Chocolate addiction can be a real problem. Maybe a doctor would not classify chocolate as an addictive substance, but what does it matter to you, when you know that you eat too much chocolate, but you can stop eating it?
It is true that chocolate has many potential health benefits, especially dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are a type of antioxidant, and thus help to fight dangerous free radicals in your body.
Yet, eating too much of a good thing can have bad effects on your body. What’s more, unless you are addicted to extremely dark chocolate, you are also eating way too much sugar.
It is totally fine to eat a bit of chocolate every now and then. But when it comes to chocolate cravings, then this is something that is out of control, something that you don’t consciously chose, but rather where you act on autopilot. Dr. John Hoebel from Princeton University found out that chocolate stimulates opioids in your brain, which cause a pleasant sensation in your body – it essentially makes you feel happy.
And it is easy to get hooked on this kind of happiness. Some people even use chocolate as a way of getting their fix of happiness, it is almost their medicine because they feel depressed and down otherwise. In those cases, it really is important to reduce the chocolate intake and find alternative means of feeling good.
But that is all the more difficult because when they stop to eat chocolate, all of the sudden they miss the usual dose of “happy food”, and they can become moody and irritable.
It is not bad per se to be a chocoholic. But rather than going for quantity, you should maximize the pleasure you can get from a tiny bit of high quality chocolate. In fact, hypnosis can help you to get just as much pleasure out of one tiny bit of high quality chocolate as you could get otherwise from a whole chocolate bar.
If you want to stop eating so much chocolate, one thing you can do is to simply recognize that your cravings are triggered by certain emotions and thoughts, and eating the chocolate provides you with emotional relief. Identify these emotions and feelings and come up with different ways of getting that relief.
For example, sometimes people eat chocolate because they feel bored or feel down.In that case, just do something else – call a friend and just have a quick uplifting chat, make some jokes, go for a walk outside…
Going for a walk and other kinds of physical activity are a good idea in general too, because it can help you to increase your metabolic rate. And, studies have shown that physical exercise does even release “happy hormones” in your body, which make you feel good and can fill the dopamine-void that chocolate abstinence can cause in a chocoholic.
Also, make sure that you have healthy alternatives nearby. If you don’t have any food in the house except chocolate, of course you are going to go for the chocolate more willingly and quickly. And that leads us to the next suggestion.
And simply don’t buy chocolate, don’t store it in the house. If it is laying around somewhere, you are a lot more likely to eat it.
What can eating too much chocolate do to your body?
If we look at the biochemical reactions happening inside ourselves after consuming chocolate, it gets pretty clear why so many people love it. Chocolate itself is not a bad thing, but if you “inhale a chocolate bar” instead of biting of a small piece it can have bad effects on you. And unfortunately it seems as if there is a lot of eatmoreium in chocolate. (In case you’re wondering: eatmoreium is a substance that makes you want to eat more of a food, even when you’ve actually had enough already. And yes, I made that up, but if you’re a chocolate addict you know what I’m talking about: the uncontrollable urge to eat yet another bite of chocolate).
There are more than 300 chemical substances in that simple thing we call chocolate – and there is still a lot left to be discovered, science now knows a good deal about how chocolate affects the body.
Now most people don’t eat the extra-dark kind of chocolate (like 90% chocolate). But instead, the most popular choices are milk chocolates with a high sugar content.
The sugar greatly amplifies the pleasureful sensation for most chocoholics. And it also causes your blood sugar to spike – providing you with extra energy for about one hour ((the exact amount of time differs from individual to individual, but one hour is a fair average for most people)). After that, your blood sugar levels will fall drastically though, leaving you feel depleted of energy and lethargic.
Dark chocolates can also help to reduce hunger feelings – but that doesn’t mean it’s a good diet food. The reason why it’s good against hunger is because it has a very high fat content, which is good for making you feel full, but not helping you to get slim.
One of the things chocolate does is to help relief stress and even might cause mild euphoric states – it does so because of the neurotransmitters that our brain releases when we eat chocolate. That’s why it’s such a popular comfort food.
For most people the positive effects of chocolate are simply based on the fact that it’s a sweet high-fat food: that combination alone is enough to trigger a release of serotonin in your brain: a substance that makes your brain happy.
That’s also one of the reasons why we recommend hypnosis to stop eating chocolate – because it is even more effective in relieving stress and making you feel at ease and comfortable than chocolate, but without the calories.
The media makes a big deal out of the fact that chocolate consumption can release endorphines, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.
You don’t need to learn to dislike chocolate with hypnosis – just being able to consciously decide: do I want to eat chocolate now? That’s enough. And if you decide: “No, I don’t want to eat chocolate now”, then it should be easy to resist, and not a struggle where you have to muster up all your willpower.
So if you ask can hypnosis help with chocolate cravings, then the answer is a definite yes. We’re not trying to never ever make you eat chocolate again – we just help you to make a free choice when you eat it and how much you eat.
When you use self hypnosis for chocolate addiction you will still be able to enjoy a bite of chocolate when you make that choice. But you will also be able to curb the craving and not overeat on chocolate.
Can Hypnosis Cure Chocolate Cravings?
We’ve already answered this question in more detail in the article, but if you don’t want to read the whole thing, here is a quick summary. When you experience a craving for chocolate (or any other food), it’s because of something that happens in your brain. There is a lot of chemistry involved, and different areas of your brain get activated – the neuroscience of cravings is really fascinating.
But essentially, it happens outside of your conscious awareness, and the only way you really know about is is because you feel that you want to eat chocolate, and thoughts of chocolate start to hunt you more and more when you try to resist.
With hypnosis to cure chocolate cravings you can influence that subconscious strategy that’s going on inside your brain, and create alternative behaviors than eating chocolate, behaviors that are more aligned with your well-being.
What Causes Chocolate Cravings?
There are mainly two reasons why you crave chocolate: it’s either an external stimulus (such as the sight of a bar of chocolate in front of you, a advertisement, a scene in a movie that involves chocolate) or an internal emotional state.
Oftentimes people feel either bored, anxious or depressed immediately before they develop a craving. Thus, eating chocolate often functions as a kind of “self-medication” to deal with negative emotions.
Many chocoholics report feeling moody or down when they don’t eat chocolate.
Is Chocolate Addiction Real?
That depends on how you define addiction. But let’s put it this way: a person who eats a lot of chocolate and then tries to stop eating it often has a very, very hard time.
Dr. John Hoebel did some interesting research on the subject.
He fed rats a diet that was high in sugar and fat (just like chocolate). After a while he stopped feeding them sugar – and the rats started to develop symptoms of anxiety. In fact, many of the symptoms the rats showed (like shakes and chattering teeth) where comparable to the symptoms of morphine withdrawal.
According to Dr. Hoebel chocolate can cause changes in the opiod recepters of the brain.
There are even measurable differences between chocoholics and normal people. Chocolics salivate more when they see a piece of chocolate than other people ((this researchers at the University of Tampere in Finland did a study on this)). They also feel measurably higher levels of anxiety if there’s chocolate in front of them but they can’t eat it.
The more you love chocolate, the more difficult fighting chocolate addiction is. The Daily Mail published an article about the science chocolate addiction in April 2013 too.
Tips On How To Combat Chocolate Addiction
Here are some simple things you can do to end chocolate addiction. Notice that they aren’t highly sophisticated, and if you try just one of them it won’t probably be enough. Think of them as tools that you can use – the more tools at your disposal, the better for you. In fact, having this set of simple tricks combined with hypnosis against being addicted to chocolate is almost guaranteed to help you get a grip on your choco-cravings.
- Don’t buy chocolate: This is a very simple thing to do. If you know that there’s a bar of chocolate on your shelf, it’s always somewhere in the back of your mind – luring you to fall for it. If you don’t buy chocolate in the first place, that’s won’t totally stop you from eating chocolate, but it stacks the chances a bit in your favor by making access to chocolate more difficult (at least at home).
- Do emotions play a role? Emotions often trigger chocolate cravings, particularly negative emotions. Try to develop more awareness for your own emotional states, and find things that you can do to make yourself feel better. So that next time when you’re feeling down or anxious, you won’t try to fix that feeling with chocolate.
- Exercise more. Not only does exercise help you to burn off calories, but it also releases “happy hormones” in your body – the same kind of emotional mood lifters that you get from eating chocolate.
- Eating chocolate because you’re hungry? In this case ask yourself: what healthy food choices are there available to me? Many times you will see that one of the reasons why you eat chocolate because it’s so convenient to eat: just open the package and munch away. If you prepare a table with fresh fruits and put it on a platter every day for example, that will make healthier food choices much more likely.
- It’s ok to eat a little bit of chocolate here and there. Some experts say that the best way to over reduce chocolate consumption is to eat only small bits of chocolate whithin 30 minutes of a regular meal, but never more than 30 minutes away from a regular meal. That way your body still gets some chocolate but just small quantities.
- And utilize the power of your subconscious mind so you don’t have to rely only on your willpower when you try to fight a chocolate craving.
If you have questions or a story to share, use the comment for below. And remember: the best time to tackle an addition is now!
Some people prefer to use a hypnosis script and create their own hypnotic trance to overcome chocolate addiction. If that’s you, you can get the chocoholic hypnosis script here.