Many people will argue, and I would agree, that most diets and weight loss programs fail because they leave you feeling deprived. So does this mean you do have space for the odd chocolate treat in your nutritional program?
Well yes actually, I believe it does. But you have to be very careful about the types of chocolate you choose.
But be warned: If you’re eating too much of the wrong kind then you are seriously jeopardizing your weight loss goals.
Milk Chocolate vs Dark Chocolate
Should I choose milk or dark chocolate? Not all chocolate is the same. Milk and white chocolate contain an extremely high quantity of processed sugars and other junk, leaving relative little cocoa (cocoa is believed to have some significant health benefits).
And if you’ve read any of my weight loss articles then you’ll know that processed sugars are one of the main reasons why people put on weight, and one of the main reasons why people find it so difficult to lose their excess flab too.
Basically, processed sugars cause a spike in blood sugar level and a hormonal fat storing response in your body.
On the other hand, organic, dark chocolate with few ingredients is made from 70, 80 or even 90% cocoa! And this is the type of chocolate that I highly recommend you choose.
The Health Benefits of Cocoa (and Dark Chocolate)
I could write an entire article on the health benefits of cocoa (in fact I have). Some of them have been scientifically proven, and others are based on our understanding of the way the human body reacts to what it digests.
But from the perspective of a healthy nutritional program and our weight loss goals, here are the most important:
Dark chocolate’s bitter taste can help the body regulate appetite & reduce cravings
High amount of cocoa butter (stearic acid slows digestion) makes the stomach stay full longer.
And let’s not forget that the carbohydrates in dark chocolate also raise serotonin levels, the cause of the famous “mood elevating” effects of chocolate.
Of the above benefits, my favorite is the ability to control cravings. If you’re not craving junk food then your ability to make healthy food choices is hugely improved!
How To Enjoy Chocolate As Part Of A Nutritional Program
As you know, a nutritional program requires you to kick those bad diet habits. But there is also a place for indulging in small amounts.
I’ve already mentioned that I’d like you to choose dark over milk or white chocolate. But it’s also about the amount of chocolate you consume.
I like to enjoy 2 small pieces of dark chocolate after a healthy nutritional meal. I find that it really satisfies my sweet tooth. And for those calorie counters out there, you’ll be consuming relatively few.
The wrong thing to do, and I see this all the time in people who FAIL in their efforts to lose weight, is to deprive yourself throughout the day and then gorge on a large bar of milk chocolate as an end of day treat.
The thinking behind this type of eating pattern is that by consuming few calories during the day, you can go ahead and eat tons of unhealthy calories without gaining weight.
Also Read: Lose Weight Diet and Tips
Unfortunately your body just doesn’t work like this. People that eat like this will almost certainly find themselves unable to lose weight and burn fat, and are far more likely to GAIN weight by eating this way.
So, the aim of the game is to enjoy dark chocolate in moderation. You’ll find that this little indulgence plays a massive part in your nutritional program.