It’s not too good to be true. One study found that regular chocolate eaters were actually slimmer than people who didn’t indulge as often—even though they ate slightly more calories overall and exercised no longer than the control group. Why? “When you deprive yourself, you’re ultimately more likely to overeat,” says Gans. “If you take the guilt factor away, there’s a better chance you’ll eat chocolate in moderation, and only until you feel satisfied.” Another theory is that chocolate increases levels of feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine in your brain, which has a calming effect so you’re less likely to keep eating to self-soothe, says Halas-Liang.