What’s the secret to achieving long term fitness and fat loss (fat burning) results? Well, here’s a simple way to think of it: Treat your body like an expensive car, put quality fuel in it, do regular maintenance on it, repair any damage as soon as possible. If you do those things, your body will perform like an expensive car. Not only will your body perform well, it will look great, low body fat, visible muscle tone, and an overall aesthetic, athletic look. In this article, I’ll discuss one of my “fuel” secrets. What’s one of my fuel secrets? Dark chocolate! As a matter of fact, I might have mentioned that way back when I started Fat X 101 and put myself through the Fat X Program, although things moved so fast back then that I might have glossed over it. In any case, when I first developed the 12 day Fat X Program, I had a bit of dark chocolate every day.
Why did I have dark chocolate every day?
I put a bit of dark chocolate in my meal plan as part of the 5% (Fat X Diet). I knew back then that dark chocolate had several health benefits but most important to me at the time was the mood enhancement properties. Whenever you cut your calories dramatically, you will have that time period of adjustment where you feel moody or at least just a bit crappy. Dark chocolate helped me with the moodiness and with cravings, which in turn, helped me achieve the fat loss (fat burning) success with the Fat X Program that I was hoping for.
Obviously, that is just anecdotal evidence, but study after study has shown that dark chocolate has several health benefits. The health benefits are attributed to the main ingredient in dark chocolate, cacao. Cacao was known to indigenous people in America as food of the “Gods”.
If you choose to try dark chocolate in your diet, make sure that it has a high percentage of cacao. The higher the content of cacao, the more benefits, but it’s also more bitter.
By the way, cacao, and cocoa have been used interchangeably. Here are some of the benefits of cacao researchers have found:
Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Reduces Insulin Resistance (Good for fat loss)
Helps Relieve Stress
Possibly Lowers Blood Pressure
High Antioxidant Content
Increased Cerebral Blood Flow and Cognitive Performance
May Help Post Exercise Physiological Recovery
For a more in depth breakdown of Cacao, check out this video by Lifestyle Medicine.
Keep in mind, there’s a such thing a too much of a good thing. The more processed cacao is, the more fat and sugar it’s going to have. Instead of dark chocolate, you can buy the pure cacao powder and use it in smoothies. Or, like I mentioned in the beginning of the article, make sure to get dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao.
Here’s a link to cacao powder on Amazon.
Also, keep in mind that cacao does contain caffeine and theobromine, both which are stimulants. So, just another reason to use in moderation.
Like any other health and fitness tips, advice and ideas, check with your healthcare professional first. Once you decide to implement something into your lifestyle, give it at least a couple of weeks so that you can evaluate the effects.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. If you’re in the Pasadena area I’m available for private fitness training/coaching (personal training) or you can also join my FX Boot Camp class.