Weight loss and chocolate can go together
There are different types of chocolate such as:
- White chocolate
- Milk chocolate
- Chocolate liquor
- Dark chocolate
Many people love this sweet treat so much so that it is often difficult to keep the cravings in check when one is on a weight loss diet. However, if you eat dark chocolate — just a little bit! — it can help with weight loss. However, it would be a good idea to check with a doctor or dietitian before adding or changing anything in your diet, just to be sure.
You heard that right — Lose weight
While chocolate often goes hand-in-hand with weight gain, the opposite can be true. Some diet plans even include eating a bit of it every day as part of a healthy eating regime. However, the key to chocolate weight loss is not to take on a chocolate diet where all you eat is cocoa products. But, a little bit can have a lot of health benefits. Such as:
- Reducing craving for sweet snacks — The thing is that dark chocolate seems to keep the cravings in check if you eat a few pieces a day. Doing this can help fight off the eagerness to overindulge later on items that are filled with sugar.
- Improving insulin resistance or sensitivity to insulin — That means that it can help regulate your insulin levels.
- Handling blood sugar levels — Some smaller studies have concluded that the dark product can also help control the levels of sugar in your blood. In doing so, it can lessen the spikes and crashes, which can result in a decrease in appetite and hunger.
A little chocolate keeps cravings under control
As mentioned, having a few pieces of chocolate a day can reduce the cravings people on diets often have. Ignoring them can eventually lead to overconsumption, which is when the weight that was lost comes back quickly. The body needs certain elements to feel full, and your body does work better with a healthy amount of sugar. That is where dark cocoa comes in.
There was a study with 12 women where one of the conclusions was that the smell and taste of dark chocolate decreased the levels of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for hunger.
Another study with 16 people showed that when the participants ate dark instead of milk chocolate, they felt more satisfied, and they also consumed about 17 percent fewer calories at their next meal compared to the other group.
Chocolate can lower your body mass index
When it comes to dieting, dietitians will look at one’s Body Mass Index (BMI), the measurement used to tell individuals what their ideal weight should be. It is calculated by current weight divided by the square of your height. If you get a figure that is 30 or over, you are likely obese, while 25 to 29.9 constitutes overweight.
Some studies have shown that frequent consumption of a small amount of dark chocolate can help lower your BMI in due time. That makes sense since this dessert can stop cravings, which can result in not overeating. Plus, dark chocolate has less sugar than its milk and white counterparts. The higher the cacao percentage, the less sugar it has. Many dietitians would suggest starting with 70 percent of cocoa.
Reduce stress-induced weight gain
Losing weight can be a stressful thing to do. Many people react differently to stress. However, a lot of people tend to overeat when stress kicks in. That can be a big issue when it comes to weight loss. Stress increases cortisol, the hormone that increases blood sugar. That could result in suppressing your immune system as well as fat metabolism.
It can result in increased appetite and binge eating. It should, ideally, be avoided, but you cannot avoid stress forever. However, what you can do is have a bit of dark chocolate since it can increase serotonin and endorphin levels. These can help decrease the anxiety caused by stress. That is why serotonin is often known as the happy hormone. If you feel happy, you will not feel stressed and overeat — in theory, at least.
You’ll feel full longer
Dark chocolate, as we said with regards to one of the studies above, can make you feel fuller. The thing is that it can slow down your digestive process. That is why you would feel satisfied for longer. In doing so, it can also make you less tempted to over-consume when you have your meals.
The science behind this theory is that dark chocolate has a lot of monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs for short. These are plant-based fats that can help increase your metabolism. That, in turn, can help you burn more calories. Plus, it will lower your cravings not only for sweet but salty foods too.
You may exercise more
Another important upside of adding a little bit of dark chocolate to your diet plan is that it can lead you to exercise more. Exercise and weight loss often go hand in hand, and dark chocolate can help with the former. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can make your body feel good during and after a workout session. Therefore, if you do not feel a lot of pain, then you would be more likely to stick to a workout routine.
A little goes a long way
Adding a bit of dark chocolate to your diet has a lot of benefits. That is especially true for those that have a sweet tooth or who would love to grab a few chocolate chip cookies. But, eat only a little dark chocolate. It is a supplement, not a meal. Good luck with the weight loss process.