Sunday, March 4, 2012

An Easy Way To Curb Chocolate Cravings.

Exercise has long been known to have positive effects on mood and energy levels. Exercise is also known to potentially manage addictions. According to research done at the University of Exeter, a 15 minute walk at work can cut chocolate cravings in half. Even in stressful situations, workers only ate half of what the normally would.

In this study that was published in the journal Appetite, a group of 78 regular chocolate eaters were observed. The participants were divided into four groups. Two groups did a 15 minute walk on the treadmill and then were asked to do work at their desk. For one of these groups, the work was a low stress task. While the other group was given a demanding job. The remaining two groups just rested before completing their tasks.

Chocolate was available at the participants desks as they completed their tasks. It was found that those who did the 15 minute walk before consumed half the amount of chocolate as those who did not walk. There was not a difference between the stress of the tasks and the amount of chocolate that was eaten. So this suggests that stress does not contribute to cravings for sweets.

We can often snack on sweets without realizing how much we are eating. Over time this leads to weight gain. Many people turn to snacks to deal with boredom, stress or to get an energy boost. So when you find yourself craving chocolate or other sweet snacks, take a quick walk instead of parking yourself on the couch in front of the TV. While you are walking, not only will you be curbing your cravings, but also getting the benefits of exercise.

Journal Reference:
  1. Hwajung Oh, Adrian H. Taylor. Brisk walking reduces ad libitum snacking in regular chocolate eaters during a workplace simulation. Appetite, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.11.006

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