Eat sweet treat for breakfast to burn off menopause fat – when to eat
Rapid weight loss 'becoming much more accepted' says Mosley
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When women are looking to lose menopausal weight, the last thing they would imagine is chocolate helping them reach their goals. But according to research, people didn’t gain a single pound while eating the sweet treat for breakfast or just before they went to bed.
The study published in the FASEB Journal, found that it could help women going through menopause actually burn fat and decrease blood sugar levels.
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in collaboration with the University of Murcia in Spain, noted that eating milk chocolate at a certain time of day can impact the regulation of body weight.
A total of 19 women were assigned to eat 100g of milk chocolate either in the morning with breakfast within one hour of waking up or in the evening, within one hour of going to sleep, for a period of two weeks.
Milk chocolate has long been branded a naughty treat as it is notoriously rich in fat, sugar and calories.
In fact, 100g of it contains 31g of fat, 58.4g of carbohydrates, 57.5g of sugar and a whopping 542 calories.
The women were also allowed to eat what they wanted throughout the day, sticking to no specific calorie limit.
But even with the extra calories from the chocolate, the 19 women didn’t gain any body weight.
The research showed that the women who ate chocolate in the morning actually reduced their waist circumference by 1.7 percent.
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It also made them subconsciously cut back on their daily calorie intake by 16 percent, and decreased their hunger and cravings for sweet foods in general, largely because it lowered blood glucose levels.
The researchers also found that those who consumed chocolate at night also didn’t experience any impact on their waist circumference.
But the morning chocolate eaters burned 25.6 percent more fat than the evening group, who predominantly burned sugar.
And the research showed that eating chocolate in the morning also helped lower daily levels of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone.
Stress is a big player when it comes to weight gain as it can lead to the release of hormones that can cause people to overeat and makes it harder to lose or maintain the number on the scales.
Dr Frank Scheer, who was part of the study, explained: “Our findings highlight that not only ‘what’ but also ‘when’ we eat can impact physiological mechanisms involved in the regulation of body weight.”
His colleague also involved in the research, Dr Marta Garaulet, added: “Our volunteers did not gain weight despite increasing caloric intake.
“Our results show that chocolate reduced ad libitum energy intake, consistent with the observed reduction in hunger, appetite and the desire for sweets shown in previous studies.”
Other studies have shown that eating dark chocolate in moderate amounts can help in the weight loss process, too.
It has been found to satisfy sweet cravings and combat depression and other mood changes during menopause.
This is because dark chocolate contains magnesium, the mineral that helps raise serotonin levels, which is responsible for stabilising moods.
It also contains monounsaturated fatty acids that improve metabolism and rapidly burn calories, and if eaten 20 minutes before a meal it can curb cravings.
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