Can You Eat Chocolate On A Diet Or Is This Nutritional Fantasy?
You might think eating chocolate on a diet is a nutritional no-no. Think of the calories, the fat, the sugar, the deliciousness, surely weight loss and this amount of food pleasure can't go hand-in-hand?
If this is your initial thought, I don't blame you. In fact, you're not alone. Most people are stuck in this restrictive mindset, having experienced fad diets and multiple failed attempts to lose weight. But there is another way. A method of fat loss that puts all food back on the table, including your favourite chocolate treats. And in this article, you'll discover how it's possible.
Read on and discover the principles of fat loss that give you food freedom and put the control of your diet back in your hands. You'll learn why eating chocolate on a diet might be good for you (yes, I'm encouraging you to eat more chocolate). And you'll get important insight on how to balance your nutrition so you can live a leaner, healthier life for good.
If that sounds good, scroll down and let's get started.
And if you'd prefer to listen to the audio version of "Can You Eat Chocolate On A Diet?", click the play button below.
The Principles Of Weight Loss
Weight loss begins with energy balance; the relationship between how many calories you consume and burn. Undoubtedly, you will hear many theories to the contrary. Some will extol the benefits of low-carb dieting, claiming that fat loss is driven by carbohydrate reduction, not calories. And you'd be forgiven for buying into these ideas. The arguments sound convincing and there's often research provided as evidence, as well as best-selling books and endless success stories. But the unbiased reality is that these diets (or any diet for that matter) work because of their influence on energy balance.
Think about what removing carbohydrates would do to the average person's diet. Less cake, cookies, pizza, bread, pasta, potatoes, chocolate, and many other common foods. These foods aren't inherently bad, but they are typically calorie-dense and easy to overeat because of their palatability (ie, they taste fucking amazing!). Reduce consumption of these foods and more often than not, you reduce calories. And, hey presto! Weight loss occurs.
No magic. No mystical low-carb sorcery. And certainly no insulin suppressive high jinx. Just good ol' energy balance at work. So why is this important for understanding if you can enjoy a few squares of chocolate on a diet?
Once you understand weight loss is a function of calorie management, you realise that food restriction is not necessary. You don't have to categorise foods as good and bad, and food choices no longer become moral decisions. So as long as you are managing calories, you can eat chocolate on a diet and still lose weight. A liberating epiphany if you've been living a life of restriction.
Why Eating Chocolate On A Diet Is Good For You
Eating chocolate on a diet might be good for you. It seems perverse and counter-intuitive, but it's true. And believe it or not, I encourage some of my coaching clients to increase the amount of chocolate they eat. This isn't because chocolate is a superfood and will increase the rate of fat loss. If only! The reason relates to dietary adherence.
Research into successful dieting approaches shows that restrictive diets are less likely to be successful than ones with greater flexibility. In the majority of cases this is a function of dietary adherence. In other words, you can only stick to a diet that eliminates the foods you love for so long.
The world we live in is full of temptation. TV adverts and supermarket layouts are designed to tease and tempt us into buying more food. These extrinsic cues heighten the urge to indulge and if you're following a restrictive diet it's only a matter of time before you crack.
Restrict - Binge - Restrict - Binge - Repeat. A familiar pattern many people experience on an all-too-frequent basis.
So turning this approach on its head could help you make a breakthrough with your diet. Eating more chocolate on a diet (if that's the food you crave the most) can remove the power of cravings. Smaller, more frequent consumption breaks the binge-restrict cycle, and removes the labels of good and bad. In certain situations, eating chocolate on a diet is a necessity, not something to be feared (as long as you're managing calories, obviously).
You Can Eat Chocolate On A Diet, But Not Exclusively
At this point it's important not to get carried away. Yes, eating chocolate on a diet can be a good thing, but don't forget the need to focus on other aspects of your nutrition. After all, you can't live on chocolate (as much as you'd like to). Consideration needs to be given to health, nutrients, and other goals you may have (building muscle, for example).
If fat loss is your primary goal, there is a hierarchy of importance. The image below is taken from The Lean Life Uni, which is the platform I use educate my coaching clients in evidence-based nutrition. The nutrition pyramid for fat loss shows what's most and least important for you to consider.
Energy balance and adherence appear at the base of the pyramid, indicating they are the most important aspects of nutrition for fat loss. But that doesn't mean you neglect everything else. For example, what you eat (ie macro and micronutrient intake) plays an important role in health and achieving your goals.
Protein intake supports muscle gain and controlling hunger. And nutrient-dense, low calorie food choices help optimise health as well as increase satiety (feelings of fullness). All of which are important in a calorie deficit. Therefore, don't finish reading this article and think it's ok to eat 2,000 calories of chocolate per day as long as you're in a deficit. This is too simplistic and ignores the need to think about your diet and health as a whole.
Can You Eat Chocolate On A Diet? The Final 'Chocolatey' Word
You can eat chocolate on a diet and still lose weight. For some people it might even be necessary!
No food is inherently good or bad. Health is not about a single food choice, nor is it only about nutrition. Health extends to your mental well-being, environment, and other aspects of life. So resist reducing your health into a simplistic view of whether this food is better than that food.
If you want to lose weight, managing your calorie consumption is your primary focus. And doing so in a way that promotes long-term adherence is crucial. This might mean incorporating chocolate in your diet on a regular basis. And that's ok.
Ultimately, restrictive diets don't work. Eventually, your cravings and urges will get the better of you. So it's important to be flexible and inclusive with your food choices. Certainly don't make chocolate the basis of your diet, but don't fear it either.
Here's The Next Step In Achieving Your Fitness Goals
Now you're clear that eating chocolate on a diet is perfectly fine, what about the other pieces of the puzzle? Are you confident in managing all aspects of your training and nutrition? And can you keep yourself accountable to ensure you maintain consistency? If you're unsure, I might have something for you.
Through my online coaching programme, The Lean Life Method, I can help you lose fat, build muscle, and achieve the body you've been striving for. Ultimately, taking the guesswork out of training and nutrition, so you can live a leaner, healthier life for good. With The Lean Life Method, you’ll learn a simple, stress-free way to achieve your fitness goals. And you'll feel more confident than ever before. And there's no need to torture yourself in the gym, avoid wine and pizza, or kill your social life in the process.
I'm guessing you've spent thousands on pills, powders, and programmes that delivered nothing. So you might be wondering what's different about me? The simple truth is this... I get results. And I'll teach you everything you need to know, so you can maintain those results. So answer me this.
- How much precious time are you spending trying to figure out what's right, instead of making progress?
- Are you sick and tired of never seeing the results your hard effort deserves?
- How much stress and frustration is your lack of progress adding to your life?
A lack of clarity might be holding you back from living the leaner, healthier life you deserve.
Schedule A Consultation Call
Click here find out more about the results, people just like you, are getting with The Lean Life Method. And if you feel like my personal 1:1 coaching could be just what you're looking for, schedule a free consultation call. So, if you're even the slightest bit interested, click here for more information.
But for now, all I’ll say is, thanks so much for reading, keep living the Lean Life. And I’ll see you soon.
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