We all have our weaknesses, and mine is chocolate. I love it. I can't leave a bar of chocolate unopened and I can't leave an open bar of chocolate uneaten. So you'll appreciate that I have to be very self-disciplined around the chocolate counter when I visit the supermarket.
Years ago, I worked for a charity that was linked to a major chocolate manufacturer. One of the perks of the job was a staff shop, where chocolate was available at a considerable discount. I learnt very quickly that it was a very bad idea for me to go to the shop, because I didn't save money, I just bought more chocolate. And I ate it.
A particularly risky time of year came just after Easter, when all the unsold Easter eggs were put on the shelves for next to nothing. Now I don't know about you, but I treat Easter as a guilt-free choc-fest. It's one of the few days in the calendar when over-indulgence isn't frowned on, which is fine, as long as it's just one day.
But imagine if it became an everyday thing? If I had access to discounted Easter eggs for a month or two, or more I'd be the size of an elephant in no time at all!
Of course, back in those days I was built like a whippet and my metabolism was much better equipped to deal with calories than it is now that middle-age has crept up on me. These days I have to be much more careful. The calories that I ate punishment-free when I was in my 20s have all turned up on my hips at once, so I'm afraid my days of chocolate binges are well behind me.
Does that sound familiar?
Can you imagine the weight increase that would follow from eating, say, nine of those deliciously naughty little Cadbury Mini Eggs a day? That's 63 Mini Eggs or two and a quarter bags a week? I worked it out. It's 1036 calories, which equates to 1lb of extra body fat every three weeks or 15lbs every year!
But nobody would eat 63 Mini Eggs a week, would they? That's just plain daft when you're trying to keep your weight down.
But here's the thing, at Swanswell we chat with quite a lot of women, and a fair few men as well, who are regularly consuming the equivalent of nine Mini Eggs a day, 63 Mini Eggs a week, 3,276 Mini Eggs a year without realising they are doing it. They are wondering why they are struggling with weight gain, or why weight loss diets don't work for them, but the answer is staring them in the face.
At approximately 6pm every evening.
They open the fridge door, take out a bottle and pour themselves their ritual glass of wine, to relax at the end of a hard day.
I'm no killjoy, I know people have tough jobs and stressful lives and an occasional glass of wine might be just the ticket. But do you know that a glass of white wine is equivalent to nine Mini Eggs? The trouble is, it comes in liquid form and it's part of a relaxation ritual, so it catches us off guard when it comes to thinking about the calorie content.
It can be quite hard to break the habit too. It's not that you're a dependent drinker or an alcoholic, but that little end-of-the-working-day ritual or treat can be a very powerful trigger, can't it?
If you want to kick-start your weight loss it doesn't have to be difficult - in fact, with the right help, it can be enjoyable. So, as a little Easter gift to you, here's a link to Swanswell's '3 simple steps to put your weight loss into hyperdrive' eBook. It's free, so why not click the link right now:
P.S. More information about the calories in alcohol can be found here.
This blog was originally featured on the Swanswell website.