Ever wish you could lose weight without having to give up chocolate for good? If so, you’ll be thrilled by the shocking conclusion of a study recently published in the International Archives of Medicine. While you can’t quite indulge your fantasy of nibbling your way through Willy Wonka’s factory just yet, science is now on the side of chocoholics everywhere. Dark chocolate, thanks to its high concentration of flavonoids, is nature’s most delicious tasting diet pill.
According to lead author Johannes Bohannon, research director of the nonprofit Institute of Diet and Health, chocolate can in fact be part of a reasonable weight loss plan. In his study, weight loss efforts were compared from a control group, a low-carb group, and a low-carb group given an added 42 grams of dark chocolate each day. The low-carb group lost more weight than the control group over the course of the study, as expected. However, the low-carb plus chocolate group lost 10% more weight than participants simply following a low-carb diet without any sweets.
Even better, the benefits of chocolate consumption appear to be long lasting. The chocolate consuming group was more successful at keeping the weight off, while also reporting improved sleep patterns and lower blood cholesterol levels.
“To our surprise, the effect of chocolate is real,”says Bohannon. “It is not enough to just consume chocolate, but in combination with exercise and reduction in carbohydrates, our data indicate that chocolate can be a weight loss accelerator.”