Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Supersizing

Way back when, I used to spend my Friday and Saturday nights eating chocolate and drinking wine. The supermarket had an annoying habit of putting 200g bars of Dairy Milk and Fruit and Nut on special offer if you bought two. So I bought two, one for each night. I have a problem in that once I open a bar of chocolate I tend to eat it pretty quickly. I'm not the sort of person who can leave an open bar for the next day.

And I wonder how I got fat.

Anyway, I managed to kick the habit of buying stupidly big bars of the stuff and barely gave it a second thought after a while. That was my old habit, and I don't do that sort of stuff now. Or not very often at least, and certainly not two nights a week.

But one day a couple of months ago I was buying petrol and noticed those bars near the tills (and why do they persist in doing that anyway? Yes, to sucker in people like me...) I noticed that they're now 250g bars. I pondered on that for a while at the time. And I knew why they'd done it. People like me would now buy two 250g bars and get through them at much the same speed, but pay a little more for the privilege. I'd spend more money than I did before on chocolate. And eat an extra 1000 calories or so every weekend into the bargain.

Good job I'd kicked that habit!

Anyway, that was something that would have affected the old me rather than the new one, so I didn't ponder it too deeply or rage against it too much. I'd already learned that for me, the secret with chocolate is to buy a small amount whenever I need it. Well, maybe need is too strong a word, but want, as a treat, from time to time.

And what I like the most is the 20g bars of Green & Blacks. They are big enough to satisfy a chocolate craving, but smaller than most bars on the market. They give me that smugness that comes from eating organic posh chocolate, and if I only have 20g I'll only eat 20g. (I would never consider eating 10 of those bars in one sitting, but could easily get through a single 200g bar if I had one, it's funny how the mind works, isn't it?).

Except yesterday I wanted a G&B fix. I went to Boots and the bastards have changed their bars. 35g. Thirty-bleeding-five. That's nearly twice the size. And based on the fact that I know I'll eat every morsel of chocolate in whatever size portion it's sold in, that's twice as many calories consumed by me. I know that I won't eat half and put the other half away for another day, so there's no use pretending that I will.

Luckily they still have some 20g bars in Holland and Barrett, so I'm OK for now, but I suspect they're being phased out and won't last forever. (And no, it won't work if I stockpile them now. They're slightly safer in wrappers, but if they're in the house they won't lat as long as they would if I have to walk to the shop specifically for them).

I'm far more pissed off at this supersizing than I was with the old 200g bars I no longer eat. I know that to have a healthy relationship with chocolate I need to limit my access to it, but they're taking away my 20g bars. They're trying to get me to pay more for more chocolate and more profits for them, which I wouldn't object to other than the effect on my waistline. I don't want to eat 35g, I want to eat 20g.

I'm not a happy bunny about this, not happy at all. I will still eat the stuff, but I'll have to be more careful about how I incorporate it into my diet. At least I've learned that lesson I suppose, rather than just upgrading my stomach's expectation and moving with the portion sizes they offer me...

(A quick word on the status of the scales - 2 days at 155 and one at 156, so it looks pretty official to me, as though I have actually miraculously lost some weight for a change. Hurrah!)

7 Comments:

Blogger einalem said...

I LOVE G&B. They sell a box with individually wrapped bites, which might help. I buy a box, leave it in the fridge and just have a couple when I fancy them. But then, I can buy a big bar and eat a few chunks at a time, as it's too intense a flavour to eat 200g of (not like cheap nasty cadburys which I can scarf in 2 minutes). What I'm trying to say, is try the big bars of G&B and you may find you DON'T need to eat the whole thing (and think how good you'll feel about that). It's too easy to eat 35g, but much harder to eat 200g. Of course it could go the other way? I'm wittering now. Let us know how you get on.

10:10 PM  
Blogger kathrynoh said...

I'm the same with chocolate. Maybe a safe with a time delay lock is the best way to go :)

10:48 PM  
Blogger Shauna said...

dude! i have been really pissed off about this too! 20g is do-able but 35g is just too much. 20g is a nice little hit and I can make the bar last ages. 35g feels like a pig-out. I can't find the wee ones anywhere else but H&B, either... grrr.

No coincidence that this supersizing happened after Cadbury-Schweppes took over the G&B company!

9:49 AM  
Blogger M@rla said...

Oh you are describing my life!!! Only I have to tell you, it's even worse here. I would love to get just a little bite of good chocolate once in a while, maybe once a week or every two weeks, and I have the same problem: I will eat whatever amount there is, so I must buy only a small amount. It's not possible! The average sized "candy bar" is about 50 grams, and that's for crappy stuff like Sn1ckers, which I don't want anyway. A good quality chocolate like G&B comes in 100 GRAM PIECES! And of course it's quite expensive, about $5 U.S. I don't understand the strategy of the manufacturers and groceries; if I could buy a small piece of chocolate, or a SINGLE ice cream treat, I'd probably get it once a week. Since they sell only large quantities, I NEVER buy them! I suppose they don't see it this way, but I suspect they're actually losing sales - women do 99% of the shopping, and most women are hesitant to buy a giant vat of sweets.

Feh. Here is my absolute fave of the big-ass chocolate bars, which I cannot buy because I WILL eat all 100 g at once.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Xena said...

You could break off the extra 15g and throw it out right away. I know, such a waste of heaven, but better in the trash than on your hips! Chocolate is definitely my all-time downfall...I can't have it around either or I eat the whole damn thing too.

8:02 PM  
Blogger choccycherry said...

Where have I been??? I didn't even know you could get 20g bars of G&B. I have been walking too quickly by the choccy isle in the supermarket!

Well done on your weight loss!

7:36 AM  
Blogger K said...

Not that this is a great help, but there is some movement in the other direction - by Cadbury. Dairy Milk and Bourneville now come in "99-calorie" sizes. I know it's not the same, but... (well, actually I like Bourneville better than G&B. Sorry.)

2:34 PM  

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