To reduce the waistline? Eat chocolate, but in the morning. Although the advice may seem bizarre, in fact this is what emerges from a very recent scientific research published in the FASEB Journal by a Spanish team (Hernández-González et al, FASEB Journal, 2021).
Does eating chocolate help keep body weight under control? The experiment
Chocolate, including milk chocolate, has always been linked to the idea of weight gain. But is it really so? To answer this question, the researchers recruited 20 postmenopausal women who were overweight or normal weight. The women were divided into three groups. The first group was asked to eat 100 grams of chocolate in the morning, the second 100 grams of chocolate in the evening, and the third was used as a control. During the day all groups could follow their usual diet without restrictions. The experiment lasted two weeks and at the end any changes in body weight, waist size and general health indicators such as blood sugar, sleep quality and the ability to perform physical activity were evaluated.
Eating chocolate in the morning or in the evening, benefits
What emerged was that in the two groups that had consumed chocolate, in the morning and in the evening, the body weight did not increase. This was also surprising for the researchers because they expected an increase of at least one kg in body weight given the added calories caused by the consumption of chocolate. Investigating the reasons, the scientists observed that the weight gain did not occur because the intake of chocolate had reduced the desire for sweet foods and other voluptuous foods that were previously part of the diet. In general, women who consumed chocolate spontaneously reduced their calorie intake by 16%. This has also been observed following the consumption of milk chocolate that is considered less effective than dark chocolate for controlling appetite. Not only that, circulating antioxidants were also increased in the groups that consumed the chocolate. The chocolate, eaten both in the morning and in the evening, has also led to changes in the intestinal microbiota, that is, the set of bacteria that live in the intestine, promoting the development of so-called good bacteria. And a healthy microbiota is the basis of a healthy and active organism, it helps to counteract depression, cellular degeneration and cardiovascular problems as well as strengthen the immune system.
Chocolate in the morning reduces the waistline
Additional benefits were observed when chocolate was consumed in the morning, within one hour of waking up. What emerged was that eating chocolate in the morning led to a reduction in levels of cortisol, which is the hormone linked to stress, and in fasting blood sugar, which is believed to be attributable to the capacity of chocolate to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates. Finally, the consumption of chocolate in the morning led, in the study participants, to a reduction in the waistline and to burn more fat.
Chocolate in the evening improves sleep
As regards the consumption of chocolate in the evening, an improvement in the quality of sleep has been observed, with a more regular sleep-wake cycle. Not only that, the chocolate in the evening was also helpful in case of intense physical exercise the following day by increasing the body's resistance.
Therefore, in order to reduce visceral fat, it is not necessary to make frightening sacrifices but, as this study shows, it is also possible to indulge in tasty foods, such as chocolate. In the study in question, the action of milk chocolate was evaluated as the most representative food of a voluptuous diet. In any case, for a more effective action, you can always prefer dark chocolate, which provides a greater amount of polyphenols and acts more on the metabolism.