Chocolate, used as both a beverage and flavor, is produced by roasting and grounding cocoa seeds. It can be made in liquid, paste, and block form. Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana in West Africa are the leading producers of cocoa, accounting for over 60% of the world’s cocoa supply.
Chocolate is one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world, with several foodstuffs containing chocolate. These among others include; cakes, pudding, mousse, chocolate brownies, chocolate candies, and chocolate chip cookies
You can eat chocolate and still lose weight if you; use a calorie counter, eat more dark chocolate, replace chocolate with sweet alternatives, divide the chocolate ahead of time so that you don’t overeat, and eating chocolate just before exercise.
What are the ingredients in chocolate?
Chocolate that is normally consumed today is sweet chocolate, which is a combination of cocoa solids, cocoa butter or added vegetable oils, and sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that contains added milk powder. White chocolate on the other hand is a combination of cocoa butter, sugar, and milk with no cocoa solids.
Therefore a 100-gram serving of milk chocolate contains the following ingredients
- 540 calories
- 59% carbohydrates with 52% sugar and 3% dietary fiber
- 30% fat
- 8% protein
All the types of chocolate that is to say; milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate contain;
- Vitamin E
- Calcium fats
Can I eat chocolate and still lose weight?
Now that we have looked at the composition of chocolate, can someone eat chocolate and still lose weight given the fact that chocolate contains calories, fats, sodium, and added sugars?
The short answer to this question is “yes” you can eat chocolate and still lose weight! As long as you’re conscious about how you eat the chocolate, it is very possible to stick to a particular diet plan and still treat yourself to the food you love. The question here would be “how?”, which is what we are going to elaborate in our next section.
How can I eat chocolate without gaining weight?
1. Use a calorie counter
You can still eat any kind of chocolate as long as it is in moderation. Calorie counters make it possible to stay on your meal plan and shed off pounds without calling off your favorite foods. The calorie-counter gives you the portion size of your favorite food that is required of your daily calorie goal.
2. Divide your snacks to avoid overeating
When you divide your food or chocolate into separate containers, you can easily avoid the temptation of eating more than what you should have in a day.
3. Eat chocolate on the day or times you exercise to burn off extra calories
Choosing to eat chocolate right before you exercise can be a great way to keep the excess calories in check. When you eat before exercise, you are sure that the extra sugars and calories will be burnt out.
4. Eat more dark chocolate
Choose dark chocolate since it has less added sugar. Dark chocolate has a richer flavor and it is more satisfying. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants, and flavanols. Research shows that dark chocolate could decrease anxiety, blood pressure, and help metabolism.
5. Replace chocolate with sweet alternatives
Think of other alternatives instead of chocolate, whenever you crave something sweet. This brings healthier foods to your diet. For example, fruits may be more in nutritional value compared to chocolate.
What are the types of chocolate?
There are many different types of chocolate products; however, there are three main categories, so let’s have a look at these categories below.
1. Milk chocolate
This is solid chocolate made with milk added in the form of powdered milk, liquid milk, or condensed milk.
2. Dark chocolate
Plain chocolate is another name for dark chocolate. This chocolate is produced using a higher percentage of cocoa. The fat content in this type of chocolate comes from cocoa butter instead of milk.
3. White chocolate
This variant has a pale ivory color. It contains sugar, milk, and cocoa butter but has no cocoa solids. Lacks many of the compounds found in milk and dark chocolates. White chocolate is solid at room temperature which is below the melting point of cocoa butter.
How often can I eat chocolate when I am looking to lose weight?
Having looked at how to eat chocolate and lose weight, one can eat any amount of chocolate every day as long as the total daily calorie intake is not exceeded. Regular body exercises are important to create a calorie deficit sufficient for healthy weight.
What are the health benefits of eating chocolate?
Chocolate is loaded with nutrients and soluble fiber. The nutrients include;
- Stimulants like caffeine and theobromine
2. Chocolate improves brain function
First of all, chocolate improves blood flow which directly improves brain function. Chocolate also contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine which are also good at improving brain function. Research shows that eating high-flavanol cocoa improves attention, processing speed, and memory.
3. Chocolate reduces heart disease risks
The components in dark chocolate protect the body against oxidation of LDL. This reduces the risk of heart disease. Since cholesterol is dislodged from the arteries. One study showed that eating chocolate two or more times per week lowered the risk of having calcified plaque in the arteries by 32%.
4. Raises HDL and protects LDC from oxidation
When LDL is oxidized, the LDL particles become reactive and capable of damaging body tissues like arteries in your heart, and this can lead to a heart problem. Research shows that Dark chocolate reduces insulin resistance, a common risk factor for many diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
5. Improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure
Dark chocolate contains flavanols that stimulate the lining of arteries to produce nitric oxide. It is the nitric oxide that commands the arteries to relax, lowering the resistance to blood flow hence reducing blood pressure.
6. Chocolate is rich in antioxidants
Chocolate contains antioxidants such as polyphenols, flavonols, and catechins. These help to fight free radicles in the body, which are the major causes of chronic diseases.
7. Chocolate protects your skin from the sun
Research shows that the bioactive compounds (flavanols) in chocolate improve blood flow to the skin, increase skin density, and hydration. This protects the skin from sun damage
Are their side effects of eating chocolate?
Chocolate is likely safe for people when taken by mouth. However chocolate has components among others; cocoa and caffeine, which when eaten in large amounts might cause both caffeine-related and cocoa-related side effects.
Caffeine related side effects include
- Increased urination
- Fast heartbeat
Cocoa-related side effects include;
- Allergic skin reactions
- Might trigger migraine headaches
- Digestive problems including nausea, intestinal discomfort, stomach rumbling, and gas
In a nutshell, chocolate and weight loss are all about balance. Everything in moderation can work when you are seeking to lose weight. Quality and quantity of chocolate play a big role alongside daily calorie intake and calorie expenditure.
Therefore apportioning your chocolate and picking on healthier alternatives like dark chocolate can help you eat chocolate and still lose weight.
Last but not least, the best way to lose weight is healthy eating and regular body exercise. lookout for our informative articles on weight loss diets and exercises for weight loss that will help you keep in shape and healthy
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