If you are like me, those pesky chocolate bars at the counter all seem to squeal your name as you approach the shops till. Yes, we all have cravings, and we all like stuff that isn’t necessarily good for us. But how can we beat those cravings and avoid binge buying chocolates for no apparent reason?
Some people say that you crave foods because you have a deficiency in something, so for example we may crave a salty bag of crisps if we are deficient in salt… We don’t get chocolate deficiency unfortunately, so this can’t be used as an excuse. However chocolate can be quite high in magnesium, so it has been suggested that this is why we crave it.
Personally, I don’t believe in this theory, I don’t believe that we crave a certain food because we are deficient in something it has, especially not when it comes to chocolate.
The chocolate craving, is actually more likely to be a habitual thing, and can also be linked to the release of endorphins (the feel good hormone). But did you know that endorphins are released following many things including sex & exercise!
Maybe we can replace chocolate with one of those two activities and they we will all be happy?
Anyway, I have gone off track… People tend to crave sweets & chocolate as a fast energy source due to its high sugar content, so that initial endorphin “gel good” release spikes your energy levels….. but this also leads to energy crashes, leaving you foggy headed, tired, lacking focus and so on.
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So how can we beat the chocolate cravings?
I have a few tips that I share with my personal training clients, that helps to curb the cravings whilst still satisfying them. Leaving both you, your mind and your body/waistline happy.
And here they are:
- Dark chocolate! When we crave chocolate, we usually think of milk chocolate, the one that has been through so many processes to get from cocoa bean to bar. But by going to the dark side and eating chocolate that is at least 75% cocoa, you are removing a lot of those man made elements. In addition, dark chocolate is very bitter and dry, so one or two blocks is enough to kill off the craving, whilst allowing you to feel as though you have indulged in someone a little naughty. Dark chocolate is actually quite good for you in small amounts.
- Hot chocolate! Millions of people hunker down on cold winter nights with a nice mug of hot chocolate. Noe-a-days, you can get low calorie heLthy options hot chocolate which contains much less crap than some of the older original versions. So by having one of these low calorie hot. Hocolates, your brain thinks it is getting the good stuff, your body thinks it’s getting the right stuff and you feel like you are at peace with your chocolate devil.
- Chocolate muffins! Did I seriously just say chocolate muffins… Yes, yes I did! I have made these muffins before, and they blew my mind. They basically consist of ground almonds, butter, baking soda and melted dark chocolate, mixed together into a cake mix and cooked in the oven in your usual muffin cases. Not only are these delicious, but they are quick, simple, and not a grain of cane sugar insight.
And there you have my top three ways to crush a chocolate craving. So next time you feel the need for something with that familiar cocoa taste, try one of these tips and save your waistline.
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