FEED YOUR BODY RIGHT: SHE’S NOW A THIN CHOCOHOLIC

Vicki Rogers Givens adores chocolate. She craves chocolate. She eats chocolate. And she has still taken off 70 pounds.

How has she done it? By being choosy about her chocolate treats.

Ever since she was a child, Vicki, an administrative assistant from Indianapolis, has fought the battle of the bulge. In college, she reached 225 pounds, the most she has ever weighed.

These days, at age 42, Vicki is a fit 155 pounds. She says that she reached her goal weight by making smart food substitutions that save calories and still satisfy. For example, if she gets the urge to eat something salty, she chooses pretzels over potato chips. In restaurants, she orders baked potatoes instead of french fries.

Some of Vicki’s smartest substitutions happen when those chocolate cravings hit. “Instead of high-fat chocolate chip cookies, I eat a handful of chocolate animal crackers,” she says. They do the trick with far less calories and fat. Other favorites include fat-free chocolate pudding, Fudgsicles, and hot chocolate.

It took Vicki only a year to hit her goal weight. She feels that she succeeded because she feeds her cravings instead of starving them. But she feeds them with smart choices.

Who says you can’t outsmart a sweet tooth?

WINNING ACTION

Want chocolate? Then eat! If you crave chocolate, go ahead and indulge. After all, this sweet treat may actually be good for you. According to researchers at the University of California, Davis, chocolate contains flavonoids, compounds that may help protect against heart disease.But try to sticLwith something low-fat and low-calorie, as Vicki does. You may yearn for a huge bowl of triple-chocolate-chunk ice cream, but low-fat chocolate yogurt with a drizzle of chocolate syrup will probably do the trick.

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