Eating chocolate may seem like a strange way to help you lose weight. After all, it is high in fat and calories and is one of the foods most commonly associated with putting on weight.
Eaters who are watching their weight are often advised to avoid or limit the amount of chocolate they eat. However, this isn’t always the case when it comes to weight loss and nutrition.
There are a number of surprising benefits to eating chocolate, as this fruity treat also happens to be packed with nutrients and antioxidants. In fact, research shows that eating chocolate as part of a healthy diet may even help you lose weight!
Nutrition and Calories of Chocolate
To fully grasp how eating chocolate can help you lose weight, you first need to understand the nutritional value of this treat. Like most other foods, chocolate comes with a nutritional breakdown that reveals its calorie and fat content. While eating this food will not cause you to gain weight by calories alone, it can contribute to weight gain if you overindulge and consume more calories than your body needs.
One small (1.5 oz/42 g) milk chocolate bar contains 220 calories and 12 g fat (9 of which are saturated fats). Eating a full-size chocolate bar (3.5 oz/ 100 g) would therefore increase those numbers to just over 500 calories and 31 g fat. In comparison, one small (1 oz/ 28 g) dark chocolate bar contains 150 calories and 12 g fat (9 of which are saturated fats).
A single small square of dark chocolate also has just 3.5 g sugar, compared to the 11 g in the same amount of milk chocolate.
Benefits of Eating Dark Chocolate
While the calorie and fat content of dark chocolate may be lower than milk chocolate, this type of chocolate is also full of nutrients and antioxidants that are good for you!
Dark chocolate contains a significant amount of the minerals magnesium and iron, which are important for boosting metabolism and keeping your body healthy. In addition, eating healthy dark chocolate has been linked to better heart health, improved brain function and a reduced risk of certain diseases. But how is this possible when dark chocolate is high in fat?
The difference between dark and milk chocolate lies in the source of that fat. Whereas milk chocolate contains a high proportion of saturated fat (the type of fat that can increase your risk of disease), dark chocolate is mainly rich in healthy monounsaturated fat.
How to Lose Weight by Eating Chocolate
If eating dark chocolate could help you lose weight, how exactly does it work? And is it better than eating milk chocolate to lose weight?
Research suggests that eating a small amount of dark chocolate can help you lose weight in 2 ways. Firstly, dark chocolate contains a significant amount of caffeine. This may sound surprising, given that milk chocolate contains more caffeine. However, dark chocolate also has a higher fat content, meaning that the amount of caffeine per gram is actually higher in dark chocolate than it is in milk chocolate.
While a small serving of dark chocolate may not contain enough caffeine to noticeably boost metabolism, research shows that eating darker chocolate (with around 70% cocoa) can help you lose weight. A small, daily serving of dark chocolate could boost metabolism and reduce the risk of obesity.
Pro Tip: Don’t Confuse Dark and Milk Chocolate
Are you sold on the idea of eating dark chocolate to lose weight? Before you go out and buy a bucket of the stuff, you should be aware that not all chocolate is created equal.
Dark chocolate bars are often labeled as containing 70% cocoa or more. This percentage refers to the amount of cocoa solids (i.e. the non-fatty part of the chocolate) present in the bar. So, if a bar is 70% cocoa, it means that 70% of the bar is made up of cocoa solids.
In contrast, milk chocolate bars contain at least 10% cocoa solids, but the rest of the bar is made up of milk solids. For example, a bar marked as “milk chocolate” may contain as little as 10% cocoa solids and 90% milk solids.
Dark Chocolate Diet Plan
If you want to try eating dark chocolate to lose weight, you can do so in a variety of ways. For example, you could eat a few squares of dark chocolate each day, or you could use it to flavor your healthy smoothie.
You can also use dark chocolate to make healthy desserts like these dark chocolate protein bars. Besides helping you to lose weight, eating dark chocolate is also a great way to boost your mood and improve your overall health.
Despite the old wives’ tale that eating chocolate will make you fat, research suggests that it can actually help you lose weight if eaten in moderation!
Dark chocolate is particularly rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and can boost metabolism and reduce your risk of disease if eaten daily. If you want to lose weight by eating chocolate, try eating a small amount of dark chocolate daily or using it to flavor your healthy smoothie.