If you love dark chocolate, you’re going to love what I’m about to say.
Chocolate is healthy and can help you lose weight, when you do it right.
But, before you go out and eat a Kit-Kat bar, listen up.
When I say “chocolate”, I’m talking about chocolate in its purest and least refined state.
Unfortunately, a Kit Kat bar does not fit these requirements.
By the way, are you surprised like I am, that Kit Kat’s are the world’s best selling chocolate bar?
Fun fact: my favorite chocolate bar growing up was the Skor bar.
But, the Skor bar also does not fit the healthy chocolate weight loss requirements.
When I’m referring to chocolate as being healthy, I’m referring to dark chocolate.
In fact, a lot of people’s daily diets are void of many of the nutrients found inside dark chocolate.
It’s also a decent source of fiber as it contains 3 grams in just a one ounce serving.
However, most of the health benefits from dark chocolate mainly come from the nutrients packed inside the cocoa bean.
This is the part that is full of flavanols.
This is very important, especially for active individuals who workout.
Due to the oxidative stress placed on the body, even working out can cause the formation of free radicals in the body.
These free radicals can attack the cells of the body, creating cellular damage that can lead to increased inflammation and premature aging.
One way to fight free radicals, and improve overall health, is through eating foods high in antioxidants, especially polyphenols and flavanols.
Did you know dark chocolate contains more polyphenols and flavanols than antioxidant rich berries such as açaí berries and blueberries?
When it comes to training, dark chocolate can also help improve your performance in the gym and speed up recovery.
Due to the high levels of antioxidants, dark chocolate can help expand the arteries, thus improving blood flow.
This not only helps improve performance, but it may also reduce muscle soreness, thus increasing recovery after a tough workout.
Sounds to good to be true right?
Well by consuming dark chocolate in moderation, along with a proper balanced diet and exercise, your body can become more efficient at burning fat for energy rather than storing it.
The high levels of flavanols and polyphenols found in the cocoa bean, may actually help the enzymatic activity in your stomach breakdown fat and carbohydrates rather than storing it.
The cocoa may also help improve insulin sensitivity, thus reducing the risk of storing sugar as body fat, lowering the risk of diabetes, and improving your metabolism.
Plus it can keep you feeling satieted, meaning you’ll be more likely to eat less calories throughout the day.
Even if the dark chocolate bar is organic, you still need to read the ingredients list.
Even organic food can contain unhealthy ingredients.
In order to get these health and weight loss benefits from dark chocolate, it should:
Just like with any packaged food, don’t just look at the big labels on the front of the package, read the ingredients list.
Just because it contains healthy minerals and antioxidants, it doesn’t mean you should eat the whole dark chocolate bar in one serving.
It’s not like a milk chocolate bar.
Dark chocolate is high in calories, so consumption should be moderated based on your weight loss calorie needs.
If weight loss is your goal, 1/2 to 1 ounce of dark chocolate, or 2-3 squares, a day is fine.
It’s very rich, so eat a few squares, savor it, and store the rest for tomorrow’s tasty snack.
Depending on the size, a dark chocolate bar should last for 6-10 servings.
Not only will this help satisfy your cravings, dark chocolate may also enhance your mood due to increasing the happy neurotransmitter, serotonin.
So if weight loss is your goal, add in a daily serving of dark chocolate so you don’t feel deprived, get to the gym, and create that healthy calorie deficit.
And if you don’t like the taste of it, add it to your baking.
In my our Team Live Lean group coaching site, we have multiple cooking video recipes that use dark chocolate to make donuts, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate covered raisins, and even chocolate brittle.
That recipe is actually included in this week’s Team Live Lean meal plan that all our members get.
In fact, we just re-launched the 2.0 version of our new Team Live Lean mobile optimized platform.
Simply follow the workout of the day, follow the meal plan of the day and you are set.
If you haven’t joined the team yet, now is the time!
Thanks for watching and keep Living Lean.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.