Does dark chocolate help you lose weight?
Nov 19 , 2021
Lose some and win all……Dark secrets revealed.
“Madamji, you should purchase some Broccoli!!....its cheap, fresh and helps weight loss!’ chirped my Sabziwala, as I snatched back my change from his hands after that unsolicited suggestion for weight loss. Much to his pleasure, he found an audience of enthusiastic women who scurried their way through the crowd, to lay their hands on the magic broccoli that was somehow going to help them lose weight.
I left with my bags of sabzi that day, trying not to get in the way of the wave of people rushing for their share of the magic purchase, as per his expert advice. Looks like they were going to have only broccoli for the rest of their lives!!! If he had just said that Broccoli was cheap and fresh, I wouldn’t have been that irked, but its association with weight loss was what left me fuming. After 20 years of intensive counseling, I still wonder why these careless confessions from people leave me so upset.
As my heart rate settled and good sense prevailed, I realized that he was just giving people a dose of gyan, the source of which was undoubtedly suspicious. My expert sabziwala had probably read some newspaper or seen some video that tutored him on his expert dietary conclusion. Well, he is one of many who fall prey to the deluge of gossip that is circulated in the media these days, most often stemming from grapevines.
We all desperately want to believe that there is a miracle diet plan or a secret workout routine or worse a magic pill that will help us lose weight and get the body shape we desire…this sadly cannot be further from the truth. Yes!! I proclaim this cathartically!!! For centuries, man has been trying to understand the working of the human body. What was studied and established in scientific journals half a decade ago, is in most cases obscure and replaced by something else now. The past decade has seen a deluge of miracle teas, meal replacement drinks, powders, bars, weight loss gadgets, pills and what not. How does one come to an informed choice with all this jargon? One such topic very dear to my heart is the claimed relationship between weight loss and dark chocolate.
It is my sincere attempt to help you find and understand the truth in this haystack. I have always been a big fan of chocolate ever since I could say the word ‘chocolate’.
The journal of Nutritional science, December 2016, published an article study that dark chocolate contains chemicals called Flavinoids (plant chemicals), that MAY play a role in weight loss, heart health and cancer prevention. Another study linked a lower food intake in menopausal women after consuming dark chocolate.
Before, you get up and make an Olympic dash for the fridge to gorge on that chocolate bar let us brace ourselves for what is really going on here. Studies that connect weight loss to dark chocolate are on-going and the ones mentioned above are very rare.
We all know for a fact that chocolate consumption is highly addictive, (multiple reasons). Thus, too much of it can sometimes be detrimental. Dark chocolate in itself is extremely bitter to taste. An excessive amount of sugar and fats are used to make it palatable. Sugar = empty calories that land up in the fixed deposits of your body (fat cells).
Ambivalently, chocolate has multiple health benefits that I would like to shed a floodlight on. Chocolate boosts mood, contains multiple antioxidants, improves insulin sensitivity, reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes, and helps produce chemical substances that reduce anxiety and stress.
Back to the drawing board…..its role in weight loss?
Well, the final say is that it COULD be a part of the weight loss saga, but not the entire story itself. Weight loss is a complex process and there could be multiple reasons, for a person’s inability to shed weight despite a dedicated, focused attempt to do so. The reason for most people to desperately try and connect the dots between consumption of dark chocolate and weight loss is a “quick fix” solution. Sadly, things don’t work that way.
As discussed earlier, chocolate has numerous health benefits, but proclaiming that it aids weight loss is not true. Like many weight loss claims in the market, this one too has been carefully planned and promoted.
Organic dark chocolate, or chocolate prepared using a medically approved sweetener with minimum amount of fat is a healthy option for weight watchers.
Food fads and flash miracle foods will appear and fizzle off eventually but the health benefits of eating right, exercising correctly and choosing healthier lifestyle options will eventually take you across that weight barrier.
Don’t be gullible and give in to these fads. It’s a waste of precious time and money and after all its your health on the line! Enjoy the multiple benefits of dark chocolate, but tread with caution if you expect it to take you across the line.