Neuroscience has shown that eating a piece of chocolate twenty minutes before and five minutes after lunch or dinner will reduce your appetite by about half, and you won’t have to have a cosmetic surgery to get rid of that extra belly fat.

Research has shown that chocolate actually works with your body to curb those terrible sugar spikes that we get between meals. You know, shortly after a meal you just want to go crawl in bed and take a nap? The chocolate will prevent that from happening. In fact, one study at the University of L’Aquila revealed that those who had a dark chocolate bar every single day for fifteen days reduced their risk of insulin resistance by about fifty percent.

For the most part, it is the flavonoids in the dark chocolate that cause this insulin resistance reduction, dark chocolates also contain what we know as healthy fats that slow down the rate at which sugar is absorbed into your system. The slowing down of sugar absorption prevents that insulin spike. The insulin spikes actually send the sugar into your fat cells, and switch off the natural fat-burning mechanisms. This causes you to feel hungry only a few hours later.

Additionally, studies in Switzerland have revealed that chocolate reduces the effects of stress on your metabolism and will curb those terrible cravings you get for sweet, salty, and fatty foods you tend to get when you’re stressed out.

So, yes- you can eat chocolate to facilitate weight loss. However- it must be dark chocolate- at least seventy percent cacao. Milk chocolates and white chocolates actually contain milk- which we already know is a form of sugar. They also contain added sugar to increase the sweetness. Dark chocolate has less- if any- added sugar as well as containing monounsaturated fats and a bittersweet taste (which will make you want to eat less).

Now that you know it’s okay to eat chocolate while you’re trying to lose weight, you may find it quite difficult not to pound it back. Researchers say that a serving size should be no bigger than the end of your thumb. If you overdo it, you could end up overloading your body with sugar and fat, as well as ruin your appetite. So, instead of eating that entire candy bar before dinner, break off a small square- moderation is key.

Just because you’re trying to lose weight, it’s okay to eat some of those holiday chocolates. Actually, believe it or not, it’s much healthier to include these sweets in your diet than deprive yourself of them- the chocolate will work naturally with your body to help you eat less which means you’ll lose weight.