Easter. The best time to eat chocolate isn’t when you think it is

At every holiday, whether it’s Christmas or Easter, you can read everything about chocolate: that there is a ” best time ” of the day to consume it, that you can lose weight by adopting a ” chocolate ” diet, that the least caloric is dark chocolate … Doctor Laurence Plumey, nutritionist and author of “ How to lose weight happy ” (1), “ The wonderful world of fats ” (2) and “ The great book of food ” (3) it helps us to untangle the true from the false.

What is the ” best time ” to eat a square of chocolate?

If you thought it was recommended to eat chocolate after dinner under the pretext that it is a food rich in magnesium that reduces stress, you have missed it. Like all other desserts, chocolate is best consumed in the morning, noon or early afternoon rather than in the evening. “Morning calories don’t have the same impact on the body as evening calories,” Dr. Plumey points out. “Eating a classic breakfast with a little fat (butter) and sugar (jam, honey, etc.) ensures, with lunch, the calorie intake necessary for the day’s activities, that we will have time to burn, while dinner is more destined to prepare a good sleep and the caloric expenditure of the night is low because, when you sleep, very few calories are lost “. If you slip a tablet in front of the TV before bed, the calories will be stored! “Eat chocolate in the morning, for dessert at lunch, or as a snack if needed before 5pm,” he advises. “They are calories that will be used by the body to move, to be active. And, of course, we stay in moderation.

One square, one row, two rows … What is the ideal consumption?

“It all depends on what you eat during the day,” says the specialist. “If you eat very little sugar and fat, you can indulge in two rows of chocolate a day because, in addition, there is hardly any sugar in your diet. If, on the other hand, you took the jam in the morning and the crème caramel at noon, it is obvious that you have already brought a lot of sugar into your body and that you will have to pay attention to the number of chocolate squares you go to get in the afternoon … I would say between the two and four, knowing that there is chocolate and chocolate, even if they are all caloric with more than 500 kcal per 100 grams “. Count about twenty calories per square. Of course, in itself it doesn’t seem like much, but often the desire to take it again and again is strong … The fault lies with a formidable recipe: “Fat, sugar, which melts in your mouth, our taste buds love it. I know very few people who don’t like chocolate ”. neither do we!

You say there is chocolate and chocolate. Which should be preferred?

Against all expectations, the lowest calorie chocolate is milk chocolate with 535 calories per 100 grams against 572 for dark chocolate (the less sweet, the more fatty) and 539 for white chocolate (without cocoa, but with cocoa butter). However, dark chocolate with over 70% cocoa is very rich in pure cocoa and therefore will provide us with antioxidants that are good for our health. It is also less sweet than the other two. “One could almost say that it is a gourmet and healthy food, but it is still very caloric, so don’t overdo it”, warns the expert, “but for the same calories it is useful and is good for the body. It must be balanced with the rest of the diet. The healthier you eat on the side, the more you can indulge in a row or two of dark chocolate with more than 70% cocoa. If, on the other hand, you have already eaten enough fat and sugar during the day, you only allow yourself two squares in the evening ”.

Will the two chocolate squares taken in front of the TV in the evening necessarily be preserved?

In other words, collapsing every night, will we necessarily grow? “It still depends on the dinner!” If you eat a soup, a yogurt and a fruit, and stayed reasonable during the day, two chocolate squares will do just fine! assures the doctor. “But if it’s a large portion of raclette, the calories will add up …” Again, everything is in moderation and balance.

Can we eat chocolate even if we are on a diet?

A “ greedy ” diet in which we indulge in a little chocolate to avoid frustration, why not? “It is quite difficult to give general advice, because every person has different reasons for gaining weight. Each case, and therefore each diet, is unique ”the nutritionist points out,“ but it is obvious that prescribing a three-week crash diet to a sugar addicted woman can quickly lead to a weight yo-yo. The longer you follow a frustration-free diet, the more likely it is to work. In other words, losing weight slowly but surely holds much more promise in weight loss than losing weight very quickly by tightening your belt and eventually regaining the weight you lost.

Does chocolate make you lose weight, as some magazines claim?

A diet that is all apples, all grapes, all pineapples … And why not all chocolate? Unfortunately, if two or three squares can find a place in a “balanced” diet without too many calories and controlled in fat and sugar, to say that eating only chocolate can help us lose weight is false. “Chocolate has no particular virtues in this sense. Above all, it has the advantage of pleasing people and also of accepting a balanced diet of fats and sugars, which in turn are well distributed throughout the day ”, concludes Dr. Plumey. Too bad for those who have already seen 100% chocolate menus prepared!

(1) “ How to lose weight happily when you don’t like sports or vegetables ” (2021), Eyrolles editions, € 7.90.

(2) ” The wonderful world of fat: all about these curves that live in us ” (2020), Eyrolles editions, 20 euros.

(3) ” The Great Book of Food ” (2022), Eyrolles editions, 24.90 euros.

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