The mere mention of chocolate is enough to melt our hearts, right ?! But for people looking to lose weight, it is often recommended to stay away from chocolate as it is believed to be full of calories and would lead to rapid weight gain. But would you believe us if we told you that consuming chocolate can help you lose weight? No you wouldn’t! But we’re here to tell you that there are a variety of chocolates out there, particularly “dark chocolate” that can help you lose extra weight in a variety of ways. While dark chocolate cannot be thought of as a magic wand that can melt away extra pounds, it can definitely speed up the whole weight loss process. Various studies have shown that 70% cocoa dark chocolate can actually help you lose pounds. While an ounce of dark chocolate isn’t exactly low in calories with 60 percent or more cocoa, it does have around 170 calories but has many health benefits, including weight loss. So in this post, we’re listing how dark chocolate can help you lose weight so you can nibble on that bar of chocolate with no guilt next time.
1. Full of antioxidants: The high antioxidant content in dark chocolate such as polyphenols, flavanols and catechins as well as theobromine stimulates fat breakdown and promotes the growth of friendly bacteria in the intestine. Studies have shown that people on high flavonoid diets have less central body fat. In fact, flavanols help lower blood sugar and lower body weight.
2. Appetite for sweet, salty, and junk food: A small bite of dark chocolate can make you feel full and full and not skip high-calorie junk food.
3. Boosts Metabolism: MUFAs, or monounsaturated fatty acids, fall under the “healthy fat” category, which boost your metabolism, reduce your carbohydrate intake and improve insulin sensitivity.
4. A delicious snack that controls frequent cravings: A bite of a square of dark chocolate can significantly curb the appetite for sweet and junk food by triggering the release of the satiety hormone “leptin”.
5. You Would Eat Less in Your Next Meal: A small square of dark chocolate just 20 minutes before a proper meal can trigger satiety hormones in the brain, leaving you feeling full and able to eat less in your next meal, thereby reducing calorie intake .
6. Makes exercise less painful: Are you lacking the motivation to exercise? Throw in that granola bar and nibble on a piece of dark chocolate as this will make even intense exercise less painful as it increases strength and endurance due to the caffeine content and magnesium levels. Dark chocolate also increases nitric oxide levels, which improves heart health, aids muscle regeneration and growth, and prevents cell damage.
7. Helps in reducing insulin resistance: Insulin is not just a hormone that helps stabilize blood sugar levels. In fact, frequent insulin spikes push the sugar to be deposited in the fat cells. High levels of insulin in the blood also block the fat burning process and cause frequent hunger pangs as well. The polyphenols in dark chocolate help improve insulin sensitivity and stabilize blood sugar levels. In fact, polyphenols can delay and prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
8. Limits appetite by reducing the hunger hormone ghrelin: Insulin, ghrelin and leptin are three hormones that control appetite in our body. As mentioned earlier, dark chocolate improves insulin resistance and also lowers hunger hormone levels.
9. Lowers Chronic Inflammation: Inflammation is one of the main reasons people tend to gain weight and have difficulty losing weight. Dark chocolate has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation levels.
10. Magnesium increases metabolism and reduces inflammation: Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium and contains iron, copper and manganese, which boost the metabolism.
11. Dark chocolate promotes better sleep: The high polyphenol content in dark chocolate increases rest. It also contains a lipid called anandamide, also known as the “bliss chemical,” which induces motivation and pleasure.
12. Helps Reduce Stress: Increased stress is directly linked to weight gain. An increase in the stress hormone cortisol triggers appetite and inhibits fat burning. The compounds in dark chocolate stimulate the production of endorphins, a series of chemicals in the brain that cause feelings of pleasure. It also contains the chemical serotonin that makes you feel better.
Aside from all of these benefits, it lowers LDL cholesterol and reduces your risk of heart disease.
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How to choose the perfect dark chocolate:
1. Should not contain sugar or artificial sweetener.
2. Should not be fat-free.
3. Look for 70% cocoa.
Most importantly, though, you practice portion control (10 tips for practicing portion control) with dark chocolate as well and only use a square or two a day.
What’s stopping you from picking that dark candy bar?
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