March 3, 2015
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Click to purchase

New Science Proves You Should Eat Chocolate Every Day

As part of my job at the library, every morning before we open I look for books that people have asked us to hold for them. One morning I pulled this Chocolate diet book. We had it in with all the older diet books; we have a section in the front of the library for the new and popular books, but with nonfiction, it is often a judgment call. We have limited space in the new book section, so invariably some of the new nonfiction just ends up in the older section.

When I picked up this book, I laughed to myself, wondering how old this book was. I immediately thought of the 1970s with all the fad diets like the Cabbage Diet, the Grapefruit Diet and the Hard Boiled Egg Diet. I assumed that this was one of those, a fad Chocolate diet. But as I thumbed through the book, I quickly learned that it had a copyright date of 2014 – how could this be? I put a reserve on the book and waited for another copy to come in, sending the one I pulled off to whoever had asked for it.

A few days later my book came in. I sat down with it and sped through it, unable to believe my eyes. In this day and age of science and nutrition, this was the wackiest diet I had seen in a long time. And claiming that science was backing it up just seemed ludicrous to me. I know that chocolate, in moderation, is considered to be a good food, but was this moderation? I wasn’t sure. I also wasn’t sure about the rest of the diet.

The author is a doctor – a PhD in neuroscience, according to his website. I only have a Masters degree in library science, so I am no expert in the field of nutrition. I don’t know how much nutrition is covered in a neuroscience doctorate program either. The website espouses a Mediterranean lifestyle, and there is a nutritionist attached to it as well. But this chocolate diet is not the Mediterranean diet by a long shot.

What really got me going was the “meal” plan, and I use the term loosely. Breakfast is strictly optional, and the section begins, “If you are not hungry, do not eat,” which basically is setting back nutritional science a decade or so. It is suggested that if you are a little hungry, have a handful of almonds or walnuts, or if you’re really hungry, have an egg. Yes, one egg.

Lunch and dinner are preceded by a “thumb size” piece of chocolate, and another is for after each meal unless you choose a dessert like chocolate covered strawberries. It is recommended that the dieter consume dark chocolate, but it is not a requirement. The amount of chocolate the dieter consumes does get greater – up to 10 servings a day – of the 85% or greater dark chocolate. It is suggested that “if you become full while you’re in the middle of eating your meal, never, ever finish your dinner.” Allowable drinks include wine, beer, coffee, tea, juice, carbonated water and milk. No diet drinks or diet sodas though.

Since I need to lose some weight, I decided to give it ago. I bought a Trader Joe’s 85% dark chocolate bar, drank wine, and ate nuts for breakfast. I stuck to it for 4 days and gained 2 pounds. ‘Nuff said?

3/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

EAT CHOCOLATE, LOSE WEIGHT by Will Clower. Rodale Books; 1 edition (February 4, 2014). ISBN 978-1623361273. 288p.