Are you one of the millions of Americans who are struggling to keep their weight under control? You may be surprised to learn that eating a little chocolate now and then can help you achieve your weight-loss goals. While chocolate is more frequently associated with gaining weight than with dropping a few unwanted pounds, the truth is that you can actually lose weight with chocolate. As with most things in life, moderation is the key to an effective chocolate weight loss plan.
A Little Chocolate Keeps Cravings Under Control
Many of us get relentless cravings for a sweet chocolate treat now and then. Consuming small amounts of dark chocolate can ward off those intense cravings that ultimately lead to overconsumption. Eating a couple of dark chocolate squares each day can help you avoid the temptation to indulge in larger amounts of other snacks that may contain higher amounts of sugar that contribute to weight gain.
Chocolate Can Lower Your Body Mass Index
Many dieticians, personal trainers and health care professionals use Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine whether individuals are at their ideal weight. BMI is calculated by dividing your current weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. A BMI figure of 25 to 29.9 is classified as overweight, while 30 or greater is considered obese. Studies have shown that the frequent consumption of small amounts of dark chocolate can help to lower the BMI number over time.
Reduce Stress-Induced Weight Gain
Did you know that experiencing high levels of stress can lead to weight gain? Stress causes a spike in the level of cortisol, a steroid hormone that increases blood sugar, suppresses the immune system and facilitates the metabolism of fat. Inordinately high cortisol levels stimulate appetite and may even lead to binge eating in some people. Consuming dark chocolate increases endorphin and serotonin levels in your brain, which can help to reduce feelings of anxiety. Consider incorporating a little dark chocolate into your stress-management plan.
You’ll Feel Full Longer
Nibbling on dark chocolate now and then can actually slow down the digestive process and make you feel fuller for longer periods of time. Consequently, you may be less likely to overeat during meals. Dark chocolate is loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which are plant-based fats that will boost your metabolism and help you burn calories and fat. They can also help lower your cravings for other sweet or salty snacks.
You May Exercise More
Another benefit of losing weight with chocolate is that you may be more likely to get off the couch and start moving again. It’s no secret that exercise is an important component of any weight-loss plan, but it’s also the area that many dieters find to be the biggest challenge. Dark chocolate contains anti-inflammatory properties that can make your body feel better. You may experience less pain during and after working out. When you feel good, you are more likely to start and stick to an exercise plan.
Remember, losing weight with chocolate is possible – just don’t overdo it!