The Benefits Of Dark Chocolate For Weight Loss

The Benefits Of Dark Chocolate For Weight Loss

When starting a new diet, one of the first things that we are told is to get rid of all of the high-calorie food, treats and snacks in our cupboards and embrace a healthier, low-cal way of life.

For most of us, this means ditching anything with chocolate in it.

There have been mixed reports recently about the true potential of dark or plain chocolate for losing weight, with some pointing out “hoax” claims and questionable studies, but the good news for chocoholics is that it actually can have a positive effect on our health.

There are some significant benefits of dark chocolate for weight loss, just as long as dieters know when to put it down.

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The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Plain chocolate is seen as the healthier alternative to milk or white chocolate because there are a number of potential benefits.

Studies show that not only can its consumption lead to an improved mood and a change in hormone levels, there are also links to the production of insulin, lower blood pressure, improved circulation and higher energy levels.

A lot of this comes down to the simple fact that dark chocolate contains a lot of antioxidants called flavonoids.

To begin with, many advocates merely highlighted the potential of dark chocolate as a mood enhancer – as it can affect the production of serotonin and endorphins – but there is clearly more to this “healthy” treat than that.

Each of these physiological changes has the potential to aid weight loss in some way.

Improvements to circulation, blood pressure and energy levels should allow for increased activity levels, so dieters can exercise for longer.

The resulting rise in metabolism and the impact on insulin levels can then help the body to break down fat cells more easily, leading to greater weight loss.

Reducing insulin resistance also has the potential to decrease our appetite and help us eat smaller portions.

A change in cortisol levels – our stress hormone – and a change in mood also play their part by helping dieters with positive thinking.

The more stressed we are and the more we dwell on negative thoughts, the more likely we are to turn to the food we crave and to give in to emotional eating.

Dark chocolate has plenty of benefits over milk chocolate, but it should still be eaten in moderation…

This potential for weight loss and health does not mean that fans of dark chocolate have an excuse to consume more of it.

The fats in dark chocolate – oleic acid, palmitic and steric acid – may be considered to be “healthy” fats, but there can still be as much as 12 grams of fat per bar.

Then there is the calorie count to consider. If you are using a strict calorie controlled diet to shed the pounds, a bar of plain chocolate can take up a considerable amount of your allowance.

The best way to use dark chocolate when dieting is to try and use it as substitute for other forms of chocolate.

If you know that you can’t get through the week without some form of chocolate-based treat to reward you for your hard work, look for chocolate bars, cakes and cookies that are made of plain chocolate instead.

A bar of 70% fair trade chocolate is seen as the ultimate indulgence for some, so the fact that it is the healthier alternative just makes it even more appealing.

Some advocates for dark chocolate when dieting suggest that we should have one ounce, three days a week, but this sort of rationing and measuring does take some of the fun out of eating it.


Is a Switch to Dark Chocolate Worth it?

Dark chocolate can be an acquired taste but if you are a chocoholic that is struggling to deal with their cravings, and are determined to put in the effort on a diet and exercise regime, you could find that dark chocolate fills that gap nicely.

It won’t lead to quick, drastic results, and it must be eaten in moderation, but the benefits of dark chocolate for weight loss are clear to see.

A small boost in energy levels, a decrease in stress hormones and a reduction in insulin resistance could all provide that extra edge to make dieting and exercise easier and help you shed a few extra pounds.

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16 thoughts on “The Benefits Of Dark Chocolate For Weight Loss

  1. My two kids are like bees to honey when it comes to chocolate. At first , I was all about ‘no its too sweet, no don’t take too much’ but then I did some research and from all the sites including yours , it seems dark chocolate will be the answer to keeping my sanity intact till they go to College. Thank you for such a well written post!

  2. Hello fellow ninja…lol
    Dark chocolate and weight loss? Count me in!
    Having been a dark chocolate lover most of my life, I certainly enjoy treating myself on a regular basis…but like you mentioned – moderation is key…unfortunately.
    It certainly does seem to lower stress levels since you always feel so good when eating it – there is a bit of guilt when eating too much.
    Is milk chocolate is considered less healthy primarily because of the higher sugar content? Or because of the extra processing and ingredients?
    I hope more people can learn to appreciate the wonderful bitterness of dark chocolate.
    Great post!

    1. Both mate – higher sugar content and extra processing I’m afraid! You never really know what crap they are putting in the mass produced milk chocolate options! 🙂

  3. I love chocolate, but my husband has a serious addiction. Many times he gets a quick fix through brownies, cookies, or chocolate cake. I do occasionally make treats at home for him, but you have given me the great idea to start subbing dark chocolate in these recipes for him. I knew dark chocolate had a few health benefits and is an antioxidant but didnt realize just how many benefits it has!

  4. I love chocolates not only myself everyone love chocolates. First of all I thank you for giving me the information that the intake of dark chocolate results in weight loss. There are lot of information explained in the video.
    This site will be very useful.Thank you for giving a wonderful website to all.

    Regards,
    Manokaran

  5. I absolutely love dark chocolate, I eat the raw variety. Coco beans are full of great ingredients and besides the antioxidants called flavanoids they also contain oleic acid and monounsaturated fat. Besides a lot of magnesium, calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, manganese and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9 and E. Ancient Incas called coco the drink of Gods.

  6. I remember eating Bournville dark chocolate when I lived in the UK many moons ago. It’s true, it’s definitely an acquired taste but hey, if it helps to reduce insulin resistance then why not?

    I started a high fat low carbs diet recently which is also aimed at reducing insulin resistance so this article will come in very handy. A friend of mine is a bit of a chocoholic and he is always trying to lose weight so I will definitely share this news with him.

    Why is milk chocolate less healthier, is it due to the fats that are contained in it or more because of the flavonoids in dark chocolate?

    1. Hi Craig,

      Milk chocolate has only got about 20% as much cocoa as dark chocolate for starters so it’s health effects are nowhere near as good. You are right about the fats but you should also take into account the amount of sugar in the milk version – not good at all!

      Unfortunately a lot of milk chocolate companies opt to include sweeteners like processed sugar and high fructose corn syrup in their products.

      However…there are recent studies that point to both forms of chocolate being good for your heart…

  7. Hey Chris,

    Thanks for sharing this article! I was watching this video the other day on milk. This doctor was against the whole idea of milk. His thoughts on milk are that we need to look at the purpose of milk.

    Milk’s job is to turn a baby calf into an 800 lbs cow at a very rapid pace. As humans, we put this liquid into everything nowadays. Yogurt, ice cream, cheese, and of course chocolate.

    So when we take out the milk in chocolate I think it can be very beneficial healthwise. Now I have been drinking and eating milk my whole like so I doubt I will quit but his video really had me thinking.

    If we just gave up the milk products could we lose a lot of weight and be more healthy?

    Great article Chris

    Cheers

    1. Wow that statement David – “Milk’s job is to turn a baby calf into an 800 lbs cow”. It really makes you think doesn’t it?

      Milk products, or anything dairy for that matter, are always a little bit of a problem when it comes to dieting or weight loss. But at the end of the day they do offer a great deal of calcium.

      Like anything that’s deemed a little ‘bad’ for you – I think moderation is key. We all need certain nutrients etc. and sometimes they are found in rather unhealthy choices – what are we to do? Avoid these foods and lack certain dietary elements?

  8. This is a very well written and enjoyable article, fantastic information on dark chocolate and how the health benefit effects you – a real eye opener in parts!

    I am a diet fanatic and have a sweet tooth as well, which is hard when you try and lose weight or diet, so it is good to know the information on dark chocolate – gives me an option to go sweet now!

    This site has a lot of good articles which I will bookmark for future reference.

    Can you tell me what do you think would be the right amount to take every day when you are on a diet, for 80 percent dark chocolate?

    Thank you in advance!

    Gareth

    1. Hi there Gareth,

      Even though dark chocolate has health benefits – moderation is still key! Basically, don’t think you can get away with eating a lot of it when you are slimming down – this is not the case I’m afraid!

      Just try and gobble a couple of chunks when that sweet tooth starts banging – DON’T eat the whole bar! 🙂

      Hope this helps mate…

      Stay Healthy! 🙂

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