10 ‘Sweet’ Ways Chocolate Can Help You Lose Weight
Chocolate can help you lose weight!! Surprised?? Well, you heard that right as long as you choose the right one. And with the holidays just a couple weeks away, chocolate will be everywhere. If you are like most of us then you think you need to give up chocolate to lose weight, but, in fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. You just need to know what, how and why dark chocolate is good for you and then enjoy it in moderation.
Are you ready? Here are 10 ‘Sweet’ Ways Chocolate Can Help You Los Weight! Let’s go!
To start, you should know that in order to gain the maximum nutritional benefit of chocolate, it should be as minimally processed as possible. Be careful while picking up chocolates for health benefits. Light colored milk chocolates should be avoided because they are loaded with sugar and lack of cocoa, the actual ingredient which is loaded with health benefits.
Studies show that dark chocolates with cocoa 70% or higher have many health benefits and may help you lose weight if had in moderation. Not all the chocolates that you find on superstore’s shelves are healthy. In fact, opting for good homemade chocolates is a good idea.
Here are 10 good reasons why you should eat dark chocolate if you want to lose weight:
1. It curbs the craving for sweet, salty and fatty foods: Researchers have found that dark chocolate eliminates craving for sweet, salty and fatty foods as it gives a feeling of satisfaction or fullness. Dark chocolates can satisfy your cravings nutritiously and save you from binging on unhealthy snacks.
2. Decreases body fat: Chocolates contain flavanols and cocoa flavanols are extremely good for you. Flavanols are plant-based nutrients found naturally in cocoa, and according to experts, no other food on Earth can match cocoa’s unique blend of flavanols. Flavanols are known to help lower blood sugar and decrease body weight.
3. Reduces inflammation: The flavanols present in dark chocolates contain anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammations in the body have been linked to the increase in insulin resistance which in turn interferes with the feelings of hunger and hormones that regulate metabolism. So munching on dark chocolate now and then in moderation can help prevent and repair the cellular damage caused by the inflammation. Thus, preventing us from overeating.
4. Encourages exercise: As discussed above, we know that chocolate has anti-inflammatory constitutes, it is also rich in magnesium, these two combined together may lead to less pain. If there’s a feel-good factor exercising seems more appealing, and it’s no secret that regular exercise helps us to stay fit and lose weight. So, if you ever suffer from pain after a strenuous session at the gym having a glass full of salted caramel hot chocolate loaded with dark chocolate is a good idea for an instant relief.
5. It controls appetite: Eating sugary food can make our body resistant to insulin and this, in turn, causes the body to produce more ghrelin, a hormone responsible to increase our appetite. Eating dark chocolate instead of other sugary desserts keeps our insulin and appetite in check. Moreover, dark chocolates contain a decent amount of fiber so it increases the feeling of satiety.
6. Improves metabolism: The good news for all the chocolate lovers is that dark chocolate actually alters the human metabolism in a good way, reports the Journal of Proteome Research. The monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) present in dark chocolate is known to boost the metabolism which stimulates the body to burn calories faster. Studies have proved that chocolate affects the way our body synthesizes fatty acids and reduces the absorption of fats and carbohydrates.
7. Fights sugar spikes: With the help of healthy fats (namely: Oleic acid, stearic acid) present in dark chocolate the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream gets slow. This prevents the sugar/insulin level to spike thus preventing the sugar being transported straight into the body’s fat cells. High levels of insulin also tend to stop your body’s fat from burning and makes you feel hungry frequently.
8. It reduces stress: It is a known fact that people tend to overeat when they are stressed. Stress causes the cortisol level to spike. Cortisol is a steroid hormone which aids in the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. So, the spike in this hormone increases our appetite and encourages us to eat more than what we require causing us to gain weight. Whereas eating dark chocolate increases the serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain, these two are “happy chemicals” and they help alleviate the feeling of stress and boosts our mood. Studies published by Journal of Proteome Research confirms that eating a few dark chocolates every day can help you relax.
9. Contains good fat: Dark chocolate contains saturated fat and not all fat is bad for our body, in fact, good fats are necessary while trying to lose weight. Oleic acid, stearic acid, and palmitic acid are the three types of fats that chocolate contains. Stearic acid, when metabolized, turns into oleic acid and oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat that lowers the cholesterol. Although palmitic acid has been shown to raise cholesterol levels when it gets combined with oleic acid and stearic acid the overall ill effect of cholesterol is irrelevant.
10. Encourages us to take care of ourselves: It’s a fact that when you feel good you naturally want to take care of yourself. Cocoa and dark chocolate contain polyphenols. Polyphenols are supposed to have a positive effect on our sense of well being. Dark chocolate also contains anandamide, a type of lipid known as “the bliss chemical.” Having dark chocolate definitely elevates our mood and encourages us to take proper care of ourselves.
Dark chocolates, when combined with a healthy diet and exercise, can actually give you a boost towards achieving your weight-loss goals. However, make sure not to overindulge on these dark bars. They should be had in moderation, experts recommend no more than an ounce (28 grams) of dark chocolate a day.