not try out a new healthy recipe.

For more information and to sign up for the Dechox challenge, visit dechox.bhf.org.uk