Health and information – Chocolate addiction is not something new to hear. One bite of chocolate, can change your mood to be good again. But too many eating chocolate can also be a disaster for your body, you get fat.
Research has shown that eating foods made from chocolate can make you feel happy and addictive, just like taking medication.
But if you’re trying to keep yourself away from delights and other sweet things, a new study may offer some hope.
According to research by Flinders University School of Psychology in Australia, awareness could hold the key to limiting chocolate cravings.
This research is based on examining what is known as a “theory outlining of desire disorders.”
It is essentially a two-step process explaining why we want food, especially chocolate.
First is “early distraction”, in which food captures our attention (often caused by environmental cues such as pictures). This is followed by “mental image unraveling”, in which we focus and obsess (where the image lives from desire to addiction).
Researchers are trying to find out whether awareness can help combat both parts of the process.
Has any testing been done about chocolate addiction?
They tested two groups of women – they were all chocolate addiction but wanted to reduce their consumption of chocolate, and another who claimed they weren’t too busy about chocolate.
Participants were randomly divided and asked to try one of two mindfulness techniques:
- Cognitive defusion – this method is meant to overcome the first stage of craving or when the first thought is chocolate in your head. The trick is to quickly distance oneself from desire and “see it as unnecessary with action,” say the researchers.
- Guided imagery – this targets the second stage of passion. Once you start imagining the taste, smell and taste of chocolate, you should replace it with another image such as a serene forest or a quiet beach.
The scientists measured women’s experiences of chocolate, how disturbing their thoughts were, how vivid the images in their minds were, the intensity of their cravings and how much they ended up eating.
They found that cognitive defusion reduced interference from chocolate-related thoughts, image clarity and desire intensity for both groups of women.
Interestingly, the guided imaging technique only works on chocolate-lovers, which has reduced the intensity of the chocolate-related experience, interference, clarity and desire.
The researchers believe that these findings could benefit anyone trying to combat cravings for chocolate or other foods.
What made you experience chocolate addiction?
Most of the people who experience chocolate addiction are women.
Experts still do not know exactly what causes chocolate addiction, but they have some suspicions as below, namely:
- If you forbid yourself from consuming chocolate, then you will want to eat chocolate even more.
- When you are stressed, your body will produce the adrenaline needed to cope with various situations and to do so it requires energy. Chocolate is a source of carbohydrates that the body can convert into energy.
- Changes in hormonal levels during the premenstrual period can make a woman experience depression and irritability, which makes her want to consume various types of carbohydrates, including chocolate.
- Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a chemical in the brain that can increase the desire to consume carbohydrates, which usually reach its highest levels in the morning and when a person is dieting. There is also galanin, another brain chemical that reaches its highest levels at night, which triggers the desire to consume fat.
- Chocolate contains phenylethylamine and fats, which increase the production of endorphins in the body, which can make you feel better. In addition, chocolate also contains theobromine (a stimulant) and caffeine and sugar, which can increase serotonin levels in the brain, which can make you feel more relaxed.
What are the tips for reducing chocolate addiction?
There are indeed several ways you can control chocolate addiction, below are some information for you:
- Find out if craving is emotional. There are many reasons why people crave food. This is often related to feelings of inferiority complex or depression. If you can identify your reasons, try a different approach to addressing the problem.
- Incorporate small portions of chocolate into your regular diet, rather than limiting yourself. Moderation is key. A research trial found that people who limit eating chocolate within half an hour of eating gradually get rid of their cravings.
- If you feel bored and have cravings for chocolate, take a walk, do errands, call friends, or read a book. If you can take your mind off food for a short time, it can go away.
- Always make sure there are healthy foods near you, so you can replace chocolate with fruit several times a day. Eat an overall balanced diet, eat regularly to avoid hunger, and eat more slowly. When your blood sugar levels are stable, cravings are less likely to occur.
- If you think it’s necessary, don’t allow chocolate in the house. Ask friends and family not to buy you chocolate, or not even eat it in front of you.
- Lastly, it’s a good idea to raise your level of exercise, to burn excess calories and increase your metabolic rate. Exercise also releases endorphins, which fight stress, anxiety and depression.
That’s a little information we can convey about chocolate addiction. Hopefully this article is useful for you and for all of us.
Don’t forget to continue to have a healthy lifestyle by diligently exercising every day and eating nutritious foods. Don’t forget to continue to consult your doctor if you have any complaints.