Would you believe me if I said that eating dark chocolate can help you unlock your fat-burning potential and also keep you from regaining fat once it is gone? If you’re skeptical, you shouldn’t be! Real, quality dark chocolate does help with both of these fat facts. So, what makes dark chocolate so special? Why is it better for you than milk chocolate or white chocolate? Let’s take a look at this dreamy, creamy decadent food a little closer to see how it effects your hunger, mood, energy levels, and body fat.
You Asked Dr. Kealy:
Question: I am a self-admitted chocolate addict. I’m 55 and have struggled to completely remove it from my diet, especially during times of stress. Is it possible for me to incorporate any chocolate into my healthy B3H+® fat-loss diet? If so, how much would you suggest for a menopausal woman who loves her daily dose?
— Anonymous, 55, NYC.
Dr. Kealy Answered:
Dr. Kealy: Yes, you can eat both chocolate and cocoa when eating the Balance 3H Plus® way! That’s right, I said YES to chocolate— because real chocolate is a fat-burning food. Keep in mind this may not be the type of chocolate you have grown to love and desire. The type of chocolate I’m suggesting is 100% dark chocolate or cocoa powder. Both of which are unsweetened and loaded with phytonutrients, which can aid in your fat-loss efforts (3). The main benefit of 100% cocoa (which is the main ingredient in dark chocolate) is its ability to influence the pleasure centers of the brain (1). It contains a high amount of the phytonutrient (i.e. compound found in plants) phenylethylamine, which helps with cravings, hunger, energy and motivation (1, 2). This effect cannot be over emphasized.
The most well-intentioned goals can fail due to the neglect of the motivational aspect. For example, one client found it much easier to stick to the B3H+® dietary changes during the day/night, as long as she was still able to enjoy a single square of her 100% dark chocolate.
The Science Behind Cocoa & Weight Loss
The compounds in cocoa are an amazing asset to all women trying to lose weight, feel great and change their shape. It can greatly enhance their metabolism despite their age. Beware though, not all chocolate bars are created equal. If they are not listed as 100% dark chocolate, you will be getting extra sugar, which will raise insulin levels, and may stall fat burning. I prefer you avoid all commercial chocolate bars and always buy 90% dark chocolate or higher. Eat only unsweetened organic cocoa and dark chocolate (no white or milk) and limit to .5oz-1oz (about 2 small squares) per day. Remember the emphasis is on small, not a whole bar or scoop of dark chocolate ice cream. If you have a lot of weight to lose, tend to over eat sweets or have a hard time losing weight, you will want to limit the extra carbs and sugar and stick with the cocoa drink recipes below for best results.
Below I have shared a sample recipe using cocoa as a drink to aid in health and control fat gain. Drink with pleasure and without guilt!
Dr. Kealy’s Hot Cocoa
Sometimes we need a warm, soothing cup of hot cocoa, especially when it is cold outside. Satisfy your cravings with this easy, fast cocoa drink.
- 2 tablespoons raw organic cocoa powder
- Almond or Coconut milk (unsweetened), to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons of xylitol or stevia
Directions: Add cocoa powder to large mug with 8-10oz. of boiling water. Add plant-based milk substitute to taste, if desired. Add xylitol or stevia to taste, for sweetening. Also, try placing this drink in the refrigerator to enjoy cold later.
- Crews WD., Jr. Harrison DW. Wright JW. “A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of the effects of dark chocolate and cocoa on variables associated with neuropsychological functioning and cardiovascular health: clinical findings from a sample of healthy, cognitively intact older adults”. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008; 87:872–880.
- Katz, David L et al. “Cocoa and chocolate in human health and disease” Antioxidants & redox signalingvol. 15,10 2011:2779-811.
- Magrone, Thea et al. “Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Polyphenols: From Biology to Clinical Applications” Frontiers in immunologyvol. 8 677. 9 2017, doi:10.3389/fimmu.2017.00677.
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