Craving Chocolate: What Does It Mean And How To Stop
Hands up if you love chocolate? Is it something you regularly get cravings for? If so, then keep reading!
While I’ve talked about food cravings before, craving chocolate is worthy of its own blog post. I felt like this was a topic that I could really explore in detail, so here we go.
In this blog, I’m going to talk about some of the common reasons we reach for chocolate and how to deal with chocolate cravings when they hit!
- Why you crave chocolate
- How to stop craving chocolate
- Post-meal chocolate cravings
- Craving chocolate when you're feeling tired
- Craving chocolate on your period
- Emotional chocolate cravings
Why am I craving chocolate?
Maybe you’re suddenly craving chocolate like crazy or maybe there are particular times when you start craving chocolate. No matter whether you crave a little or a lot, understanding why chocolate cravings hit can help you to manage them better.
If you’ve ever heard the saying that a craving is a sign your body needs a particular nutrient, it might make you wonder what chocolate has to offer! No, you don’t have a chocolate deficiency. What is possible is that your body might be craving magnesium or particular antioxidants.
Another reason why you might be craving chocolate is because it can help to stimulate the release of dopamine, a feel-good chemical in your brain. That means eating chocolate can help make you feel happier, so you begin to associate eating chocolate with feeling happy. That can explain why you may get cravings for chocolate on a bad day or when you’re feeling stressed. While it’s not just chocolate that triggers this feeling, it can help to explain why you might get cravings for it.
How to stop craving chocolate
There can be a number of reasons WHY you are craving chocolate and you might find those cravings hit at particular times.
To help you deal with chocolate cravings during your period or any other time, give the tips below a read and try some of my suggestions.
Craving chocolate after a meal
If you’re used to having dessert after dinner, it might purely be habit that you start craving chocolate after a meal! A good way to reduce chocolate cravings at this time of day is by switching the chocolate to something sweet that is still good for you. Finding a healthier way to satisfy a sweet tooth can make it easier to avoid overindulging in chocolate.
Craving chocolate when your energy is low
Next time you feel your energy levels are getting low, check in with yourself and think about when you last ate. If it has been a while, your blood glucose levels are probably getting low, which means your body is signalling to your brain that it needs fuel.
Unfortunately, reaching for some chocolate when you’re tired isn’t a great long-term fix. You’re likely to get a quick burst of energy due to the sugar content, which can wear off quickly and leave you feeling as tired as before.
Instead, switch to a snack that provides longer-lasting energy, such as apple slices with some peanut butter. You’ll get a little hit of natural sugar but the peanut butter helps to slow the breakdown, meaning a more steady, stable release of energy. You can also check out my blog on energy-rich foods for more ideas!
Craving chocolate during your period
As I’ve explained above, one of the reasons why you may have chocolate cravings at this time can be due to lowered levels of magnesium. It has also been suggested that hormonal shifts can trigger a change in your body’s response to insulin — so you can be more likely to crave something sweet.
If you want to satisfy a chocolate craving, try having a few squares of good quality dark chocolate. Otherwise, there are a number of healthier ways to get your magnesium fill. Snack on a couple of almonds, add some avocado to your lunch or pack some leafy greens into a filling green smoothie.
Some research has suggested that craving chocolate when you have PMS could be due to the antioxidant anandamide. This has a calming effect on the body so when coupled with serotonin and tryptophan, chemicals which can help relax you and boost your mood, it’s no wonder so many of us reach for chocolate during our period to make us ‘feel better’.
Rather than overdoing it on chocolate full of refined sugars, you can try satisfying that craving by eating a few squares of dark chocolate. You can also try making the switch to cacao — it is a healthier alternative and it contains many of the same mood-boosting chemicals too.
Craving chocolate when you’re feeling sad or stressed out
Sometimes chocolate cravings can hit you on a tough day. Before you know it, you might have eaten half a block! Emotions can impact the way we eat, so rather than reaching for chocolate, try finding a way to distract yourself.
While it is often the last thing you feel like doing when you are stressed, exercise can make a big difference. Not only is it a distraction, but exercise can also help lift your endorphin levels and improve your mood. Even taking a short walk can help shift your perspective, clear your head and leave you feeling energised again.
If you’ve been in a state of stress for a longer period of time, you might be approaching burnout. That can make it harder to deal with chocolate cravings because you simply don’t have the energy to make something else and all you want is a quick energy fix to get you through.
While it’s tempting to eat exactly what you think you might be craving, try to prepare nutrient-rich meals with some lean protein and make time to sit down and eat. When you nourish your body with foods that help provide it with energy, you should notice you begin to have less cravings for chocolate.
Managing cravings for chocolate
Ladies, I really hope these suggestions are helpful. While I don’t want you to feel as though you have to give chocolate up, bingeing on sweets is not healthy behaviour either.
So long as you’re eating it in moderation, enjoying chocolate is okay. Remember that having a little chocolate is fine, so don’t punish yourself!
Just be mindful of some of the reasons you might be getting cravings, and see if you can identify any patterns. As you become more aware of your behaviour, it becomes easier to make lifestyle changes.
Love, Kayla xx
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.