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At last good news for weight watchers: Burn calories by eating milk chocolate!

According to a study of postmenopausal women, eating a concentrated amount of chocolate during a narrow window of time in the morning may help burn fat and lower blood sugar levels. The FASEB Journal published the study.

Brigham researchers collaborated with investigators at the University of Murcia in Spain to examine the effects of eating milk chocolate at different times of the day.

The researchers conducted a randomized, controlled, cross-over study consisting of 19 postmenopausal women who consumed either 100g of chocolate in the morning (within one hour after waking time) or at night (within one hour before bedtime). There were many measures compared with a chocolate-free diet and weight gain.

According to researchers:

1. Intake of chocolate in the morning or at night did not result in weight gain.

2. Having chocolate in the morning or in the evening can affect hunger and appetite, microbiota composition, sleep and more.

3. Chocolate consumption during the morning hours may reduce blood glucose levels and burn fat.

4. Chocolate consumed during the evening/night altered the next day’s resting and exercise metabolism.

The study was co-authored by doctors Scheer and Garaulet. (Neuroscientists Dr. Frank AJL Scheer, PhD, MSc, and Dr. Marta Garaulet, PhD, Visiting Scientists, of the Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital)

‘Our findings indicate that not only ‘when’ but also ‘what’ we eat affects physiological mechanisms involved in regulating body weight,’ said Scheer.

‘Our volunteers didn’t gain weight despite increasing their calorie intake. In our research, chocolate significantly reduced ad libitum energy intake, consistent with the reduction in hunger, appetite, and desire for sweets shown in previous studies,’ Garaulet said.


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