Are you being tormented by leftover Valentine’s Day chocolates? If you suffer from crazy chocolate cravings, this holiday can be tough—even after it’s over.
Chocolate is still everywhere. According to the marketing research firm MarketingResearch, Americans purchase 58 million pounds of chocolate on Valentine’s Day, much of which tempts you well after February 14 is gone.
If you’ve ever been in the grip of a chocolate craving, then you know how overpowering the urge to indulge can be. Just seeing the (half-finished) boxes of chocolates, red-wrapped snack-sized candy bars and other sweet tidbits—hanging around this week or next on coworker’s desks and sold for 50% off in stores—can be a chocolate-cravers’ nightmare.
There is a better, more self-loving way to deal with leftover Valentine’s Day chocolate and the cravings it brings up: Put on your comfy shoes and head for a walk with or without your sweetie.
Yes, becoming stronger than your urge for chocolate can be as simple as walking away from it…literally.
That may sound too easy to be true, but the scientific evidence tells us that a brisk walk can make your forget your urges for a bite of chocolate.
A team of sports medicine scientists from Great Britain and Austria in 2015 put 47 overweight persons, who were frequent consumers of sugary snacks, through three days of chocolate abstinence. One group did nothing to combat the subsequent chocolate cravings, while the second group was instructed after three days of chocolate abstinence to take a brisk 15 minute walk when urges surfaced. Both groups completed two tasks designed to measure how distracting their cravings had become. Clear evidence emerged that the brisk walkers had reduced their urges for chocolate and were better able to controls their reactions to stress and food cues.
Two previous studies published in 2013 and 2009, in the journal Appetite, came to similar conclusions. Once again, it was a ‘brisk’ 15-minute walk that turned off the desire for chocolate in regular chocolate consumers, after three days of abstaining from chocolate.
The Simple Steps:
- When you feel a chocolate craving, do a two-minute exercise warm-up that involves stretching. Bend at your waist and slowly move side to side as you swing your arms.
- Start a 15 minute brisk walk, either on a treadmill or outside. Time yourself.
- ‘Brisk’ means pretending you are trying to catch a bus, but not so fast that you become breathless.
- At the end of the walk, turn your attention to a task you need to perform.
How It Works:
Exercise has been shown in many studies to positively change moods and behaviors. Scientists are not yet sure exactly how this works, but their theories involve the way that short bouts of intense exercise change blood chemistry in the brain, and release hormones to counteract cravings.
Your Cravings-Crushing Adventurcise™:
I invite you to try this technique. Next, come back here to rate its effectiveness for you. Then, decide if you’ll add this simple tactic to your arsenal of Cravings-Crushing tools. Now, check the appropriate box:
_____ It Worked Well! This is now one of my top Cravings-Crushing Tools.
_____ It Worked, but I’d like to try other techniques.
Ledochowski L. et al. “Acute effects of brisk walking on sugary snack cravings in overweight people, affect and responses to a manipulated stress situation and to a sugary snack cue: a crossover study.” PLoS One. 2015. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0119278, accessed Feb. 10, 2016.
Oh H. et al. “A brisk walk, compared with being sedentary, reduces attentional bias and chocolate cravings among regular chocolate eaters with different body mass.” Appetite. 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23962400, accessed Feb. 10, 2016.
Taylor AH. et al. “Acute effects of brisk walking on urges to eat chocolate, affect, and responses to a stressor and chocolate cue. An experimental study.” Appetite. 2009. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18835411, accessed Feb. 10, 2016.
Stay tuned for tools and tips to Crush Your Crazy Cravings. As I shared earlier, my posts will appear on Cravings-Crushing Mondays. Feel free to share this post with your friends and loved ones.
What are Cravings-Crushing Mondays? Since millions blow their diets over the weekend and intend to get back to healthy eating the first day of the week, I’m presenting Cravings Crushing Mondays. Every week, early in the beginning of the week for 2016, you’ll get fast, convenient, science-backed tips, tools and pointers so you can easily eat clean despite our fast, convenience-driven culture. (If you miss a Cravings-Crushing Monday post, just do a search at www.ConnieB.com
Who is Connie Bennett? Acclaimed, bestselling author Connie Bennett — aka The Cravings Crusher™ — is the internationally recognized bestselling author of Sugar Shock (Berkley Books, 2006) and Beyond Sugar Shock (Hay House, 2012). One or both books were praised Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman. For 17 years — since reluctantly kicking sweets and processed carbs on doctor’s orders due to her 44 baffling ailments — the former sugar-addicted journalist has been guiding people to joyously ditch their sugar or carb addiction. Connie began writing her next book, Crush Your Crazy Cravings (publication date TBA), while pounced on by Crazy Cravings in late 2012, after her mother’s year-long terminal illness and difficult death. Now healed, slimmed down and cravings-free, Connie is eager to help millions by sharing many, super-simple, science-based secrets she discovered during her three-plus year investigation of the subject. Connie’s goal is to help readers easily, effortlessly achieve delicious freedom, sweet serenity, and calm control over Crazy Cravings for unhealthy foods or more accurately, drug-like edible substances.
Spread the word about Cravings-Cravings Mondays to your junk-foods-loving friends, colleagues, and social media.