Eating chocolate and losing weight just aren't compatible — or are they? While a chocolate diet might sound too good to be true to most seasoned dieters, it absolutely is possible to lose weight while still enjoying chocolate as part of a balanced diet, particularly if you use a calorie counter to keep track of your intake. Remembering to always enjoy chocolate in moderation, and choosing the right kind of chocolate, can help you lose weight without feeling deprived. When you consider the added benefits chocolate can have on your mood, a diet that allows you to eat chocolate might just be the perfect fit!
Give yourself a daily allowance of chocolate and stick to it — having clear boundaries can help with weight loss. Most individuals need to stay within a certain calorie balance to lose weight, so make sure to allow some of those calories for chocolate. Using a calorie tracker is perfect for this!
Choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate. Not only is milk chocolate higher in calories than dark chocolate, but an article published in Science Daily noted that dark chocolate is also more filling than milk chocolate, so you can eat less while still being satisfied. In a study at the Department of Human Nutrition at LIFE, University of Copenhagen, scientists discovered that dark chocolate made people eat 15 percent less of the pizza they were later offered. It's these appetite-suppressing properties that make dark chocolate ideal for dieters.
Another study from the Netherlands showed women who smelled or ate dark chocolate had decreased appetites, thanks to decreased ghrelin levels (the hormone which stimulates the appetite). And if that wasn't enough, recent evidence shows chocolate is actually good for your heart health thanks to the flavanols found in cocoa. Hurrah!
Supplement your diet with healthy foods so that you have the calories to spare for chocolate. Go for fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Enjoying a healthy variety of foods besides chocolate can keep your calorie count low and your nutrient count high.
Swap out your usual morning coffee for a cup of low-fat hot cocoa. It won't make you feel jittery like coffee will, and you'll be able to get a quick chocolate fix first thing in the morning. Other diet gurus from ExtremeChocolate.com suggest sprinkling a spoonful of pure cocoa powder into water in order to reap the benefits of cocoa for antioxidants and appetite suppressants.
Remember that a chocolate diet has only as much power as you allow it to have. Enjoying chocolate in moderation while you cut calories elsewhere will work for you — simply remember that chocolate is a treat and as with all treats and desserts, don't overindulge!