Can chocolate help you lose weight?

2013November15_WeightLoss_AA dark and bitter-sweet sensation; a milky, creamy luxury; divinely soft and velvety melt-in-the-mouth bliss; for chocoholics the world over, chocolate isn’t just a sweet treat but the key to happiness and inner contentment but it’s rarely top of a dieter’s weight loss food plan. Chocolate lovers will love the findings of a recent survey that suggests that carrying on eating it may not only not stop you from losing weight but could actually help you shed extra pounds too. Could it really be true that chocolate is that good for you or is this just a delusional dieting dream?

Before you gorge on a family-sized chocolate bar, all in the name of dieting of course, you may want to consider that the key to healthy weight loss may be about moderation. While chocolate may not be one of the deadly dieting sins it has long been considered, this should not give the weight loss follower carte blanche to tuck into a chocolate feast.

The study

A YouGov conducted survey, commissioned by nutritional scientist Janet Aylott, an expert for Nutracheck, questioned 2,100 dieters in the UK. Of these, 86% lost enough weight to be considered a health improvement while continuing to eat the same amount of chocolate they consumed pre-diet. Of those who lost 10% of their body weight, 91% did so whilst including chocolate in their diet plan.

A little of what you fancy

The results could suggest the old adage that that suggests ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’. With many diet trends focused on food no-nos, these results make for a refreshing difference of opinion. As Janet Aylott explains, “Extensive research has proven that diets centred around food elimination are much more likely to fail. The key is to take a more relaxed approach and to have a little of what you like.”

Feelgood factor

While by no means conclusive research, the survey does give chocolate-loving dieters food for thought. It may be that dieting success is more likely to be achieved when a weight loss plan doesn’t leave you feeling deprived or missing out. The effect of feeling starved of tasty pleasure may encourage feelings of despondency, struggle and ultimately lack of motivation. Chocolate also makes people feel good by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, a neurotransmitter which stimulates feelings of wellbeing and can help lessen stress levels.

Long live chocolate

If dieting is not an issue then you might be even more amazed to hear that research suggests that chocolate may contribute to longevity too! A study of 8,000 men conducted by Harvard University found that those who ate a little chocolate a few times a month lived a year longer than their non-chocolate eating counterparts. Certainly, cocoa has antioxidant qualities and the higher the cocoa content of chocolate the higher the health benefits of chocolate are believe to be.

Are you confused about what to put on your plate to lose weight and what snacks are good for you? Do you have an exercise plan to back up your diet and do you have a balanced diet and lifestyle? Get in touch and find out how enjoyable getting in shape can be.

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