Who doesn’t love alliteration?

Easy access and overabundance of holiday desserts can be a significant challenge for people who struggle with chocolate cravings – or sweets in general. Often, it feels like we have one of two options. We’re either 100 percent all in (aka doing the healthy thing). Or, we’re all out (aka eating ALL the desserts), and starting over in the New Year. And by “we” I am referring to “moi” because that is a pattern that I used to fall into ALL of the time.

By the way, if you’re interested, I wrote about the topic of “all vs none thinking” in more detail here. Today, I want to keep things short by sharing a simple tool (well, recipe) to help keep cravings in check this holiday season.

Through Dr. Jade’s clinical experience, he learned that cocoa powder is an effective way to help keep HEC in check. If you aren’t familiar with the term HEC, it stands for hunger, energy, and cravings. When trying to lose weight and keep it off for good, getting “your HEC in check” is critical.

Calorie deficits drive the process of losing fat, but keeping your hunger, energy, and cravings in check is necessary to sustain the calorie deficit that you’ve created. HEC is about hormonal balance. We need both for sustainable (and sane) weight loss: caloric deficits and hormonal balance.

Our approach at Metabolic Living as Metabolic Optimization Health Coaches

In addition to the effects on HEC, cocoa powder has other benefits too! Our Head of Coaching Danny Coleman wrote this blog post on the overall health benefits of cocoa. Our coach Stacey Frattinger, wrote this blog post on how to use Cocoa to Smash Cravings.

Getting back to today’s post. I promised a recipe to help keep cravings in check this holiday season. The TLDNR of the posts linked above is this: unsweetened cocoa powder can alter brain chemistry in ways that helps to lower cravings.

Now, I want to share a tweak on our original cocoa recipe. Our OG recipe was not cutting it this year. I felt like it needed a little upgrade. Something more festive and holiday-inspired. After-all, if we are truly embracing the middle-ground approach, then this is it (for me, at least).

Holiday-Spiced Hot Cocoa for Controlling Cravings

Time: 5 minutes-ish

Difficulty: Easy-peasy

Servings: 1

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (I’m Canadian, so this is an easy choice but feel free to add other liquid sweeteners or none at all)
  • 1/2 cup of milk or alternative dairy-free milk (I like unsweetened oat milk and full fat coconut milk)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1-2 small squares of your favourite dark chocolate (I like 70-75% dark chocolate)
  • Spices: 1/8 tsp of cinnamon (feel free to experiment with other spices like nutmeg or ginger if you like spicy)

Method: In a small pot over medium heat, add water and milk or milk alternative of choice. Whisk in the remaining ingredients. Keep mixing until dark chocolate has melted. Once hot, pour into a mug. You could also shave some dark chocolate over top before serving. Enjoy!

I’m going to wrap this up and make myself a cup right now. If you have a variation on this recipe that you’d like to share, please let us know in the comments below. Us chocolate lovers have to stick together!

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash