NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Eating chocolate to lose weight sounds like a dream come true for anyone trying to lose a few pounds.
But a diet calling for daily consumption of chocolate does actually exist and CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu got the skinny on how its possible to indulge your sweet tooth and still lose weight.
It’s not hard to find people who love the idea.
“Oh I think that’s great,” a man said.
“Sounds like a great idea, sign me up,” a woman said.
Neuroscientist Dr. Will Clower said eating chocolate everyday can help you eat less.
“The amount that they’re hungry for at the plate will drop by a half to a third, and the amount that they’re hungry for — the number of between meal snacks that they have — will drop by about half,” Clower said.
But just like many other diets, there are rules, Hsu reported.
The darker the chocolate the better. Those looking to lose weight want to look for at least 70 percent cocoa content or higher. In some stores you may even be able to find 100 percent cocoa.
According to Clower, when you indulge is also important. He suggests nibbling on a treat 20 minutes before and 5 minutes after both lunch and dinner.
Gastroenterologist Dr. Christine Frissora warned that any fad diet can be dangerous if you go overboard, but said that several studies have shown chocolate can be good for your health and help your waistline.
“A small piece of chocolate can control your appetite and may even help regulate metabolism,” Frissora said.
Frissora said it’s fine to work chocolate into your daily diet, but no more than 60 calories of the sweet stuff per day.
She said the chocolate should be no larger than the end of your thumb joint.
“We’re talking about less than a square inch; less than a quarter size piece of chocolate, four times a day, is enough. That’s all we’re talking about,” she said.
Frissora also suggested it’s best not to chew your chocolate, but rather savor it and allow it to melt in your mouth.
She said an even better alternative is to buy dark chocolate calcium supplements available at most drug stores. Frissora said to look for ones that contain vitamin D3.
“Vitamin D3 is the one people want to be taking for their bones, and calcium, you need for bones and for metabolism. Calcium also regulates body fat,” Frissora said.
Twins Adam and Daniel Kaplan told Hsu they still prefer the real deal.
“It’s satisfying to the stomach,” Daniel said.
“It’s delicious,” Adam added.
“Helps me concentrate,” Daniel said.
“The only better news is if you could tell me ice cream is healthy!” Daniel Kaplan added.
Frissora said chocolate can also lower your cholesterol and decrease your risk of stroke and heart attack – but with the sugar content, diabetics should speak with their doctor first.
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