When You Want the Chocolate, Eat the Chocolate! (And Still Lose Weight)
Put down the unsalted nuts and have the peanut M&M'S®! Research shows that mindfully eating sweets when you crave them is better than forcing a “healthy” swap. Let us explain—then choose from five cocoa-y snacks…from salty to crunchy to fruity and nutty.
Published January 28, 2022

You’re not imagining it: Chocolate desire is real. According to one study, chocolate all on its lonesome makes up 49% of all food cravings.* It’s why we dedicated an entire cookbook to the stuff!

But when you’re on a weight-loss or wellness journey, it’s easy to think you’ve got to kibosh the sweets. Nope! You can absolutely eat chocolate. It’s all about doing it mindfully.


Why You Should Eat Chocolate If You’re Craving It


So back to those peanut M&M'S®… Saying no to something you’re craving can actually backfire, explains WW nutrition manager Angela Goscilo, a registered dietician and, CDN. Research shows that denying yourself a certain food (ya know, like chocolate) can make you want it more.*

Result? You’re more likely to overeat that food—even if you reach for a carrot stick first. “In other words, the more we think we shouldn’t do something, the more we want to do it,” says behavioral psychologist Allison Grupski, Ph.D., WW senior director of behavior change strategies and coaching.

Instead of vowing never to eat chocolate again, only to panic in front of a bag of Kisses, plan for a little each day and move on. Eating chocolate every day is totally OK. (WW members, try pretracking so you always have room in your PersonalPoints™ Budget.) The key to lasting weight loss is livability, Goscilo says. And eliminating entire food groups—dessert, included—isn’t sustainable.



5 Ways to Enjoy Chocolate—Plus a Little Extra


No shade to plain ’ol chocolate, but if you’re craving something sweet and something else, you have options. Here’s what to reach for when you’re in the mood for chocolate and…

1. Crunch

If you’re looking for the crunch of a chip, but sweet, WW x Sheila G’s Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle offers both. At only 4 PersonalPoints per serving, the single-serve packs have the rich, fudgy taste of a brownie, minus the heaviness. Enjoy the brittle on its own or crumble it over yogurt, oatmeal, or ice cream to add some crunch.

2. Nuttiness

Chips and guac. Bacon and eggs. Chocolate and PB. If you’re craving the latter iconic duo, dip into WW x Better'n Peanut Butter Chocolate Peanut Spread, which marries the two in one creamy concoction. Made with less fat and sugar than traditional hazelnut spreads*, each two-tablespoon serving is only 3 PersonalPoints and 3 grams of sugar. How to use it? Pair with bananas, smear on whole-grain toast, melt and drizzle on ice cream, or eat it off a spoon (obvi).

3. Saltiness

When snack o’clock hits, you’ll no longer need to choose between salty or sweet. Have both! Make some popcorn at home (this silicone popper makes it simple) and sprinkle on WW Chocolate Sweet Seasonings. (It’s 0 PersonalPoints, so if you’re a WW member and air-popped popcorn is on your new ZeroPoint™ foods list, you could enjoy this snack without draining your Budget at all.) Don’t be surprised if this seasoning quickly becomes the most used bottle in your spice rack—a chocolate dusting levels up everything from waffles and ice cream to homemade lattes and even fruit.

4. Fruit

Take your tastebuds on an adventure with something cool and refreshing and warm and decadent. For a dessert that pairs fresh fruit with warm chocolate, start with WW Fudge Brownie Mug Cake Mix. You’ll get a perfectly portioned cake in just one minute—all you need to supply is a mug and a microwave. (Hello, easy clean-up!) Then top it with sliced strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or whatever else you have in the fridge.

5. Caramel

Car-mel. Care-a-mel. Say it however you like. One thing most can agree on: It’s sweet, savory, and buttery all rolled into one. Reach for our best-selling WW Chocolate Caramel Mini Bar, coated in dark chocolate—which is more bitter than milk chocolate—to help balance out all the sweetness. Hack: Warm it in the microwave for 30 seconds to create the perfect dipping sauce for apples or strawberries, or make these air-fried snack bars. Other choco-caramel creations: these mug cakes and phyllo tarts.

*2 tbsp WW x Better'n Peanut Butter® Chocolate Spread vs. 2 tbsp Nutella® Chocolate Hazelnut Spread with Cocoa

SOURCES:

*Cravings Stat & Antioxidants in Chocolate: Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. (2011). “Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4696435/

*Effect of Restriction on Cravings: International Journal of Eating Disorders. (2005). “The effect of deprivation on food cravings and eating behavior in restrained and unrestrained eaters.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16261600/