Barring the rare exception, most people agree that chocolate is one of the most wondrous discoveries of the world. No matter the occasion, chocolate always seems to make things better! Stressed out? Happy? Sad? Anxious? Feeling emotional? Have chocolate!You see, I am a HUGE advocate of chocolate and I am here to debunk the myth that chocolate promotes weight gain and the accumulation of body fat.
It is scientifically proven that chocolate can, in fact, help you lose weight. Yes, you read that correct! When eaten in moderation, chocolate can actually help you lose weight. Apparently, these little bars of wonder can do no wrong! And besides, chocolate is made primarily of cocoa beans which grow on trees, so technically you are eating a salad! Albeit, a very tasty one.
Here is how chocolate can assist you in your war against excessive body fat and help you shed those extra pounds (within limitations):
Not all chocolate is equal! Chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa; commonly referred to as Dark Chocolate, can assist in weight loss. Aim for 60% or higher cocoa.
When choosing chocolate for weight loss, beware the SUGAR.In general, sugar is a huge no-no for anyone looking to lose weight. This holds true even for chocolate. Choose chocolate that has very low sugar content or perhaps one that is completely sugar-free.
Finally, the amount of chocolate you eat is important. Like all else, moderation is key. When eaten in small amounts, you can reap the benefits chocolate has to offer. These benefits include:
Compared to other sweets that fill you up with empty calories and sugar, chocolate has a healthy amount of fiber which helps to curb your appetite. Moreover, it aids in reducing cravings as it leaves you feeling satiated for longer. A diet containing a good and healthy ratio of fiber promotes positive gut health and better digestion because fiber is largely indigestible and passes right through the intestines. Just like exercise strengthens your muscles, eating fiber provides the necessary exercise for the digestive system which makes the intestine stronger. So, when food is better digested, there is less chance of body fat accumulating if all other factors are in check.
Many studies have shown a link between chocolate consumption and the reduction in stress levels. So, how does this help you lose weight? Well, stress can be a big contributing factor towards the accumulation of body fat, especially those in your abdominal area. Being stressed is never a good idea but if you are trying to lose weight, it can all but stall those efforts. When stressed, your hormonal release cortisol. This in turn causes your body to store belly fat. Regardless of how hard you train for a flatter stomach, it is nearly impossible to lose that pouch on your belly because of hormones. *Eliminate stress to not only feel better and more relaxed but also minimize the storage of abdominal fats.
Insulin is the hormone in your body that controls blood sugar levels and ultimately, your metabolism. The more sensitive you are to insulin, the more likely that carbs and body fat will be processed and broken down instead of being stored. This will not only help with weight loss efforts but will significantly lower the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. In order to increase your insulin sensitivity, you must keep blood sugar levels low most of the time. Dark Chocolate contains the plant-based nutrient known as flavanol which have been linked to lower blood sugar levels when consumed in small doses. So, all you Chocolate Lovers, who have been abstaining from eating chocolate or deem it a guilty pleasure, you can now REJOICE!
Remember: eating the RIGHT kind of chocolate in MODERATION, can ensure you reap the benefits of weight loss and a healthy digestive system instead of it going to thighs in the form of body fat! As Willy Wonka says, if you don’t practice restraint, the Oompa Loompas of today (body fat), will come and get you!