Has Cupid gotten hold of your heart and somehow caused you to expand your waistline? As we head into Valentine’s weekend, chances are, you are not alone.
According to WomensHealthMag.com, “When we get comfortable in a relationship, we establish new habits together that aren't always the best for our weight," said Amy Gorin, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Connecticut.
One of those habits may be dining out, especially on Valentine’s Day. But we can get just as hot by stirring things up in our own kitchen, Elizabeth Ward, R.D., a nutritionist in Boston told Women’s Health Magazine. Eating a meal can be a very sensual experience, and becomes more so when you take turns tasting it.
Cooking can make you better looking than dining out. WomensHealthMag.com reported that there could be almost 900 calories at a typical restaurant meal.
The Calorie Council says that if you are headed out, you should practice portion control. Restaurant sizes are often larger than you might be used to at home. Eat half of your meal at the restaurant, but bring a doggie bag home with the rest of it.
Like life, Valentine’s Day is all about “the box of chocolates,” to quote Forrest Gump. But, “you never know what you’re gonna get,” or in the case of Valentine’s Day, how much you’ll gain from eating it.
So what about chocolate, how much is too much and does all chocolate equal weight gain?
First let’s get some rather decadent statistics from Nielsen. “Americans will purchase around 58 million pounds of chocolate during the days leading up to the 14th (a small fraction of the reported 3 billion pounds per year), and we shell out somewhere around $345 million to satisfy our Valentine's sweet tooth.”
However, not all chocolate was created equal. If you must indulge in your love affair with chocolate, marry rich -- dark chocolate, that is. Dark chocolate is less processed with more of the rich cocoa.
According to the Cleveland Clinic your heart won’t get broken if indulging in this rich, dark treat. “Chocolate has gotten a lot of media coverage in recent years because it's believed that it may help protect your cardiovascular system. The reasoning being that the cocoa bean is rich in a class of plant nutrients called flavonoids.”
The Calorie Council offers this alternative to chocolate. “If you and your significant other are trying to lose or maintain weight, consider purchasing a fruit basket instead of a box of chocolate, or baking a low-calorie dessert.”
My advice to you is this. Dress up, stay in and head to the heart of the home -- the kitchen -- and capture your darling's heart!
“5 Ways to Prevent Relationship Weight Gain- WomensHealthMag.com.” Women’s Health Magazine. Web 13 Feb. 2014.
5 Reasons Condoms Are Better Than Chocolate for Valentine's Day. Huffington Post.
“Tips for a Healthy Valentine's Day – Heart Healthy Valentine’s Day – CalorieControl.org.” Calorie Council
“Heart Prevention – ClevelandClinic.org.” The Cleveland Clinic. Web 13 Feb. 2014.
Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.
Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.happiwoman.com/ She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and son, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith