Benefits Of Dark Chocolate For Weight Gain

Interesting facts about dark chocolate

Dark chocolate's nutritional value

Dark chocolate is calorie dense, with every ounce (28 g) of it containing approximately 155 calories (kcal). A 28.4 g (1 oz) bar of dark chocolate contains nearly 9 g of total fat, 2.3 mg of cholesterol, 17 g of carbohydrates, and 1.4 g of protein.

Side effects of dark chocolate

There aren't any specific side effects of dark chocolate, if you consume it in moderation. But if you overeat it, this may cause weight gain and even obesity which can lead to the development of various diseases, including cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, dark chocolate contains caffeine, so that overconsumption could lead to anxiety, as with the overconsumption of coffee.

Is dark chocolate good for weight gain?

Benefits of dark chocolate for weight gain

As such, dark chocolate by itself does not facilitate weight gain. Some trials, which asked participants to consume dark chocolate every day (ranging between 20-50 g and for 2-8 weeks depending on the study) concluded that the regular consumption of dark chocolate does not cause weight gain. One study, however, reported an increase in body weight by 0.8 kg after 3 months (upon consumption of 25 g dark chocolate/day).1

However, as you might have heard before, the best way to lose weight would be to ensure that you burn more calories than you are consuming, and conversely to gain weight, one would have to consume more calories than burn. Twenty eight grammes of dark chocolate is about 155 calories (kcal). To burn this off, you will have to walk, at 3 mph, for approximately 42 minutes. Alternatively, you would have to cycle at 10 mph for about 20 minutes or run at 6 mph for 15 minutes. These numbers provide a useful insight into just how calorie-dense chocolate, and more specifically, dark chocolate is. Therefore if your diet is already quite calorie-rich and you add dark chocolate to it, this may facilitate weight gain.

But, for the most part, when we are looking to gain weight, we want to gain a higher proportion of muscle than fat so that we can stay lean, look fit in clothes, and most importantly, stay healthy. If this is your goal, dark chocolate can help - they induce satiety and help keep hunger at bay – but moderation is key: dark chocolate contains saturated fats and if consumed in excess could lead to increased lipid levels in the blood.1

Consumption of dark chocolate is also associated with several other health benefits. It is rich in cocoa flavanols, containing up to 2-3 times more than milk chocolate. Flavanols aid in the production of nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator (facilitates the relaxation and dilation of blood vessels). This in turn improves blood flow and maintains blood pressure. In addition, some studies have also shown that in the short run, cocoa flavanols can increase insulin sensitivity which in turn can lead to a reduction in the risk of diabetes in the long term. Furthermore, some studies show a link between cocoa/chocolate consumption and reduced blood pressure, inflammation, and heart disease.2

Dark chocolate for weight gain: diet tips

Best dark chocolate for weight gain

While dark chocolate is generally healthier than milk chocolate, there are a few in particular, that are made of mostly natural ingredients making them even more dense in nutrients. Some can be sourced at local health stores or online.

When is the best time to consume?

There isn’t a right or wrong time to consume dark chocolate, but it would be good to have it after a workout as the high level of carbs in this chocolate would help the body recover faster post-exercise. This general rule holds for other high-carb foods too.

How much is enough?

It is recommended that you consume no more than 30-60 g (1-2 oz) of dark chocolate every day. Since dark chocolate is rich in saturated fats, and as mentioned before, is calorie dense, it should be consumed in moderation, or else they can cause health issues. 


In summary, dark chocolate could function as a delicious means to facilitate weight gain. With its beneficial cardiovascular effects and potential ability to reduce the chances of diabetes, it has often been branded as a superfood. However, dark chocolate needs to be consumed in moderation, or else it can lead to obesity which in turn can lead to several adverse health outcomes.


  1. Farhat G, Drummond S, Fyfe L, Al-Dujaili EAS. Dark Chocolate: An Obesity Paradox or a Culprit for Weight Gain? Phytotherapy Research. 2013 Sep 2;28(6):791–7. Available from:
  2. Galleano, Monica, et al. ‘Cocoa, Chocolate and Cardiovascular Disease’. Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, vol. 54, no. 6, Dec. 2009, pp. 483–90. PubMed Central,
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Punyaslok Mishra Mishra

MB BCh BAO - Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland

Punyaslok is an emerging medical professional from Queen's University Belfast with a specialization in Medicine. He has showcased leadership as the President of the Asian Medical Students’ Association in Northern Ireland since August 2022. Besides, he contributes as a Peer Mentor and has recently undertaken a vital role as a Medical Writer Intern at Klarity, where he pens insightful articles for a health library, discussing topics from angina to the enzymes in papaya. Notably, Punyaslok's research on the potential of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in treating Anthracycline Induced Cardiomyopathy is affiliated with Queen's University, signifying his deep interest in advancing therapeutic measures in the medical realm.

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