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Chocolate Diet

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your doctor or dietician suggested that you immediately go on a chocolate diet to lose weight? Does it sound to you like the stuff dreams are made of? Well, chocolate diet is in fact a reality. Various diet book authors will have you believe that a chocolate diet may help you achieve weight loss provided you consume moderate portions of your favorite indulgence. However, do not stock up on bars of chocolates, boxes of cookies sprinkled with chocolate, or chocolate filling pie just yet.
A chocolate diet aims to achieve weight loss, so it is a restrictive diet. As a precautionary measure, consult your doctor or dietician before you embark on any kind of diet. If you suffer from existing medical conditions or have a history of medical conditions, indiscriminate dieting may cause more harm than good. Crash dieting or fad dieting provides temporary solutions to weight loss. For a healthy weight loss plan, it is important to consume a well-balanced diet and indulge in regular exercise.

Chocolate diet pros and cons.  While a chocolate diet may seem intriguing, here is a quick look at the pros and cons of chocolate consumption.

Pros: When we speak of chocolate diet as a health measure, we are talking about dark chocolate. Dark chocolate refers to chocolate that contains 70 percent or more cocoa. Dark chocolate has numerous health benefits due to the antioxidant properties of cocoa. Chocolate contains a specific group of antioxidants called flavonols. Flavonols are a subgroup of flavanoids found in citrus fruits, green tea, and red wine. Flavonols in dark chocolate may help fight the damages caused by oxidation due to the action of free radicals. They also help to relax the blood vessels for better blood circulation. Chocolate may reduce the risk of heart disease, cholesterol and diabetes. Antioxidants from chocolate may possess cancer-fighting properties. With so many benefits of consuming chocolate, it is not surprising that the topical application of chocolate in the form of creams, lotions, make-up and even chocolate spa treatments has gained immense popularity.

The chocolate diet incorporates forbidden foods such as chocolate into a daily diet. This allows the weight watcher to enjoy his/her favorite food without feeling deprived.  It is a well-known diet fact that when you deprive yourself of your favorite food, you are most likely to cheat or abandon your diet. Allowing yourself to consume chocolate on a weight loss diet enables you to exert portion control without the guilt of deprivation. When you follow a chocolate diet plan, you are more aware of the amount of chocolate you consume. Thus, you are able to incorporate exercise into your weight loss plan accordingly. Chocolate diets also enable you to firmly focus on other foods you consume. You are as conscious of the nutrition and calories in other foods as you are of the calories in chocolate. A chocolate bar diet allows you to focus on other aspects of your weight loss or weight maintenance plan, since you have already fulfilled your desire for the forbidden food in moderation.

Cons: Including chocolate diet recipes such as hot chocolate, chocolate chip muffins, chocolate ice cream, or cake into your everyday cooking may increase your craving for chocolate leading to over consumption. Excess focus on the forbidden food such as chocolate may de-motivate you from the main aim that is weight loss. A chocolate diet also does require a lot of mental discipline. You must calculate the amount of calories from chocolate and then cut back on your food calories if you want to maintain weight loss. Hence, unless implemented conscientiously, a chocolate diet becomes just another fad diet. You deprive yourself of essential calories as well as nutrition. Any diet that focuses on only one kind of food can quickly become detrimental to health. Replacing dark chocolate with your favorite kinds of chocolate such as milk chocolate or chocolates with additives such as marshmallow or peanut butter will only increase your calories. Moreover, milk chocolates provide fewer antioxidant benefits than dark chocolate.

Chocolate diet reviews. While there are plenty of chocolate diet options available online and in diet journals, two chocolate diets garnered popular attention. The Chocolate Popcorn Pasta Diet was actually a 32-page book written by Lenny Neimark. While many facts on how the book came to be are sketchy, it is widely believed that Neimark based most of the humorous content on ‘people’s desire to look, feel, and be thin.’ As you can see from the title, the three things people try to curb on a diet—chocolate, pasta, popcorn (or snacks)—are the very things Neimark mentions as the focus of this diet. Since it is a funny take on social perspectives of dieting, the book touches on what to eat and what to avoid. However, it does not address issues such as how long should one continue the Chocolate Pasta Popcorn Diet or how many pounds would the dieter lose on such a diet. However, it does recommend that the dieter may consume one ounce of chocolate per day. This is equivalent to 28.3 grams of chocolate or one square of baking chocolate.

The diet recommends three meals and three snacks per day, along with the one ounce serving of chocolate at snack time. Mealtimes may include various types of fruits and fruit salads, vegetables, and whole-wheat pasta with low fat pasta sauces. Lean cuts of chicken, eggs and seafood maybe allowed. Snacks may include air-popped popcorn or fruit smoothies made with part skim milk. The diet recommends low sodium, low fat salad dressings. Popcorn maybe seasoned with butter substitutes or a dash of Parmesan cheese, but no salt.

Foods to avoid on this diet include:

• Caffeinated beverages and carbonated drinks such as sodas and colas;
• Foods with high sugar content such as cakes and pies, along with dry fruits such as raisins and dates, which also contain sugar;
• All processed oily, fried foods, including naturally oily foods such as avocados, olives and coconut;
• Red meats and dairy products such as whole milk, cheese, butter and yogurt; and
• Oily nuts, seeds, and processed snack foods like potato or tortilla chips.
Most chocolate diets are aimed at chocoholics or people who cannot resist the lure of chocolate. No doubt, this is an obstacle to weight loss. The Chocolate Diet by Sally Ann Voak reaffirms that you can have chocolate and still lose weight. The chocolate diet menu allows you to pick and eat unlimited amount of fresh vegetables from a list of 28 low calorie foods such as tomatoes, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, water cress, mushrooms, colored peppers, and so on. However, the first week of the chocolate diet requires that dieters refrain from eating any kind of chocolate or chocolate infused foods. This is to condition them to lack of chocolate and avoid any withdrawal pangs. Voak’s diet plan divides chocolate lovers’ into six different categories. The categories include:
• Secret bingers (people who hide their stash of chocolates and eat secretively);
• Romantics, often single women, who indulge in chocolate as a substitute for love;
• Individuals who turn to chocolate to comfort them in times of stress;
• Individuals who use chocolate as a reason to celebrate;
• Chocolate addicts who get their sugar fix from it; and
• Menstruating women who crave chocolate prior to or during their cycle.
Voak’s chocolate diet recommends a diet plan for each category of dieters complete with calorie listings, kinds of chocolates permitted during the diet plan, and healthy recipes to follow for weight loss. Dieters are likely to lose as many as seven pounds in two weeks, provided they follow the chocolate diet strictly. The diet plan also recommends exercises such as yoga and relaxation techniques to get over stress, instead of chocolate that dieters may have formerly used. Thus, chocolate diet helps to incorporate a forbidden food in a healthy manner to tackle weight issues. At the same time, dieters can benefit from the antioxidants of dark chocolate without feeling deprived.
Submitted on January 16, 2014