Can Chocolate Help With Weight Loss?
This is great news for chocoholics. Based on a study, eating chocolates regularly somehow helps people to be skinnier compared to those who do not give themselves the benefit of satisfying their sweet tooth.
The results of this study do not mean that the chocolates you eat will melt away your extra pounds. There must be another explanation for the slight variance in body mass or it’s just a statistical fluke.
Dr. Beatrice Golomb from the University of California in San Diego who is the lead author of the study said that the findings help to reduce the guilt that people might feel when eating chocolates. There is no sufficient explanation as to how this actually happens and this is subject to more research in the future.
Effects of Eating Chocolates
Chocolate is a food that has varying effects on people. It is rich in antioxidants so it can help counter the damaging effects of free radicals in the body. According to some studies, eating chocolates has positive effects on health, such as reduced blood pressure levels and reduced cholesterol levels. But, some studies associate eating chocolates to weight gain as it is also high in calories and fat.
Collecting Data from Study Participants
In the study by Golomb and his colleagues, there were 1,000 people who filled up food questionnaires that included the question on their frequency of eating chocolates. The respondents had an average age of 57 years old and 68 percent of them were men.
Part of the study is finding the connection, if any, between the intake of chocolates by the participants and their body mass index or BMI. The BMI is calculated using the height and weight of a person and this value indicates if the person is overweight, obese or underweight.
The Study Results
The average BMI of the participants was 28, which means that they are overweight, not obese. These people on average ate chocolate two times per week and perform exercises three to four times per week.
According to the study, the people who most frequently ate chocolates had lower BMIs. The researchers get the same result even after statistically controlling factors like gender, age, education and consumption of fruits and vegetables.
There was a difference of 5 to 7 pounds between individuals who ate chocolates frequently and those who ate chocolates infrequently.
What is strange about the results is the fact that the frequent chocolate eaters had more calorie intake and they did not engage in exercise activities.
The respondents did not make it clear though what type of chocolate they ate. It’s likely that most of them regarded the question as referring to chocolate candies. But whether it was milk chocolate or dark chocolate, we have no clue. A clear mention would help explain the results as milk chocolate has more fat than dark chocolate.
What You Eat Matters
Golomb makes a clear statement though that their study findings do not mean to tell people to lose pounds by eating chocolates. It’s not telling people to eat 20 pounds of chocolate everyday to lose weight. But it does suggest that what you eat has a big impact on the metabolic processes of the body as well as BMI.
Why Did Those Who Ate More Chocolates Become Thinner Than the Others?
A Tel Aviv University professor, Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz, commented that many research studies show that people who deprive themselves of eating sweets tend to eat more of these food stuff. Based on her own research, individuals can better follow a diet when they were given the allowance to eat chocolates.
Golomb said that a future research on this subject should include 2 groups, one eating chocolates and the other not. But it may be difficult to find participants who would be willing not to eat chocolates.
Photo credits: Dominic Lockyer via Flickr, CC by 2.0