Dark chocolate has been proven to be good for our overall health. A study was published by a consumer advocacy group which showed the benefits of both cocoa and high-cocoa chocolate. It showed that it can improve blood vessel health, reduce blood pressure and improve your cholesterol amongst other benefits.
Cocoa also contains a large range of antioxidants called flavanols, which link cocoa to disease prevention. From cutting cravings to controlling appetite, chocolate can even help you to blast belly fat!
This is great news for those of us with a sweet tooth. There are lots of chocolate recipes on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge too!
How can this sweet treat help keep your weight in check? We reveal the 5 ways below.
How chocolate can blast belly fat in 5 ways
Keeping chocolate consumption to a healthy moderation is the key to reaping all the health benefits chocolate actually has to give!
Rule of thumb: Stick to dark varieties that contain more than 70% cocoa, which is what we recommend in our recipes on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.
1. Curbs cravings
With most weight loss plans you end up cutting back a lot on sweets and sugary foods, but on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge a small amount of dark chocolate each day can help prevent you from reaching for something higher in sugar and lower in nutritional value (ultimately adding to belly fat).
At The Healthy Mummy we promote having sweet treats to avoid overeating and to keep cravings in check. In fact, there are literally HUNDREDS of chocolate recipes available for members to satisfy cravings.
2. Blasts fat
Cocoa also contains a large range of antioxidants called flavanols, which link cocoa to disease prevention and weight loss due to lowering blood sugar.
A study among women who were of both healthy weight and obesity who ate a balanced diet that included two servings of dark chocolate each day showed a significant reduction in waist size than when on a cocoa-free meal plan.
To really reap the benefits of dark chocolate here, having it in moderation is key as too much of anything (even broccoli) is never a good thing. Try adding cocoa into a smoothie or bliss ball to get your dose and help tone tummy fat.
3. Controls appetite
Dark chocolate, like nuts can induce satiety, leaving you satisfied and happy. Rich in iron 100 grams of cooked spinach has 3.5 mg of iron and 100 grams of dark chocolate made of 70-85% cocoa solids has more than 3 times that amount, meaning you will feel more full and satisfied with even a small amount!
The more full you are after all, the least likely you’ll be to reach for that chocolate bar in your work draw or hidden at the back of the pantry, which will slow down your fat loss results.
Really taste each bite and let the dark chocolate melt on your tongue to make your snack the best it can be.
4. Reduces stress
Did you know stress is linked to tummy fat?
A clinical trial published in the Journal of Proteome Research found that eating about an ounce and a half (40g) of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones in the bodies of people feeling highly stressed. We’re guessing this applies to most mum’s during witching hour…
Ultimately less stress equals less cortisol in the body which equals less fat storage. In other words, less stress and BYE BYE TUMMY FAT.
Eating dark chocolate also increases serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain due to its phenylethylamine and tryptophan converting to seratonine, the feel good hormone. This helps alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety and boost your mood!
5. Reduces inflammation
Cocoa contains anti-inflammatory properties. The Harvard School of Public Health states that there is a link between high cocoa or chocolate intake of 6 grams daily (1-2 small squares) and a reduced risk of heart disease and mortality, possibly in part by reducing blood pressure and inflammation (which can add to belly bloat).
Try the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge Hot Chocolate Smoothie Bowl (pictured above) for a warming breakfast. With cacao nibs sprinkled on top you can rest easy knowing you’re getting your daily anti-inflammatory!
So, enjoy chocolate in moderation on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge where nutritionists have designed meal plans as a tool to assist you to lose weight in a balanced and all inclusive manner.
With over 4,000 recipes, weekly meal plans, exercise tips and 27 support – you will be able to tighten and tone that tummy in no time.