Chocolate Diet: Too Good to be True?

Enjoy chocolate and lose weight? Welcome to the chocolate diet!

There's actually no one chocolate diet. There are, though, several different diets that recommend using chocolate as an aid to weight loss! If this sounds too good to be true, that's because it is: you can't just shovel back three candy bars a day and call it a diet (if only!). No, the chocolate diet -- or diets -- integrates small amounts of dark chocolate and cocoa with healthy, low-fat meals.

Why Use Chocolate?

Why on earth would anyone use chocolate to promote weight loss? Well, there are actually some very good reasons, such as:

-chocolate makes you happy, especially if you're a woman. And when you're happy with your diet, you're much more likely to stick to it.

-chocolate can calm stress and brighten your mood. Since some people experience weight gain as a side effect of stress, chocolate can indirectly benefit your diet.

-chocolate contains antioxidants and other valuable nutritional benefits.

The Diets

There are several types of chocolate diet on the market. The most popular (which, to no one's surprise, goes by the name of the chocolate diet) involves using powdered chocolate drinks as healthy snacks in combination with a healthy diet and exercise.

Does it work? Probably, if you use it properly -- in other words, if you're eating healthy the rest of the time. Do you need to go spend money on these special drinks? Probably not. A mug of cocoa at bedtime would probably achieve the same results if you eat healthy the rest of the day.

Some people have also suggested that straight cocoa, brewed with water and no sugar, is beneficial to your health. A few days on that particular chocolate diet will probably have you losing weight in spades -- because you may never want to see a piece of chocolate again!

You could also check out the pasta, popcorn, and chocolate diet, which sounds fantastic to me! The idea is to eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, snack on popcorn and small amounts (up to 1 oz) of chocolate, and eat small portions of pasta at lunch and dinner (with, of course, low fat sauces and toppings).

Does It Work?

There are a lot of fad diets out there. Anything that sounds too extreme probably is. If you love chocolate and also respect your health, your best bet is to exercise, eat properly, and enjoy chocolate in moderation -- not go on a chocolate diet!