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MBA,MD,PhD
Chocolate for weight loss?
Section:  Nutrition

A study out of San Diego found that people who consume more chocolate are more likely to lose weight. Does this mirror your experience?

Do you think chocolate consumption leads to weight loss?
Poll Results:
Yes, the research proves it
50% 50% (1 votes)
No, this is nonsense
50% 50% (1 votes)
MEMBER COMMENTS
Re: Chocolate for weight loss?

I don't know the science...do you have a copy of the article... Now I can stop feeling so dam guilty!!!!

Re: Chocolate for weight loss?

You ask if in our experience, people who eat more chocolate lose more weight. My answer:  no!

However, people who eat small amounts of chocolate mindfully often can enjoy the chocolate AND lost weight. It all depends on how much they're eating overall, plus how they're approaching eating chocolate. If they look at chocolate as 'bad', then they often overeat due to guilt, and that doesn't help them reach their weight goals. If they include a small amount of chocolate periodically in their oerall healthy food choices, and eat the chocolate without guilt, then they typically do just fine.

I really detest media headlines like this. I've had lots of people tell me that they can now eat all the chocolate they want and lose weight. Or lately I've had people tell me they've started drinking more alcohol because of the research showing people who regularly drink alcohol have less heart disease.

I like to ask: do you also eat more whole grains, fresh fruit, and dark green leafie veggies?

Re: Re: Chocolate for weight loss?
Quote:

You ask if in our experience, people who eat more chocolate lose more weight. My answer:  no!

However, people who eat small amounts of chocolate mindfully often can enjoy the chocolate AND lost weight. It all depends on how much they're eating overall, plus how they're approaching eating chocolate. If they look at chocolate as 'bad', then they often overeat due to guilt, and that doesn't help them reach their weight goals. If they include a small amount of chocolate periodically in their oerall healthy food choices, and eat the chocolate without guilt, then they typically do just fine.

I really detest media headlines like this. I've had lots of people tell me that they can now eat all the chocolate they want and lose weight. Or lately I've had people tell me they've started drinking more alcohol because of the research showing people who regularly drink alcohol have less heart disease.

I like to ask: do you also eat more whole grains, fresh fruit, and dark green leafie veggies?


I agree.  The media is always trying to grab attention.  This one really does!  I think ALL foods can be included in a healthy meal pattern.  Unfortunately, most of the people I deal with who struggle with obesity and overeating cannot stop at a 'moderate amount' of something that they love like chocolate.  To them, its literally feast or famine.  I tell people if they can eat a small amount of chocolate (or whatever it is) and not binge then by all means do it but if they cannot then just leave it off.  

I love chocolate.  I include Quaker Chewy Granola bars in my daily regimen for my 'chocolate fix'.  Each one is 90-100 calories and doesn't 'break the bank' if you know what I mean.  I get satisfied.  Sometimes I have a craving for chocolate after I eat lunch so I will keep 60 calorie Tootsie Pops in my desk.  Those take a while to eat and taste really good!  They rid me of the chocolate craving for minimal calories.  It works for me.  I also take them on car trips because they take so long to eat and keep me occupied (rather than reaching into a bag of chips every few minutes).  I have found that if I allow myself to have that little bit of chocolate after lunch it keeps me from eating an entire bag of M&M's (about 220+ calories).  And I feel just as satisfied.    

I can usually control my cravings.  But today will be a bigger challenge because someone (a bad person-haha) brought a 'chocolate lover's cheesecake' to share with co-workers and it is calling my name as we speak.  (Help!)

Re: Chocolate for weight loss?

Love the subject, as also love chocolate!  Agree with Lynn and Micki 100% on the weight gain/weight loss analysis. 


Thought I'd add some of the health benefits of eating chocolate regularly, according to an article in the Huffington Post titled 10 Health Benefits Of Chocolate.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/chocolate-health benefits_n_1383372.html#s818288&title=Chocolate_Boosts_Heart


10 benefits of chocolate, per this Post article, are:

1) Lowers risk of stroke.  A 2011 Swedish study found that women who ate more than 45 grams of chocolate a week had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke than women who treated themselves to fewer than 9 grams of the sweet stuff.

 

2)  Boosts heart health. This is due to chocolate shown to: lower BP, lower LDL cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease, due to its inflammation-fighting properties (especially dark chocolate) which reduce cardiovascular risk.


3) The benefit that started this blog:  Helps you eat less.  Because it's rich in fiber, dark chocolate can actually help keep you full, so you'll eat less, Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center and HuffPost blogger. 


4) Reduces risk of diabetes. A small Italian study from 2005 found that regularly eating chocolate increases insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing risk for diabetes


5) Can protect skin. Dark chocolate is actually good for your skin. The type of antioxidants called flavonoids found in dark chocolate offer some protection from UV damage from the sun. 


6)  Can quiet coughs. An ingredient in chocolate called theobromine seems to reduce activity of the vagus nerve, the part of the brain that triggers hard-to-shake coughs. In late 2010, the BBC reported that scientists were investigating creating a drug containing theobromine to preplace cough syrups containing codeine, which can have risky side effects. 


7)  Can boost mood. Indulging every once in a while feels great. So chocolate eaters report feeling less stressed


8)  Improves blood flow. Cocoa has anti-clotting, blood-thinning properties that work in a similar way to aspirin, which can improve blood flow and circulation. 


9) Improves vision.  Because of chocolate's ability to improve blood flow, in particular to the brain, researchers at the University of Reading hypothesized in a small 2011 study that chocolate may also increase blood flow to the retina, thereby giving vision a boost.


10)  It makes you smarter.  That boost of blood flow to the brain created by cocoa's flavanols seems to make people feel more awake and alert, and, in a small British study, perform better on counting tasks.

 

Mary Ann Hodorowicz, RD, CDE, MBA, Certified Endocrinology Coder
PresentDiabetes Author of MNT and DSMT Reimbursement Audio Lectures

Eat Well, Laugh Often, Love Much


Re: Chocolate for weight loss?

I like chocolate, but it seems to me that eating more fruit and vegetables provide all the same benefits listed here as eating dark chocolate....maybe strawberries dipped in dark chocolate to get the best of both?

Re: Chocolate for weight loss?

I love this topic!!! I think it depends on whether or not chocolate is a trigger food for an individual. If the first morsel of chocolate causes someone to just keep on eating more and more without stopping until it is all gone...no weight will be lost.

 

On the other hand, if chocolate is a quality of life issue for someone...and it is not a trigger food, it can be incorporated into the diet in several ways, e.g. hot chocolate with skim milk...or just limiting portion size. Then the individual will not feel deprived , and may help people stick to their goals of exercise and dietary goals for weight loss. A small piece of chocolate at the end of the day as a reward for sticking to a weight loss and exercise regimen is a good thing. 

 

What do you think?