Chocolate & Weight Loss
I hear a lot of unbalanced views (by people selling chocolate) about how eating a bunch of their product will help people lose weight. This doesn't seem like a very honest assessment, so let's take a closer look at how it might really help.
First, let's assume we're talking about healthy dark chocolate. No milk. No artificial flavors or sweeteners. Just cacao (ideally cold-pressed, or the entire chocolate is raw), vanilla, an unrefined sweetener, and usually some lecithin. (Usually soy lecithin. Some like ChocoNat use sunflower lecithin. Some like Gnosis Chocolate do not use lecithin.)
Without going into all the evils of refined sugar, let's state the obvious: the less the better. A really healthy dark chocolate will use an unrefined sugar, or even a natural substitute like stevia, sugar alcohols, or forms like coconut palm sugar (loaded with nutrients). Not only will healthier sugars minimize inflammation and other problems in the body (which are all tied to weight problems), but these with lower glycemic loads will not mess with the blood sugar in the same way, which is also critical for those struggling with weight problems.
For this very fact, one of the reasons dark chocolate can be such a great tool in helping you to lose weight is that it can satisfy a craving for something sweet, replacing other junky options while providing your body with honest nutrients (which themselves can promote weight loss in all their own ways). Of course this only works if you are eating your healthy dark chocolate in moderation and are using it to replace unhealthy options (rather than just adding to them).
By moderation, I mean 10 to 20 grams a day. Maybe up to one ounce. This is more than enough to provide a powerful ORAC punch and offer the benefit of other nutrients.
Among these nutrients, by the way, is healthy fat. You actually NEED to consume healthy forms of fat to lose weight in a healthy way. So don't let chocolate's fat scare you off, as long as you remember moderation. Other reasons cacao helps with weight loss:
So as a weight loss supplement, cacao in its natural form helps you to lose weight in a number of ways, and as a treat it can help prevent you from choosing unhealthy desserts.
You can also get the weight loss benefits of cacao without the sugar (or the fat) or other ingredients, and combined with other ingredients specifically geared toward weight loss in a product called CaPow! This blends Jet Black Cacao (a strong form of naturally occurring cacao) with extracts of wild mango (impacting leptin and healthy weight loss) along with chromium (stabilizes blood sugar), PEA (lifts the mood), and about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee (not only for energy, but also to help with nutrient absorption).
As you can see, its shared first as an energy supplement, and I love it for this because it simply wakes me up without any jitters. It's been terrific on some long car rides. But the other ingredients do combine with cacao to support healthy weight loss. As with all weight loss supplements, I believe it needs to be used alongside healthy food and lifestyle choices.
Now to be clear about my bias: this is my company's product. But it's simply something I thought I should share on this topic.
As a tablet, this product obviously does not give you the taste pleasure of chocolate, so it's no substitute for a dessert. In this way, it is NOT better than chocolate for losing weight. But it does put the power of cacao in your hands and -- compared directly to a piece of chocolate -- probably has much better qualities for energy, mood, and weight loss.
One more product I highly recommend is Tru Chocolate (not my product, but I love it enough that we sell it in our store). This is an organic, fair trade, and SUGAR FREE chocolate (sweetened with xylitol) that I think tastes great. It is also formulated in a special way so that the taste LASTS on your tongue for 10-15 minutes and sweetens water when you drink it, encouraging you to drink more water than you might otherwise. (Or at least enjoy it more!) As an actual chocolate, this might be the best possible product for supporting weight loss because of its ability to effectively give you more dessert than you're actually eating (when you drink the water).