‘Pull your sweet tooth’ and lose weight with chocolate
Dr. Will Clower’s new book, “Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight,” claims you can reduce food cravings and learn better eating habits by incorporating a surprisingly healthy food: chocolate.
“Chocolate does a lot of good things for you,” Clower says. “I have people eat the chocolate in association with meals. What I’ve seen is that, when it’s applied this way, the overconsumption at the plate is reduced by about half.”
The method uses chocolate as a teaching tool to help stop overconsumption. Eating chocolate the right way, as Clower describes, can lead to big diet changes. “The point is when you eat your chocolate to take your time, to let it sit on your tongue, to — and this sounds crazy — actually taste your food,” Clower says. “It turns out that when you do that you get something called sensory specific satiety.”
That result is a key part of ending overeating at meals. In addition, the chocolate aids in reducing cravings for foods high in sugar using a process Clower calls “pulling your sweet tooth.” How is this done? It starts with something Clower calls the Horizontal Taste Test, which helps in adapting one’s taste buds to darker chocolates, which have less sugar and more healthy antioxidants. The more cocoa in your chocolate, the better it is for you. “Americans eat 140 pounds of sugar per person per year,” Clower says. “That issue is a massive driver of health problems. So it becomes very important when you’re eating your chocolate to use the chocolate to pull your sweet tooth.”
Once your sweet tooth is gone, it becomes dramatically easier to make healthier decisions when it comes to eating. “When you pull your sweet tooth and adapt your taste in a direction of darker chocolate, what you find is you just don’t have a craving anymore for 140 pounds of sugar,” Dr. Clower says. “The things that [people] used to like become too sweet. And when that happens [people] don’t want them anymore.”
The benefits of chocolate aren’t limited to weight loss. High-cocoa chocolate aids many other areas of a healthy lifestyle.
“[Antioxidants] can help to grow the vasculature within muscles,” Clower says. “In other words, the little capillaries, little blood vessels, can grow into your muscles.” This, in turn, can increase the amount of energy you have throughout the day, your time until exhaustion and your metabolic rate.
“The cascade from the physiological substructural effects all the way up into your life is huge,” Clower says. “If you have more energy through the day you’re more likely to move, you’re more likely to be active. You’re less likely to blow off your exercise routine.”
The book also contains several different recipes to help beginners get cooking with cocoa. Clower is particularly partial to the book’s chili, pecan brownies and dry rub for pork. It turns out you can have your chocolate and eat it too.