What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Eating Chocolate

The French love chocolate, that’s undeniable. According to Chocolate Syndicate 2021 figuresthe average consumption in France is 13.2 kg per year and per household.

Dark, milk, white, filled, fruit… It comes in countless recipes that make it popular as a dessert or as a snack. A passion such that some even call themselves chocolate “addicts”, in the same vein as cheese addicts.

And if it is so difficult to resist the call of one (or more) of its square(s), breaking away from it seems to be even more so. But then, what happens in the body when you stop eating chocolate?

Serotonin, antioxidants: all that chocolate gives us

“If chocolate is a comfort food known, we must not forget thatit has nutritional qualities“, begin Corinne Chicheportiche-Ayache, nutritionist doctor.

Dark chocolate helps us make serotoninqui is very important in our emotional balance and in the reduction of mood swings and compulsiveness”, she explains.

Qualities acclaimed with us, since – still according to the Syndicat du chocolat – “the French are distinguished by a propensity to consume more dark chocolate than the rest of Europe (30% against 5% on average in Europe)”.

Also touted for its antioxidant qualities (which act against aging and cell damage), dark chocolate derives its benefits from its high cocoa content. Only, if we stop consuming it, do we lose these benefits?

No, answers the expert. “You’d have to be binge drinking to experience negative mood effects.. If you have a healthy relationship with it, you won’t notice any difference on that side,” she says.

Better digestive comfort, weight loss and reduced headaches

Conversely, if you decide to put a break on your chocolate consumption, some positive effects can be felt. But again, it’s all about quantity.

“If we are used to eating half a wafer every day (in particular of sweet chocolate types with milk, white or filled, editor’s note), stopping will relieve us of inconvenience. All fatty products increase reflux and create heartburn”, says Dr. Chicheportiche-Ayache.

Beyond better digestive comfort, a possible weightloss can also be observed, since a significant (and not very nutritious) daily caloric intake is withdrawn. “It is a contribution that we do not necessarily realize and which risks contributing to an increase in weight and to all the metabolic complications that we know around this intake”, continues the nutritionist doctor.

Before adding:we can also have a benefit to stop chocolate when we are migraineurs“.

Indeed, if the mechanisms of migraine are not all understood, a study by the University of San Diego, published in 2016 argues that “migraine sufferers have more nitrate-transforming microbes in their saliva than other people. Nitrates that convert to nitric oxide inducing headache“. Nitrates are mainly found in “chocolate, wine and processed meat”, adds Science Alert.

“Nitric oxide isn’t all bad, because it dilates our blood vessels and can promote cardiovascular health by stimulating blood circulation. But it is thought that sometimes this dilation and inflammation can increase the risk of migraines.

Tamed blood sugar spikes and noted benefits

But it’s not so much stopping cocoa that has a positive impact on our body, it’s stopping (more or less important, depending on consumption) sugar. A new eating habit that will regulate blood sugar spikes too frequent.

“These intakes of fast sugars can contribute to irritability, mood swings, compulsive behaviors and cravings. These will decrease or disappear if the behaviors are adjusted,” explains Dr. Chicheportiche-Ayache.

“Also, in the context of an unbalanced diet, our intake of low glycemic index foods are relatively low and we will tend to be more compulsive and seek products that feel good, that soothe. Chocolate is often high in terms of comfort food”, she continues.

The food that is good for us, to be consumed in moderation

However, the expert is formal, if you have an “addictive” type behavior with chocolate, you can get rid of it.

“You can’t be addicted to chocolate, it is not a product that makes you dependent. Yes, limiting or stopping it, in the context of consumption that is not linked to pleasure, can create a feeling of frustration, because there is no longer this food that fills a malaise. But we will not feel withdrawal symptoms”, nuances the doctor nutritionist.

To know if our relationship with chocolate is healthy (and if it needs to be adjusted or not), we must question its consumption. Are we just a gourmet and having fun with it? Or do we take sweet products as emotional regulators? In this case, it is not a question of a conscious consumption, of pleasure, but of a consumption of need, to calm a negative emotion.

Here, an accompaniment may be necessary. Thus, we can alreadymake the person gradually move towards an chocolate of better nutritional qualitylike dark chocolate”, while offering other alternatives to food comfort (watching a series, going for a walk, calling a friend, etc.).

But generally, stopping eating chocolate is of no real interest if you are a chocolate fanatic. Because, this cuddly food, when consumed in moderation, is good for us. “As a professional, I always prescribe a chocolate tile at snack time, including in slimming diets, because it brings a lot”, confirms Dr Chicheportiche-Ayache.

What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Eating Chocolate