The title of this news article sounds like science fiction, but there is truth in the claim. Recent research suggests that chocolate is not just tasty. It also has a real impact on our metabolism. Especially if we eat it at the right time of day. What’s this all about?


Chocolate Research

Most people think that eating chocolate every day will help you gain weight and not loos it. However, a recent study from Frank A. J. L. Scheer, Ph.D., MSc, and Marta Garaulet, Ph.D. indicates this is not the general rule. This counterintuitive finding doesn’t mean you can eat as much chocolate as you want without repercussions for your health and weight.

The study participants were 19 postmenopausal women who had to eat 100g of milk chocolate per day. Furthermore, one group was asked to eat the chocolate in the morning, the second before bedtime, and the third did not eat any chocolate. This study aimed to see how eating chocolate at different times of day affects weight gain and the sleep cycle in postmenopausal women.

It has long been held that the time we eat certain foods impacts how our body interacts with the nutrients in them. This hypothesis has been tested many times through nutrition research, and the findings indicate that when we eat is just as important as what we eat. The research on chocolate done by Scheer and colleagues confirms this idea.


The Results

One of the more significant findings of this study shows that the group that ate chocolate in the morning reduced their total food intake by 16%. Even though the women who had chocolate ate more calories for breakfast, they could better control their food intake during the day.

“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,” said Garaulet.

The second significant finding shows that eating chocolate in the evening may help regulate the sleeping cycle. That means that sleep quality increases and the sleeping cycles occur at regular intervals.


Relevant Research Article

Timing of chocolate intake affects hunger, substrate oxidation, and microbiota: A randomized controlled trial

More Chocolate Research

Chocolate consumption and risk of coronary artery disease: the Million Veteran Program

Effect of cacao polyphenol-rich chocolate on postprandial glycemia, insulin, and incretin secretion in healthy participants

Main Takeaways
  • Eating a 100 g bar of milk chocolate in the morning may help with weight reduction.
  • Eating milk chocolate in the evening can help regulate the sleep cycle in menopausal women.
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Starting the day off with chocolate could have unexpected benefits