The best time to eat chocolate for weight loss is in the afternoon, about 3 hours after lunch. Then, dark chocolate can satisfy your sweet tooth, regulate appetite, and reduce cravings for fattening foods.
Too much chocolate can make you gain weight
Certainly, chocolate can make you gain weight. It’s extremely high in calories.
Dark chocolate contains cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar. Certainly, dark chocolate is high in calories. It contains almost 600 calories per 100g. An 1 oz serving contains about 170 calories.
We lose weight only when we’re on a caloric deficit. Hence, we should limit chocolate intake to the minimum.
Additionally, most calories of chocolate come from saturated fatty acids. A serving has about 7 grams of saturated fats. The American Health Association recommends consuming no more than 13 grams of saturated fats a day. Saturated fatty acids increase the risk of obesity, LDL-cholesterol and heart disease.[2,3]
On the other hand, small servings of dark chocolate, as part of a healthy, hypocaloric diet can be beneficial for weight loss. A serving of 1 oz can satisfy your sweet tooth. Also, dark chocolate is packed with compounds that burn belly fat.
Dark chocolate may reduce appetite
First, chocolate might help people follow a diet low in calories because it may reduce appetite!
Controls the secretion of hunger hormones
Especially, dark chocolate with 85% cocoa solids or more, has a huge satiating effect, as it reduces the levels of hunger hormones, such as ghrelin.
According to a study, participants who ate dark chocolate before a meal felt less hungry. They consumed 17% fewer calories at the next meal.
But, only dark chocolate can control hunger. Milk chocolate doesn’t have the same effect.
After all, dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa solids is pretty high in dietary fiber. Just a small serving of 1 oz provides about 11% of the Daily Value! Fiber has a huge satiating effect. It expands in the stomach and delays digestion. In fact, high fiber intake reduces the risk of obesity!
Moreover, consuming dark chocolate is beneficial for gut microbiota. Healthy gut microbiota is beneficial for weight loss and health.
For instance, healthy gut flora reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure, premature aging, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and even cancer. Actually, flavanols in chocolate have the same effect as prebiotics; a type of fiber particularly beneficial for gut flora.
Antioxidants in dark chocolate support weight loss
Dark chocolate is particularly rich in polyphenols. Especially, catechins, anthocyanins, and proanthocyanidins. These compounds have powerful antioxidant actions.
First, polyphenols fight oxidative stress, which can cause obesity! Furthermore, flavanols in cocoa solids:
- prevent fat accumulation
- promote fat burn
- reduce insulin resistance
Moreover, compounds in dark chocolate can lower LDL-cholesterol, increase HDL-cholesterol, protect the heart, improve the immune systems, reduce the risk of diabetes, and cancer.
Also, polyphenols in chocolate induce the release of nitric oxide, which is crucial for preventing cardiovascular disease! Foods with arginine and nitrate, such as parsley, enhance the synthesis of nitric oxide as well.
Last, but not least, it’s vital to prefer dark chocolate with the highest percentage of cacao solid. The highest the percentage of cocoa solids, the highest the antioxidant content of chocolate.
Additionally, bitter chocolates have higher concentrations of flavonoids. Processing technics for reducing bitterness reduce flavonoids by up to 90%.
Other foods high in polyphenols are herbs, spices, vegetables, berries, seeds, nuts, coffee, and tea! We should eat a wide variety of these foods for weight loss.
Dark chocolate is packed with beneficial nutrients for weight loss
Chocolate was named the “food of the gods”. For good reason! Chocolate is packed with nutrients. Just a small portion of 1 oz contains high amounts of many minerals.
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First, dark chocolate is among the best dietary sources of iron! Women, athletes and obese people have higher daily needs of iron. Iron deficiency may lead to fatigue, low metabolism, and inflammations.
Dark chocolate is an excellent source of magnesium as well. Magnesium promotes weight loss because it regulates glucose metabolism, prevents fluid retention, and it’s vital for the synthesis of testosterone!
Moreover, dark chocolate is among the richest foods in copper. A serving provides more than the 50% of the Daily Value! Copper is crucial for the metabolism of fat, glucose, and cholesterol.
Additionally, dark chocolate is an excellent dietary source of manganese, which plays a key role in good mood and the metabolism of carbs! Also, chocolate is rich in the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is necessary for the synthesis of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that regulates mood and promotes weight loss.
Furthermore, dark chocolate is the richest food in chromium! Chromium is a mineral which plays a key role in the proper function of insulin, and the metabolism of carbs, fat, and protein.
Last, dark chocolate contains smaller amounts of many more minerals, such as zinc, boron, phosphorus, fluoride, and selenium.
What’s the best time of the day to eat dark chocolate for weight loss?
The best time to eat dark chocolate as a healthy snack is in the afternoon. About 3 hours after lunch in order to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The desire for sweet and salty snacks gradually increases throughout the day! We tend to seek foods high in sugar, salt, and fat, as the day passes by. Even if we aren’t hungry.
In fact, many people have low blood glucose levels in the afternoon. Blood glucose levels depend on meal timing. It peaks about 90 minutes after lunch, dropping greatly afterward. Low blood sugar levels cause cravings for fattening foods.
Moreover, having a breakfast high in carbs and protein, such as oatmeal, and avoiding meals high in refined carbs, could significantly reduce cravings for fattening foods in the evening![11,12]
What’s the worst time to eat chocolate?
First, a bad time to eat chocolate is before bed. Dark chocolate contains caffeine. Just a small serving of dark chocolate has almost 23 mg of caffeine, or about 30% of the caffeine content in an espresso shot. Caffeine can cause a poor night’s sleep. Not sleeping well at night has been linked to increased risk of obesity.
Moreover, you shouldn’t eat chocolate before a calorie-dense meal. Eating chocolate on an empty stomach can lead to overeating.
How much chocolate can I eat per day for weight loss?
Consuming more than 1 oz of chocolate per day can make you gain weight. Lower doses, as part of a well-balanced diet, could help you lose weight, though.