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eating chocolate on a diet title- dark chocolate pieces on blue background

Eating chocolate on a diet can often seem like a paradox. For chocolate lovers like myself, it’s often a balancing act to pursue your fitness goals while still not giving up your chocolate enjoyment experience. It will depend on the diet or nutrition plan you choose, however, in the majority of cases, some chocolate can still be included in your diet once you plan and account for it.

Over the years, I’ve developed some tips that have worked for me. Everyone is different and you will need to discover what works for you so that you can enjoy some chocolate and still meet your fitness goals. That said, I hope that some of my tips for eating chocolate on a diet may be helpful for you.

Tips for Eating Chocolate On A Diet

1/ Acquire the taste for dark chocolate

Not everyone automatically enjoys dark chocolate, but this chocolate type is the one with the most health benefits associated. Dark chocolate with 70% and higher of cocoa is recommended to experience great health benefits while decreasing the amount of quantity of sugar and calories generally associated with chocolate. The higher the percentage, the better the chocolate is for you. It’s important to note too that the taste becomes more bitter with the increase in cocoa percentage, hence the acquired taste.

If you need to take baby steps and work your way up, go ahead! Wean yourself off of milk chocolate and start with a lower percentage of dark chocolate. Work your way up to 70%-85% dark chocolate.

Always remember to watch your overall chocolate intake as too much chocolate will not be helpful to your health & fitness objectives.

2/ Divide dark chocolate into serving sizes

Being able to eat the allocated portion of chocolate and no more is a skill that I strongly believe can be learnt. If I can do it then I know it really is possible.

Learn your tendencies. If it’s tough for you to break off a piece of the bar and put it back without going back to it again for more; when you buy the chocolate, divide it up and store in different places. Ideally, the chocolate should not be in your line of sight (it really helps if you’re not seeing it each time you open the fridge), so hide the pieces behind a few items if needed. These little steps can really go a long way in helping you as you build up your self-control.

Another plus of dark chocolate is that it promotes satiety ie it helps you to feel full and decreases the desire to eat something sweet (Read about this study here). Therefore, eating dark chocolate actually helps you with your sweet cravings and can make it a bit easier to be disciplined in adhering to serving sizes when you eat it.

3/ Consume dark chocolate as a reward

eating chocolate on a diet- gold rosette

Making dark chocolate a reward can be a great motivator in your fitness journey and can help you better control the frequency that you consume the chocolate. For me, I’ve used dark chocolate as a reward for completing my 6 days of scheduled workouts for the week. If I skipped a workout then I’ve missed out on my chocolate that week and I don’t double up on the chocolate the next time I hit my goal by eating the piece from the missed week. It’s really key to maintain portion sizes.

If you find yourself struggling to limit your chocolate intake and keep to portion sizes, then have a look at this list from Your Home Fitness of non-food ways to reward yourself

3/ Use chocolate protein powder

Protein powder became a key addition early in my fitness journey. It really was a quick & easy way to add more protein to my diet without adding many calories as I add it to my fruit & vegetable shakes. There are lots of flavours available however for chocolate lovers this is a great way to get still enjoy chocolate in your day. Chocolate protein shakes are still one of my staples in my nutrition plan today.

4/ Snack on chocolate protein bars

Similar to protein powder, protein bars allow you to get your chocolate fix in a more healthy way. Bear in mind though that there are lots of protein bars on the market. Look for those that have high grams of protein and low sugar content. They make great snacks especially if you are on the road a lot. They can definitely be a healthier alternative.

eating chocolate on a diet- chocolate protein bars

5/ Sip on Chocolate Tea

The combination of tea (with all of its health benefits) and cocoa (providing the chocolate flavour) makes chocolate tea a good substitute particularly for hot chocolate as you start making choices that support your fitness plans. Tea, in general, can be a refreshing beverage and help you increase your water intake. Adding a few cups during the week is certainly worth considering.

I hope the tips above have shown you that eating chocolate on a diet can still be beneficial. However, it’s important to remember that not all chocolate is created equal. Dark chocolate is your best option but you will need to consume it in moderation so that it helps you in your fitness pursuits and it doesn’t work against you. For example, even for hard-core chocolate lovers like myself, there are times that I limit all chocolate for specified times depending on my short term fitness goals. However, in general, I consider it part of my diet and I have it occasionally as I still enjoy it.

For fellow chocolate lovers who walk the tightrope of enjoying chocolate and pursuing fitness, my encouragement to you is to use the tips above to see how you can balance your love of chocolate with your fitness goals.

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Post Author: Tamika G

22 Replies to “Eating Chocolate On A Diet [5 Tips]”

  1. What an awesome post! When I quit smoking I discovered the wonderful world of chocolate and now I can’t go without it! I try to stick to dark chocolate too, I’ve heard it’s a superfood. You make some great points about balancing a love of chocolate with our fitness goals. Chocolate protein bars are awesome, I make my own. I’ve never thought about chocolate tea. I’ll definitely give that a try, how much cocoa do you usually include? Love the tips about dividing the chocolate and storing in different places. This will help prevent my temptations to binge when I’ve had a bad day. As a fellow chocolate fan, I found this very helpful. Thanks for sharing Tamika!

    1. Hi CJ, thanks so much for your comment. I’m glad you found the post useful. That’s so cool that you make your own protein bars, great! I have made them in the past as well but not so much these days. For the chocolate tea, I’ve not actually tried it at home as yet but again it’s definitely on the list of things to try. I hope to do a post about it though so stay tuned. The chocolate tea I’ve tried was one in a teabag that my friend gave me when I visited.

      1. Hi Tamika, I love the idea of eating chocolate on a diet. That makes dieting more fun πŸ˜‰
        I have tried chocolate chai tea, and the taste was really incredible. I am a chocoholic and so I found your tip of hiding chocolate pieces out of sight in the fridge a great idea, although I would probably memorize the places and get to them anyway πŸ˜‰
        I can’t help myself πŸ˜‰

        1. Hi Christine, thank you for your comment. Chocolate chai sounds amazing, the chocolate tea I tried was good but I do prefer chai teas. Haha, for that particular tip it’s more of a medium to long term one as you may need to remove chocolate altogether for a period as you wane yourself off and your body gets used to it. Then you can introduce it again in small doses and hide the chocolate to help you stay on track.

  2. Ha! Dark chocolate is always my go-to for chocolate; the only type I eat, in fact. And, I love tea. In the cold months, I have a cup or two every day. The funny thing is, I have never thought to combine the two. Until I read this, the thought never crossed my mind. I don’t know if I’ll like it or not, but I’m willing to try anything once.

    As for the rest of this post: chocolate protein powder is a staple in my house, as are protein bars, so I agree completely with you! You’re right, by the way, to suggest the “baby steps” for those not used to dark chocolate. It can be a little (or quite) bitter when you’re not used to it. It’s a bit of an acquired taste, but after a while it becomes what you crave! I love it!

    1. Hi Cris, thank you for your comment. Great to see that you are already on the dark chocolate bandwagon πŸ™‚ Yes, I’ve found chocolate tea is still quite new to lots of people who enjoy both tea and chocolate. I’ve only tried 1 type so far but I’m looking forward to exploring homemade chocolate tea. Yes, baby steps for dark chocolate due to the bitterness especially compared to milk chocolate a gradual introduction process is great. Then you reach the stage where you wonder, how did I ever live without dark chocolate! πŸ™‚

  3. These are really good tips. It’s too bad that people sometimes think they can’t live an overall healthy lifestyle unless they completely eliminate any kind of indulgence. I love chocolate too, and also incorporate protein powder and bars as a way to enjoy it without compromising my diet. I’m not a big tea drinker, but I never knew there was such a thing as chocolate tea, so maybe I’ll give that a try – thanks for that suggestion!

    1. Hi Jordan, thanks for your comment. It’s great to hear that you already use some of these ways to get your chocolate fix. Yes, chocolate tea is good, would love to know how you find it πŸ™‚

  4. The part about acquiring a taste for dark chocolate resonated with me, because I HATE dark chocolate. If I can’t have my milk chocolate, I want NO chocolate at all! On the other hand, I had never heard of chocolate tea before reading this post. This is something I would definitely try in the future. Thanks for a very interesting post!

    1. Hi Andrea, thank you for your comment. Hopefully, this post will at least make you consider having a lower cocoa percentage of dark chocolate to start acquiring the taste. Yes, chocolate tea still seems to quite new to a lot of people, I hope you are able to try it.

  5. Hi Tamika,
    Thanks for a very interesting article about including chocolate in your diet. I found when I was losing weight that if you deprive yourself of the things you love eating you are going to fail. As they say moderation is the key.
    I don’t eat much chocolate but when I do it is usually milk chocolate, I’m not really keen on dark chocolate. As you said it is an aquired taste, but I must admit if I fancy some chocolate and there is no milk chocolate the dark variety will do:)
    I usually drink low calorie hot chocolate, which is surprisingly nice and chocolatey. You idea of chocolate tea sounds interesting and I might give it a try.

    Thanks again for an interesting article, Frank

    1. Hi Frank, thank you for your comment. First of all congrats on your weight loss and I hope you feeling great. Yes, dark chocolate is definitely an acquired taste. Yes, chocolate tea is another alternative to low cal hot chocolate as well. Moderation is key, I don’t think that can be stated enough πŸ™‚

  6. Hi!
    This post is quite enjoyable!
    I am a fan of dark chocolate. I actually prefer it over milk chocolate.
    I’m particularly curious about the chocolate tea. I’ve had different kinds of teas before but not chocolate. I might actually give that a try.

    Not a fan of protein bars but when I do have one, it’s something chocolate. πŸ™‚

    Chocolate is awesome! mmmm…. πŸ™‚

    Have a good day!

    1. Hi thank you for your comment. That’s interesting that you prefer dark chocolate over milk. For most people I know, that has become the case but it isn’t initially, myself included πŸ™‚ Yes, definitely give chocolate tea a try and see how you find it. I totally agree with you, chocolate is awesome! πŸ˜€

  7. You had me at chocolate! I am a fan of chocolate protein shakes, my favorite so far has been TC Nutrition’s chocolate, but I didn’t know about chocolate tea. Thanks for the great information!

    1. Hi Haleigh, thank you for your comment πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your favourite chocolate protein. Yes, chocolate tea is a new one to lots of people. Hope you check it out

  8. Great article not a hard core chocolate lover but I also do this with chocolate biscuits just take 1 or 2 at a time.
    Dark chocolate is great. Did you know Trinidad is supposed to have the highest quality cocoa in the world. Next visit we can plan a visit of a cocoa estate!

    1. Hi Corey, thank you for your comment. Depending on how strict your diet is, you can have other treats very occasionally so yes a lot of tips could still apply. I wasn’t aware of that about Trinidad but I do know that there are some really good cocoa estates in Tobago. Yes, we can definitely look into doing this on a future visit.

  9. Beautiful Post. I myself am a huge fan of dark chocolate, I have it about once or twice a month on my cheat days. I agree It is best to become accustomed to the taste and know the percentages, One time I have brought a 100% cocoa dark chocolate bar thinking it was going to be sweet like the milk chocolate, I had a major reality check that day! Great article overall.

  10. Hi Tamika, I smiled all the way through reading this post as I identify with it SO much!! LOL
    I would go so far as to say I’m addicted to chocolate; the dark stuff of course as I’m a health nut and would never go for the high sugar stuff.

    Over time I have learnt to go darker and darker and now don’t mind the 85-90% cacao stuff. It all depends on the brand and the cacao beans they use as some brands are much too bitter when they go to dark.

    I too also make chocolate protein smoothies for an additional chocolate hit and I have the most amazing chocolate protein pudding that I know you’ll love. Basically you need half an avocado, chocolate protein powder, maybe some extra carob or cacao powder, sweetener and a little plant milk. Just wizz it all up in the blender with as little milk as possible (maybe start with an inch of milk in the bottom of your blender and work up). This way you end up with a really smooth, thick pudding that really fills you up more that a runnier shake, and it’s delicious. You can also add coconut yogurt to give it more volume. I usually have this for breakfast. Mmmm

    1. Hi Stefanie, thanks so much for your comment and the recipe. That’s great that you have worked up to 85-90% cacao, I’m probably around 80%. The chocolate pudding sounds great, deliciously rich! I’ll have to try it for sure. Thanks again for sharing πŸ™‚

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