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While a healthy and balanced diet is recommended in order to lead a healthy lifestyle, according to scientists, eating chocolate in the morning could help slimmers to lose weight.
Milk chocolate is known for its high levels of fat and sugar and tends to be one food that slimmers avoid when dieting.
However, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, US, looked at the benefits of incorporating chocolate into diets.
Putting it to the test, data was recorded from 19 postmenopausal women.
The trial lasted for two weeks and aside from the chocolate, the participants were allowed to eat any foods they wanted.
Each woman participating in the test consumed 100g of milk chocolate either within one hour of waking up, or within one hour of going to bed.
This is the equivalent of two standard-sized Mars bars, although the researchers used standard milk chocolate containing 18.1g of cocoa.
Experts compared weight gain in women who had eaten the chocolate and those who hadn’t eaten any chocolate.
The study, published in the FASEB Journal, showed that eating chocolate in the morning or the evening had no link to weight gain.
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However, researchers said that consuming chocolate can influence hunger and appetite, as well as sleep.
When wanting to shift the pounds, it is recommended to eat food high in protein to satisfy cravings as well as reduce hunger.
The good news is, eating chocolate in the morning could help with fat burn and could also reduce glucose levels in the blood, according to the research.
This was possibly due to the beneficial chemicals called flavanols found naturally in cocoa that increase fat oxidation.
Eating a small amount of chocolate before going to sleep could alter the metabolism and lead to a more regular sleep pattern.
Frank A.J.L Scheer, a neuroscientist with the vision of sleep and circadian disorders said: “Having chocolate in the morning or in the evening/night results in differential effects on hunger and appetite, substrate oxidation, fasting glucose, microbiota (composition and function), and sleep and temperature rhythms.
“Our findings highlight that not only ‘what’ but also ‘when’ we eat can impact physiological mechanisms involved in the regulation of body weight.”
Incorporating sweet treats into your diet can help satisfy the sweet tooth, although some experts recommend keeping it to a small amount.
The study was conducted by experts at the hospital, working in collaboration with investigators at the University of Murcia in Spain.
Study author Marta Garaulet at the University of Murcia said: “Our volunteers did not gain weight despite increasing caloric intake.
“Our results show that chocolate reduced ab libitum energy intake, consistent with the observed reduction in hunger, appetite and the desire for sweets shown in previous studies.”
When looking to lose weight, the NHS recommends eating fewer foods high in calories, such as chocolate.
The website states: “Making small changes to your diet is the healthiest and most achievable way to lose weight.
“Your first step is to eat fewer foods high in calories, fat, salt and sugars and swap them for something healthier, including more fruit and vegetables.
“Remember, small changes can add up to make a big overall difference to your diet.”
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