5 ways you can eat chocolate and stay lean

When asking what you wanted to hear about in this blog I was asked “How can I eat chocolate and stay lean?”.

Usually I'd take my typical firm stance, huff a little and dismiss the question. But I've been asked this a few times now so it's probably a good time to answer the question properly.

It's a difficult question to answer because, well; if we’re being totally honest with each other it’s clearly far better to just not eat chocolate whilst trying to get lean or stay lean! There are much more useful things to spend your macro’s on.

Hooooowever, there are a number of ways you can have your cake (or chocolate) and eat it.

1 Choose dark over milk

The main problem I come across when speaking to clients about why their chocoholic tendencies are being so detrimental to their goals, is that you are smashing down bar upon bar of the top branded, magically too good to be true, I feel sick, I can’t stop, just one more bite, MILK CHOCOLATE versions.

Instead of picking up your usual bar of milk chocolatey goodness, try going for the Dark chocolate option instead (at least 60% Cocoa content, the darker, the better). There are 2 main reasons this will help you.

Firstly, despite having similar calorie counts per gram, dark chocolate contains far fewer carbohydrates. With milk chocolate usually carrying around 50g carbs per 100g bar, it’s more sophisticated counterpart dark chocolate makes it far easier to avoid an insulin spike and subsequent fat storage with between 8g and 30g of carbs per 100g.

Secondly, choosing dark chocolate means you will actually benefit from some of the “new study shows chocolate is good for you” points that are so often banded about in lifestyle magazines and newspapers.

Due to the higher Cocoa content, dark chocolate has a much higher flavenoids content which act as antioxidants in the body. These flavenoids are also much more bioavailable in dark chocolate as when mixed with milk, as in milk chocolate, the antioxidants become unavailable to be used by the body.

Flavenoids may help to lower blood pressure, decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, lower blood clot risk, improve cognitive performance and improve mood, according to the University of Michigan Health System.

2 Don’t “do an Augustus”

Willy Wonka taught us all at a very young age that if you act like a fat German boy you will be swept up in a river of chocolate and get stuck in a pipe. Do you want to be stuck in a pipe? I thought not.