Chocolate Addiction – Reality Or Myth?
Many people are self-described chocoholics. But, in some extreme cases, chocolate can lead to a serious addiction that affects the waistline, pocket book, and even relationships. This is especially true of white and milk chocolate, both of which contain high levels of sugar and fat without as many beneficial flavonoids as dark chocolate (flavonoids help with blood pressure, insulin resistance, heart health, and dental health, in small quantities). The high levels of sugar and fat in white and milk chocolate may help to activate the reward and pleasure centers of the brain. For some people, this can leave them craving more and more chocolate. If you think you may be experiencing chocolate addiction, read on about the “symptoms,” changes you can make in your diet, as well as some tactics you can use the next time a craving hits:
Although some medical professionals debate the existence of addiction to chocolate, there is a study that indicates that chocolate addiction might be a real thing. These include a growing waist, weight problems, bad complexion due to poor nutrition, mood swings, negative side-effects experienced after eating chocolate that do not stop you from consuming or craving it, and money issues that can arise if you are buying lots of chocolates.
Identifying an Addiction
Think about how often you crave chocolate, if you give-in, and what types of chocolates you normally consume. Keep a journal of all these things, along with how much money you spend per week on chocolate. Then consult a medical professional. They can help you determine if you actually have a problem, and recommend what next steps to take.
Just like sugar addiction, an addiction to chocolate can be hard to break. If your doctor decides you have a problem with chocolate, they will probably recommend that you change the type of chocolate you are eating (for example, from white to dark), remove most chocolate from your house, and even possible begin a diet to get yourself back in-shape and in good health. Diets of this sort would probably focus on losing weight, with more whole-grain products, lean meats, fresh fruits, and vegetables, and shy away from processed sugars, white-flour foods, and processed foods. They may even be able to recommend a good exercise plan. After all, exercise can help you to relieve stress (a reason many people turn to chocolate in the first place), while also getting you back in shape. Be sure to consult your doctor before starting any diet or exercise plan.
You may also want to take other steps to prevent relapse, such as keeping a cravings journal, having a list of why it is important for you to change (as encouragement to keep up the good work), and to change your daily plans, route, or routine to make chocolate not so convenient for you. Some vitamin supplements, such as those that are helpful in the fight against sugar addiction, may also be helpful in battling addiction to chocolate. These include B vitamins, vitamin c, and the minerals calcium, zinc, and magnesium. Always talk with your doctor before adding supplements to your diet.
What to Do When a Craving Hits
When a craving hits, record it in your journal. Take a moment to breathe. Think about why you want the chocolate. Consult your list of reasons on why you are changing your lifestyle. Take a moment to meditate on your struggle, and then do your best to distract yourself. You may do this by reading a book, going for a walk, exercising, or eating a healthy snack. Good luck in learning how to curb your chocolate addiction.