What’s the best time to eat dark chocolate for weight loss?

best time to eat dark chocolate for weight loss

The best time to eat chocolate is in the afternoon, about 2-3 hours after lunch. Although a serving of chocolate contains 170 calories, dark chocolate is good for weight loss, as it’s packed with minerals which regulate appetite, reduce cravings, regulate metabolism, and lower blood glucose levels.

How many calories does chocolate have?

Dark chocolate contains cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar. It may or may not contain milk or cow’s butter. It depends on the market and country. Certainly, dark chocolate is high in calories. 100g contain almost 600 calories. A serving of 1 oz contains about 170 calories.[1]

Can chocolate make you gain weight?

Certainly, chocolate can make you gain weight. It’s extremely high in calories.

We lose weight only when we’re on a caloric deficit. Hence, we should limit chocolate intake to the minimum. As a rule of thumb, a serving of 1 oz (28g) can satisfy your sweet tooth and provide you with a wide variety of health-promoting compounds.

Additionally, most calories of chocolate come from saturated fatty acids. A serving has about 7g of saturated fats. The American Health Association recommends consuming no more than 13g of saturated fats a day. Saturated fatty acids increase the risk of obesity, LDL-cholesterol and heart disease.[2,3]

On the other hand, dark chocolate is packed with nutrients which promote weight loss. Therefore, consuming a serving of dark chocolate regularly is good for weight loss!

Dark chocolate may decrease appetite

First, chocolate might help people follow a diet low in calories because it may decrease appetite! Especially, dark chocolate with 85% cacao solids or more, has a huge satiating effect, as it reduces the levels of hunger hormones, such as ghrelin.[4]

But, only dark chocolate can control hunger. Milk chocolate isn’t as effective. 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]

After all, dark chocolate with 70-85% cacao solids is pretty high in dietary fiber. Just a small serving of 1 oz has about 3.1g fiber, or 11% of the daily recommended dose! Fiber has a satiating effect. It expands in the stomach and delays digestion. High fiber intake reduces the risk of obesity!

Moreover, consuming dark chocolate is beneficial for gut microbiota. Healthy gut microbiota is vital 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 can help lose weight

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 is a common reason of obesity! Furthermore, flavanols in cocoa solids prevent fat accumulation, promote fat burn and 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 rich in 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 cacao solids, the highest the antioxidant content of chocolate. Additionally, bitter chocolates tend to have the higher concentrations of flavonoids. Processing technics for reducing bitterness reduce flavonoids as well. Up to 90%.[8]

Other foods rich in polyphenols are herbs, spices, vegetables, berries, seeds, nuts, coffee, and tea! We should eat a wide variety of foods rich in polyphenols to lose weight and have good health.

Dark chocolate is packed with nutrients!

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
(Daily Value)
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 of iron.[9] Iron deficiency may lead to fatigue, low metabolism, and inflammations. Spinach is another great source of iron, having only a small fraction of the calories of 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 the 50% of the recommended daily intake! 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 which regulates mood and promotes weight loss as well.

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.

Should I eat dark chocolate to lose weight?

Chocolate is among the richest foods in nutrients. A small portion up to 1 oz a day could help lose weight effortlessly, feel full for a longer time, satisfy your sweet tooth, preserve the precious gut flora, boost your immune system, and keep you healthy.

What’s the best time to eat dark chocolate to lose weight?

The best time to eat dark chocolate as a healthy snack is in the afternoon. The desire for sweets and salty snacks gradually increases over the day! We tend to seek foods high in sugar, salt, and fat, as the day passes by. Even if we aren’t hungry.[9]

In fact, many people have low blood glucose level in the afternoon. Blood glucose level depends on meal timing. It peaks about 90 minutes after lunch, dropping greatly afterwards. Low blood sugar level is the reason for your cravings![10]

Hence, a great time to eat chocolate is in the afternoon, about 2-3 hours after lunch, as a healthy, sweet snack. Dark chocolate is the ideal snack to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Moreover, having a breakfast high in carbs and protein, such as oatmeal, and avoiding high-carb meals in the evening, could reduce cravings, making diet much easier![11,12]

What’s the worst time to eat chocolate in a day?

First, a bad time to eat chocolate is before bed. Dark chocolate contains caffeine. Actually, just a small serving of dark chocolate has almost 23 mg of caffeine, or about 30% of the caffeine content of an espresso shot. Caffeine may cause poor night’s sleep. Not sleeping well at night has been linked to increased risk of obesity.

But, if you want to lose weight, the worst time to eat chocolate is before a meal. Eating chocolate on an empty stomach can lead to overeating. After all, chocolate is particularly high in calories.

How much chocolate can I eat a day?

Avoid eating more than 1 oz of chocolate per day, if you want to lose weight. We lose weight only when we consume fewer calories than we burn. Even this small serving of chocolate has about 170 calories.