A few years ago I came to the point where I decided that I had to cut back on chocolate. The sugar and fat in it was not doing me any good (although for years I persuaded myself that the cocoa had great anti-oxidant health properties!). I had to cut back or even stop my chocolate consumption, but how?

Quite by chance I stumbled across an association that made me stop cold turkey. One day I was examining the ingredients of my favourite brand and noticed that almost 50% of it was fat, a heavy proportion the bad “saturated” kind. I immediately thought of a large block of solid white lard, the kind that might drip off fatty red meat and when cold solidify on the bottom of the pan (in the old days we used to “save” such fat and cook with it!). It made me sick just thinking about it. And each square of my favourite brand of chocolate had 5gms of the stuff in it! With just 4 squares and I would have exceeded the maximum amount of that type of fat that anyone should dare consume in a day.

From then on whenever I saw chocolate I also saw that image of a solid block of white fat, that had dripped off some animal during cooking. I didn’t put another piece of chocolate in my mouth for weeks, maybe months.

Then one day the craving came again and so it was back to the ingredient list of my favourite brand of chocolate. I saw the sugar. And once again an image popped into my head that put me off. I saw a huge pile of white sugar sitting next to this large lump of white fat. And that revolting combination was the basics of the chocolate stuff that I was putting in my mouth! The craving went away and never returned!

I stopped buying the stuff, I stopped eating the stuff, I stopped cooking with the stuff, I stopped wanting the stuff and several months ago – when persuaded to try “just a bit” -I found I had stopped liking the stuff. I spat it out!

I think the association of chocolate with something revolting (well, actually the raw ingredients!) is an example of something more general called “de-conditioning”, a technique that psychologists use to stop a learned response (craving etc.) to a range of stimuli. I don’t fully understand the science behind what happened but I know that I don’t eat chocolate anymore and I feel much better for it!

For anyone who is struggling to give up chocolate then thinking of the raw ingredients – that pile of fat and that pile of sugar – might work for you too!

Posted by mom176887, 28th April 2016

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  • Thanks for the tip! I like that idea and will give it a try as chocolate is my weakness.


  • If we really knew what is actually in some processed food we eat we would never eat it again.


  • Good on you for giving up,l guess everything in moderation!


  • I love chocolate – such a wonderful, delicious sweet treat. The imagery and association would not work on me as I have other images and associations with chocolate that are too good. I have no desire to give it up, but good on you for doing something that works for you. :)


  • That is great that you have found a way to stop from eating chocs etc. I don’t think it is going to work for me though. It is like I watch them cook a whole suckling pig on MKR and then I imagine the little pig suckling at its mother’s breast. Made me feel sad for the little suckling pig and thinking I should stop eating meat and become a vegetarian. Unfortunately I had to cook the family meal the next day and all thoughts of turning vegetarian evaporated. I just have to eat everything in moderation….that I can definitely do.


  • An approach that would work for some – I prefer moderation!

    • I prefer moderation too and do not deny myself or the family small treats.


  • I really loved your story. It is amazing how we can train ourselves into thinking in a certain way and how that can translate into a physical change… oh the power of the mind!


  • I enjoyed reading your post. You gave a very simple but effective solution. Visualizing stuff helps a lot. In the past, in some television program, they were showing the amount of sugar inside certain foods, just by making little (or big) mountains of sugar next to them. It was impressive. It’s something that sticks to your mind. And surely helps you taking better decisions.
    Well done on you!


  • Always check ingredients on packaged food – so much you think twice about when you do!


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