Editor's note: Well, this is embarrassing. Turns out this "study" was a stunt to see who was paying attention — and we weren't.
As if you really need another reason to eat chocolate.
Researchers in Germany recently released a study, published in the International Archives of Medicine, that found chocolate can speed up weight loss. The researchers divided study participants into three groups. One group ate a low-carbohydrate diet, another ate a low-carb diet but added 42 grams of chocolate each day, and a control group followed their normal diet.
The group that ate chocolate lost 10 percent more weight and kept it off longer than the other groups. They also reported sleeping better and had significantly reduced blood cholesterol levels.
"Many weight-loss diets share the common factor of weight gain within several months after a short and often significant weight reduction," wrote the study's authors.
In this study, the group that ate the low-carb diet (without chocolate) followed that pattern. However, the group that added chocolate to their low-carb regimen didn't bounce back and start gaining weight gain.
It may be related to flavonoids in chocolate, which have antioxidant health benefits.
Other studies have also found some possible connections between chocolate and weight loss.
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen, for example, showed that dark chocolate can curb cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods.
In his book, "Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight," neuroscientist Will Clower, Ph.D., claims that if you eat chocolate 20 minutes before and five minutes after lunch and dinner, you can cut your appetite by up to 50 percent.
But not all chocolate is created equal. Nearly all research that touts the health benefits of chocolate specifies that the sweet treat be dark chocolate. In the German study, for example, participants consumed 81 percent dark chocolate.
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