Sweet Success for Lent

Kellie Collins

You have resolved to give up sweets for Lent, but then you enter your local supermarket for your weekly shop. You manage to make it to the last aisle, and are happy in the knowledge that you’ve followed your shopping list to the letter and ignored all those tempting crisps and cakes. What a triumph for your diet! And then, you look up, only a few metres to go, and suddenly your eyes become blurry.

The checkout is looming and there beside it are rows upon rows of chocolate bars, beckoning to you in their sparkling, shiny wrappers. You look around in desperation but it’s the same at every checkout, and each queue is as long as the last one – how are you supposed to stand next to this chocolate mountain for TEN whole minutes without falling at the final hurdle?

Those supermarket people are so cunning and clever, aren’t they? Wafting out delicious smells of freshly baked bread to tempt us, putting essential items like bread and milk at the very back of the store so that we have to go past all kinds of goodies, making the trolleys bigger so that we feel as if we haven’t bought enough when in fact, we could feed a small army with half a trolley-full. And that age old trick – sweeties at the checkout. Never mind removing them for parents with screaming children – what about removing them for the sake of all us dieters out there?!

As a self-confessed chocoholic, I have to admit to occasionally giving in at the very end of my shopping trip, when being faced with mouthwatering Mars, tantalizing Twix and delectable Dairy Milk just becomes too much. You’re thinking, ‘Will I…won’t I’ and suddenly it’s your turn to pay, time is running out: you look around wildly and then break all your good intentions by just grabbing a bar, any bar and fleeing without waiting for your receipt!

It is difficult to resist, but perhaps a few facts will make us think again next time the confectionary counter beckons:

To begin with, two favourites - Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and Fruit & Nut each provide about 210 calories and 11g of fat. If you think Smarties have the answer, think again! At 170 calories, 6g of fat and a whopping 25g of sugar per tube, they are NOT a good bet.

Another big baddie in the chocolate stakes is that ‘Smooth as Silk’ Galaxy bar with over 250 calories and 15g of fat per bar. Rolo also tip the top with a tube providing over 270 calories and 12g of fat – the question here is, do you love someone enough to give them your last Rolo…and the rest of your Rolos?!

Mars and Snickers are pretty similar when it comes to calories and fat with each having a whopping 280 calories and 13g of fat. They also have over 40g of sugar and 85mg of sodium – that’s a heck of a lot of sugar and sodium in just one little bar of chocolate!

Obviously the best way to avoid those checkout temptations is to go to one with no confectionery and most supermarkets do have this option nowadays. However, if the queues are too long at these checkouts, or you find yourself face to face with this dieter’s nightmare, be brave! Open that bag of apples in your trolley and munch on one of those, or if there is a magazine rack at the counter, distract yourself by flicking through some of those glossy pages.

But if you really can’t resist, try a lighter option, such as a small bag of Jelly Beans with only 30 calories, 6g of sugar and no fat. Or if it’s chocolate you’re after, go for a Milky Way which has 70 calories, next to no fat and 9g of sugar - this can easily fit in to your healthy diet.

Just try not to make a habit of it – don’t go wild in the aisles and steer your trolley clear of all other temptations after your successful supermarket sweep!

Start a diet plan at tescodiets.com

Thanks to tescodiets.com who have provided this article.