Chocolate for Weight Loss?

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. A 1 oz serving contains about 170 calories.[1]

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.[4]

According to a study, participants who ate dark chocolate before a meal felt less hungry. They consumed 17% fewer calories at the next meal.[5]

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!

Gut microbiota

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.[6]

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.[7]

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 system, and 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 techniques for reducing bitterness reduce flavonoids by up to 90%.[8]

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.

What’s the healthiest type of Chocolate?

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.

1 oz% DV
iron (mg)3.423%
magnesium (mg)6520%
copper (mg)0.555%
manganese (mg)0.5531%
chromium (mcg)14.357%
fluoride (mg)0.155%
zinc (mg)0.9412%
potassium (mg)2038%
phosphorus (mg)8712%
selenium (mcg)1.934%
Nutritional Value of a serving of chocolate!


First, dark chocolate is among the best dietary sources of iron! Women, athletes and obese people have higher daily needs for iron. Iron deficiency may lead to fatigue, low metabolism, and inflammation.[9]


Calcium is involved in many functions of the human body. For instance, calcium is necessary for muscle movement and flexibility, blood vessel contraction and dilation, blood clotting, nerve transmission, and hormonal secretion.

In fact, getting adequate amounts of calcium may lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, atherosclerosis, and even certain cancers.[10,11]

Only white and milk chocolates are rich in calcium, containing about 200 mg of calcium per 100g, while 70% dark chocolate inhibits calcium absorption!

Dark chocolate with 70% cacao solids contains about 73 mg of calcium per 100g. A small 1 oz serving contains 21 mg of calcium or about 2% of the recommended daily intake.

Dark chocolate with more than 70% cacao solids may inhibit calcium absorption because it’s high in oxalates. The total oxalate content of cocoa powder is between 650 and 783 mg per 100g of dry matter. These compounds bind to calcium, inhibiting its absorption.[12]

Actually, we absorb only 5% of calcium from oxalate-rich foods.

% DV
Calcium in dark chocolates.

Milk chocolate is also a good dietary source of calcium. It has 189 mg of calcium per 100g. It has almost 160% more calcium than dark chocolate. A serving of milk chocolate provides 53 mg of calcium or more than 5% of the Daily Value.

White chocolate is also high in calcium. It has a similar calcium content to milk chocolate. White chocolate has 199 mg of calcium per 100g. A serving has about 56 mg of calcium or 5.6% DV.

Milk and white chocolate has up to 250% more calcium than dark chocolate.


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 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.


Potassium is an essential nutrient, vital for good health. It’s present in all body tissues. The human body contains about 140 grams of potassium.

Consuming adequate amounts of potassium may lower high blood pressure, and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.[13,14]

Also, potassium may prevent osteoporosis, as it regulates calcium metabolism.

Furthermore, potassium is crucial for glucose metabolism, promoting weight loss and preventing diabetes.

Moreover, potassium is a crucial electrolyte. It’s involved in muscle contraction and the transmission of nerve impulses. Athletes and people who sweat a lot should be very cautious to replenish it daily. Potassium deficiency may lead to muscle cramps![15]

Dark chocolate is considered a high-potassium food. It has more than 200 mg of potassium per serving. Milk and white chocolate contain lower amounts of potassium than dark chocolate. Actually, milk chocolate contains even 76% less potassium, while white chocolate contains 60% less potassium than dark chocolate with 70% cacao solids.


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.

Fiber in dark chocolate

Dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids has 10.9 grams of fiber per 100g. A small 1-oz serving has 3.1 grams of fiber, which is 11% of the Daily Value!

Other dark chocolates with less cacao solids are also good natural sources of fiber. They provide 7-8% of the recommended daily intake of fiber per serving!

% DV
Fiber in dark chocolates.

On the other hand, most white and milk chocolates contain negligible amounts of fiber, as they have low concentrations of cacao beans.

Only milk chocolates with almonds or hazelnuts contain 6.2 grams of fiber per 100g or 1.75 grams per serving (6% DV). Actually, almonds and hazelnuts, like all nuts, are good dietary sources of fiber.

Chocolate hazelnut spreads contain some fiber as well. They have 5.4 grams of fiber per 100g or 1.1 grams per tablespoon (4% DV).

Consuming adequate amounts of fiber is vital for our health. High fiber intake has been linked to a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Also, high fiber intake may lower blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels![16]

Additionally, fiber improves insulin sensitivity and enhances immune function!

Moreover, fiber contributes to healthy gut microbiota, which is crucial for health. Gut microbiota protects the body from chronic inflammations, improves metabolic processes, and promotes weight loss, due to regulation of appetite![17]

Protein supports Weight Loss

Protein helps you feel satiated, reducing cravings and potentially leading to fewer calories consumed throughout the day.

Your body burns calories during digestion, and protein has a higher thermic effect compared to carbs or fat, meaning it burns slightly more calories while being processed.

During weight loss, some muscle loss can occur. Protein helps maintain muscle mass, which is important for metabolism and overall fitness.

  • Dark chocolate with 45-59% cacao solids has 4.88 grams of protein per 100g. An 1-oz serving provides 1.4 grams of protein.
  • Dark chocolate with 60-69% cocoa solids has about 6.1 grams of protein per 100g or 1.74 grams per serving.
  • Dark chocolate with 70-85% is the richest chocolate in protein. It has 60% more protein than other dark chocolates with lower percentage of cacao solids and up to 120% more protein than many milk chocolates!

The protein content of milk chocolate greatly varies. It depends on the brand. Most milk chocolates contain between 3 and 8 grams of protein per 100g. So, we get between 0.8 and 2.3 grams of protein per 1-oz serving.

Certainly, we can’t depend on chocolate for protein. It may contribute to the daily protein intake, but, we should consume other foods high in protein to meet our daily needs. A serving of dark chocolate provides about 2-5% of the Daily Value.

If you like eating chocolate and want to increase your protein intake, you could consume chocolate protein bars. They contain substantially more protein per calorie.

Most chocolate protein bars provide about 20 grams of protein. Also, they have fewer than 200 calories!

You’ll find a wide variety of protein chocolate bars on Amazon.

Dark Chocolate has less Sugar

According to many studies, high sugar intake has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory diseases, and cardiovascular disease.[18]

Furthermore, excess sugar consumption may lead to fat accumulation in the liver, decreased insulin sensitivity, and increased uric acid and cholesterol. 

It’s highly recommended to consume less sugar than 5% of the total energy intake. This is extremely difficult to meet, though. People who follow the standard Western diet tend to consume much higher amounts. Avoiding sodas, sweets, and processed products would be beneficial.[19,20]

Cutting down sugar is pretty difficult because it interferes with the reward system of the brain, affecting eating behavior. In other words, sugar causes overeating. Additionally, excess sugar causes weight gain because it prevents leptin production. This hormone helps regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger.[21]

Dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa solids contains the least amounts of sugar. It contains only 24 grams of sugar per 100g. A small 1-oz serving has only 6.8 grams of sugar!

% cacao
Sugar content of dark chocolates.

Even 60% dark chocolate contains 54% more sugar than 70% dark chocolate! It contains about 10 grams of sugar per serving.

Dark chocolate with 45% cocoa solids has twice the amount of sugar as compared to 70% cacao chocolate! It contains 14 grams of sugar per serving.

White chocolate is the richest chocolate in sugar. It contains approximately 59 grams of sugar per 100g or 17 grams per serving. Other sweets with chocolate may contain even higher amounts of sugar!

Baking chocolate with 100% cocoa solids is free of sugar. But, it’s mainly used for cooking, due to its extreme bitterness.

Moreover, there are chocolates with no added sugar in which other sweeteners are used. For instance, manufacturers use stevia as a natural sweetener. Stevia is good for weight loss. It contains no calories, and it’s about 300 times sweeter than sugar!

You’ll find a wide variety of premium sugar-free chocolates on iHerb.

What’s the Best time to eat 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.[22]

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.[23]

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![24,25]

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 an 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.

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