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mmmm.. Chocolate...

Have you ever felt that chocolate treats play you like a marionette, drawing you in to indulge? You know eating too much of the intoxicating ultimate comfort food will go straight to your fat cells, but somehow you rationalize every bite.

You're in luck.

Researchers say that just 15 minutes of brisk walking can reduce chocolate cravings perhaps because exercise effects the area of the brain that governs mood and reward.

In what seems like it would be a torture test for those who crave chocolate, study subjects were asked to report how they feel when opening a chocolate bar wrapper - but they were not permitted to eat the chocolate. Those who had completed 15 minutes of exercise prior to the chocolate challenge had lesser cravings than those who did not exercise.

This isn't the first time exercise has been studied for it's potential use as an addiction treatment. Similar studies have shown exercise can help people quit smoking and reduce alcohol cravings.

Exercise has many benefits beyond the more popularized tool for a body makeover; exercise affects brain chemistry, hormones, emotions, and perhaps all biochemistry in the human body.

Got chocolate cravings you feel you can't beat? Exercise can help, but you may also benefit from wrapping your head around the idea of giving yourself some cognitive therapy. When those craving thoughts start up, recognize the feeling, say "stop" to yourself, and replace the craving thoughts with something else, perhaps, "I don't really need this. I'm simply experiencing a habitualized response that I'm going change." Then change your action; skip the chocolate.

Repeat the exercise and self talk enough times and you're likely to get good at not craving chocolate.

Study Journal Appetite


2008 Cris LaBossiere Rhino Fitness

Copyright 2008 Rhino Fitness. All rights reserved.
For more information contact: clabossiere@rhinofitness.ca