Go chocolate free this March

As the nation prepares to give up chocolate for the British Heart Foundation’s Dechox campaign in March, the charity claims one in 10 people feels their chocolate habit has officially got out of hand.

The latest figures from the campaign reveal many Brits are chocoholics, with more than a third of us admitting chocolate is sneaking its way into every meal of the day (that’s right –  breakfast, lunch and dinner). Almost a quarter of people say they’ve resorted to eating chocolate in secret, while 44 percent say they feel guilty after overindulging on sweet treats.

 Perhaps the problem is many people don’t realise how eating all that chocolate may lead to weight gain. The BHF’s survey – which quizzed 2,000 UK adults – found nearly six in 10 people underestimate how many calories are in a typical chocolate bar, with half not realising how many calories are in chocolate treats such as chocolate chip muffins. 

“It’s no secret that we’re a nation of chocoholics,” says Tracey Parker, a BHF heart health dietitian. “While it’s fine to treat yourself now and again, this survey shows how chocolate is becoming commonplace in our diets – almost from the moment we wake up to when we go to sleep.” 

Temptation at work

 An earlier survey from the Dechox campaign suggests ‘cake’ culture in the workplace isn’t helping, either. The survey’s findings suggest a third of workers trying to watch their waistlines have ditched their diets at least once after being tempted by sweet treats in the office. It also discovered four out of 10 UK workers eat chocolate at least every other day during the average working week, with a quarter admitting they can’t get through the working day without indulging their sweet tooth.

The worst offenders, claims the BHF, are those in the education and IT sectors, where nearly half of workers have chocolate at least every other day at work. Six out of 10 in the healthcare industry, on the other hand, admit chocolate is a permanent fixture in the office.

According to the BHF, a fifth of people rank chocolate as the hardest thing to give up. But if the thought of trying to kick your chocolate habit for good fills you with dread, why not join the Dechox campaign and give it up for just the month of March?

 “By challenging yourself to a Dechox this March you can help eliminate temptation whilst raising funds for our life-saving research,” says Parker. “By ditching chocolate you can kick start some healthier habits, and help fund the breakthroughs that will see us beat heart disease for good.”

Find out how to sign up and get sponsored to raise money for research into heart and circulatory disease, which affects around seven million people in the UK, by visiting the BHF website.

 Meanwhile, if you’re trying to lose weight, why not have a chat with your local Careway pharmacist? Your pharmacist can give you lots of tips on losing weight healthily, including how to eat a healthy balanced diet and stay physically active. They can also give you information about products that may help you lose weight successfully – and keep the weight off in the long term.

 Find your nearest Careway pharmacy by using our Pharmacy Finder.