Craving Chocolate Again? Here’s why…
Many of us have a love-hate relationship with chocolate. We love it because it lifts our mood and tastes delicious, but we hate it when it causes our skin to flare and adds a few extra unwanted kilos.
Like coffee, eating chocolate can feel like a tricky habit to break. Before you tackle the task of cutting it out of your daily diet, consider the below reasons of why you may be craving it in the first place.
This seems like an obvious one, but perhaps you are just simply… hungry. Often cravings for quick energy like in sugar-rich chocolate occur when our blood sugar levels are low. This can occur straight after a big meal, after a period of fasting (eg. after work snack attack), after exercise or even after a stressful situation. If there is a certain time you are craving chocolate daily, try and preempt this craving by eating a sustained source of energy prior to this time. Examples include foods high in protein and/or fibre, such as a handful of nuts, a tub of low sugar yoghurt (dairy or non-dairy), a piece of fruit, smoothie or veggie sticks with dip.
Chocolate can do wonders for your mood-or so you may think. The combination of refined sugars in addition to caffeine can lead to a quick lift in energy. Unfortunately, this lift is often followed by a crash. Chocolate is also a histmaine trigger which can not only stimulate the mind but the skin as well, leading to skin irritation, redness and/or increased itch. Rather than going for chocolate to lift your mood and energy, consider these skin-friendly mood enhancing options instead.
- Have a warm chai tea
- Be consistent with daily exercise
- Watch a good comedy
- Have a laugh with a friend
- Eat a diet low in Glycaemic Index
- Unwind with a relaxing Epsom Salt bath soak with candles and your favourite music
Are you just used to having chocolate at the same time every day? Think about when you typically crave the chocolate. Is it when you are bored at work, when you spend time with your family or when you have your afternoon cup of tea. It may not be that you are craving it at all but that you are just used to having it at a certain time each day. Habits can be changed by being more mindful of the choices you are making and consciously making new, healthy habits in their place. For instance, if your habit is to come home from work and go straight to the ‘chocolate cupboard’, make it your new habit to get home and unwind away from the kitchen for at least 5 minutes, before going anywhere near tempting foods. This will give you a chance to take a breath, come back into the present and be more conscious in your decision making.
Is Chocolate Really That Bad?
At the end of the day, a little bit of chocolate is OK! It is when it becomes more of a craving and daily habit than a treat and has started to affect your health for the worse that some of these useful tips can come in handy.