Is It Possible to Give up Chocolate for a Month?

Is it possible to give up chocolate for a month? Well, I can’t answer that just yet...

A recent survey conducted by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) revealed that two fifths of Brits eat some form of chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and nearly six in ten of us underestimate how many calories are in a typical chocolate bar. So, as a nation, we clearly have a bit of a chocolate addiction!        

As an incentive to try and help people reduce their reliance on chocolate and raise awareness of the risks for heart disease, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) are running the DECHOX challenge for the whole of March. This means not eating any kind of chocolate for the whole month! 

I decided to give it ago this year after I failed half way through my attempt last year - I was offered a mini egg and in the excitement I completely forgot I was on a DECHOX before it was too late. So this year I’m determined to make it through the whole month. I have to say, it’s probably one of the worst months to be doing it as it coincides with lots of deadlines and revision for exams, and chocolate is usually my go to treat for when I’m having a stressful time. But, in some ways, I think it’s made me realise how much I rely on chocolate to ‘make me feel better’ and that, actually, I can live without it.

However, I’m not the only student with an obsession for chocolate. Another survery conducted by the BHF has revealed that university students eat over 1.1 million bars of chocolate a term, with KitKats topping the chocolate charts! In 2016, Northumbria University students were ranked as the most chocolate obsessed students, eating around 82,000 chocolate bars between them! Or maybe a few particularly chocolate obsessed individuals (like myself) contributed to this number more than others...

So how am I coping so far? Not too bad I guess!

I usually love to go into the Cavendish tea room in Falmouth for a bit of chocolate cake, but when walking past this week I wasn’t prepared to forfeit my trip in there. Just because I couldn’t have my usual didn't result in complete sacrifice, as I went in and got a flapjack instead, and I have to say it was a great replacement option! I’d even go as far as to say that when I’ve reached the end of March I’d probably go and get another one instead of my chocolate cake. I’m not saying that the flapjack is any healthier for me, but I’ve got a new favourite treat that for once isn’t chocolate based, which can’t be a bad thing.  

It's also made me replace the chocolate biscuit I have after lunch with an apple, and it hasn’t been as bad as it sounds. In fact, I feel better at the end of the day when I can look back at what I’ve eaten and feel like I’ve treated my body to something healthy.

In 2016, the DECHOX raised nearly £800,000 that will contribute to vital research to help the 7 million people living with heart and circulatory diseases in the U.K, so next year have a think about giving it a go! The good news is that the DECHOX is over just in time for easter, so bring on the mini eggs!