How To Lose Weight: Keep Eating Chocolate, Say Experts (We're So Happy We Could Cry)

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Prepare yourself for the best news you will hear all day: eating chocolate can help you lose weight.

*scoffs Kit Kat Chunky*

Oh yes, our dark and mysterious confectionery friend can help dieters shed pounds.

A YouGov survey, polling 2,100 dieters nationwide, reveals that 86% of dieters lost enough weight to improve their health whilst continuing to eat chocolate and other treats.

  • 1
    It Reduces Stroke Risk
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    A 2011 Swedish study found that women who ate more than 45 grams of chocolate a week had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke than women who treated themselves to fewer than 9 grams of the sweet stuff.
  • 2
    It Boosts Heart Health
    Matija Puhek/500px
    Regular chocolate eaters welcome a host of benefits for their hearts, including lower blood pressure, lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease. One of the reasons dark chocolate is especially heart-healthy is its inflammation-fighting properties, which reduce cardiovascular risk.
  • 3
    It Fills You Up
    Kohei Hara via Getty Images
    Because it's rich in fiber, dark chocolate can actually help keep you full, so you'll eat less, Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center and HuffPost blogger told The Huffington Post. Regular chocolate eaters might do themselves a favor by treating themselves to a bite instead of snacking on "11 other things first" he said. Dark chocolate does the trick much better than milk, according to a small study from the University of Copenhagen, and may even reduce cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods.
  • 4
    It May Fight Diabetes
    Julie Thompson
    A small Italian study from 2005 found that regularly eating chocolate increases insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing risk for diabetes.
  • 5
    It Protects Your Skin
    Katerina Nanopoulou via Alamy
    Forget what you've heard about chocolate causing breakouts: Dark chocolate is actually good for your skin. The type of antioxidants called flavonoids found in dark chocolate offer some protection from UV damage from the sun. And no, that does not mean you can skip the sunscreen!
  • 6
    It Can Quiet Coughs
    Andrew Harding via Jupiter Images
    Can't stop coughing? An ingredient in chocolate called theobromine seems to reduce activity of the vagus nerve, the part of the brain that triggers hard-to-shake coughs. In late 2010, the BBC reported that scientists were investigating creating a drug containing theobromine to preplace cough syrups containing codeine, which can have risky side effects.
  • 7
    It Boosts Your Mood
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    There's no denying that indulging your sweet tooth every once in a while feels great. Enjoying food is part of enjoying life, points out HuffPost Healthy Living's wellness editor, Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald. Chocolate eaters also report feeling less stressed.
  • 8
    It Improves Blood Flow
    Lisa Capretto/OWN
    Cocoa has anti-clotting, blood-thinning properties that work in a similar way to aspirin, Dr. Fitzgerald writes, which can improve blood flow and circulation.
  • 9
    It Improves Vision
    Jamie Grill via Getty Images
    Because of chocolate's ability to improve blood flow, in particular to the brain, researchers at the University of Reading hypothesized in a small 2011 study that chocolate may also increase blood flow to the retina, thereby giving vision a boost.
  • 10
    It May Make You Smarter
    Getty Images
    That boost of blood flow to the brain created by cocoa's flavanols seems to make people feel more awake and alert, and, in a small British study, perform better on counting tasks.

An astounding 91% of slimmers who lost 10% of their body weight, did so whilst still eating chocolate as part of a healthy balanced diet.

Of those who lost the most weight, 91% of those polled did so whilst still eating chocolate as part of a healthy balanced diet.

Janet Aylott, nutrition scientist and expert for Nutracheck (who commissioned the research, says “Extensive research has proven that diets centred around food elimination are much more likely to fail. The key is to take a more relaxed approach and to have a little of what you like."

Find out more about calorie counter and food diary Nutracheck.

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