Why am I Craving Chocolate?
I love chocolate! Chocolate can feel like the best part of your day or your moment to relax after you have had a tough time. But sometimes it feels like you can’t control this desire to consume chocolate. Craving chocolate almost feels like an overwhelming sensation that can’t be tamed or reduced. However, it may be due to reasons other than simply lacking in self-control.
1. Sugar Fix
There are a range of reasons why you might all of a sudden feel the urge to eat chocolate. More often this is more than a feeling, and it feels like your body is pleading for it. The reason for this can be due to your body asking for a sugar fix. When your blood sugar level drops, your body will look to find food which can provide you with a glucose boost in the fastest way possible. As we all know, different chocolates contains varying degrees of sugar. Your body will use this easily consumable product as a sugar rush to get the blood sugar level back to where it should be.
2. Caffeine Boost
If you have seen my previous post on coffee, you know the effects of caffeine on the body. Chocolate can have differing amounts of caffeine depending on the level of cacao content. Ground cacao is the main ingredient in chocolate and comes from cacao seeds. This contains a natural amount of caffeine, which remains even after being roasted and ground for chocolate. Therefore the greater the cacao content, the greater the caffeine in the chocolate. So if you crave dark chocolate, you might be trying to feed a different craving of caffeine!
Often when we are stressed we look to something of comfort to help. Chocolate can often be the best go to food for comfort. The reason for this ‘instant relief’ is due to the endorphins that chocolate releases in the brain. Endorphins are your body’s natural pain reliever and when you are stressed you look to relieve this pain in some way. Chocolate an be an easy fix in many cases, but that moment on your lips can really turn into a lifetime on your hips!
4. You are just Hungry
This might seems obvious but hear me out. When you are hungry you are lacking the energy to carry on with the day ahead. Your body knows this and will look for fast carbohydrates to replenish the energy supply. Many refined sugars can be a fast solution, and so chocolate will give you a quick rush and allow you to carry on. However in many cases you will be left feeling unsatisfied after eating the chocolate, and will still be hungry.
How do I Stop Craving Chocolate?
In my opinion there is not a quick fix for stopping a chocolate craving, and I don’t think there should be either. Sometimes it’s important to give your body what it needs, as cravings can give us signs about what our bodies are lacking. Having said that, I always think it is smarter to exhaust all other options before resorting to eating massive amounts of chocolate.
1. Listen to your body and be intuitive
I bring this point up a lot in my blogs because I genuinely believe it to be such an important one. Many people live a life where they feel their minds and bodies are separated. such that there is no connection between the two. I am of the opinion that our brains and bodies are two information providers. They work simultaneously to help us live. Relying on only one or the other can be detrimental. As a result it’s important to use both to determine what is the best course of action for ourselves.
It is a very difficult way to live when your mind is telling you no, and your body is telling you yeah! Therefore being logical and allowing yourself to indulge a little is much better than trying to constantly control yourself. Diets can feel like a cage and will never be a long lasting fix. Instead we need to adapt our behaviour by rewarding ourselves a little, whilst remaining in control.
2. Always eat sugar second
Lets travel back to my childhood for a moment. My mother taught me a very important lesson well before I was studying human behaviour. I loved having sweets when I was little. Any time I wanted one I would run to my mum and plead for anything sweet. And my mother’s reaction would always be the same; eat an apple first and then come back. So off I would go, eat the apple and come back. Then it would be eat a banana and then come back. Off I would go, and then back. Next was a pear, a plum, an orange…you get the idea.
So in this way I would slowly fill up on healthy food which had natural sugar levels before turning to the artificial stuff. That’s not to say my mum always restricted me and sometimes she just let me have it. The point is that I learned to always eat my meals, and use fruit as a sweet alternative. Since becoming an adult, if after eating a full meal and eating fruit I still want the chocolate, I have a small amount to fulfil the craving. But many times I won’t need it, because actually I’m just hungry, lacking energy, stressed etc. Normal foods can help you to rebalance your body. It’s important to always try alternatives before going straight for the sweets or chocolate. I use this method to this day, and I feel it helps enormously with my cravings so I would urge you to try it!
3. Exercise is your best friend
Now I know when you are hangry the last thing you want to do is exercise. However this is mainly for when you are stressed, anxious, or under pressure. Many times our lives can feel very chaotic, and that pressure or stress can be difficult to deal with. Chocolate can seem like a coping mechanism with the endorphin release. However, exercise can produce this same ‘feel-good’ endorphin release that helps to reduce the stress. I would recommend doing any type of exercise that you enjoy. It doesn’t need to be a 5k run (unless you want to do that sort of thing). You can go for a walk, do some yoga, whatever works for you. And it doesn’t have to be for a prolonged period of time either. Even 30 minutes of this time out can help clear your mind and make you feel more in control.
I am aware of the fact that it takes about 30 seconds to eat a chocolate compared to 30 minutes of exercise. Nevertheless this can be beneficial in many ways other than just avoiding chocolate. Remember than your body needs a healthy mind to function properly and vice versa. Listening to your mind when it tells you to take a break is important, as long as it is not over indulged. A healthy mind makes a healthy body, so be sure to look after all aspects of your being. Remember that you will have only one mind and body, so the earlier you start looking after it the better!
That's all for now folks!
That’s all for today folks. I hope you enjoyed this blog post. After taking a small break to recharge, I am back and excited to write about all the topics you have submitted. If you have any suggestions or comments let me know below or via firstname.lastname@example.org