Chocolate cravings typically have 4 different causes, which we’ll cover in this article: 1 Distraction From Boredom Or Stress 2 Caffeine / Mood Booster 3 Genuine Hunger 4 Magnesium Deficiency
What to do about it. You can beat your chocolate craving by filling up on something else. Once you aren’t hungry anymore, the intrusive thoughts about chocolate should subside. Look for foods that are low in sugar and high in protein or whole grains. These foods will keep you full longer and prevent a sugar crash.
The other half of the women studied also typically experience chocolate cravings, but they are not reliably paired with their menstrual cycle. Remember, chocolate is the most highly craved food item reported by Americans (as if you didn’t already know that)! Dr. Albers: So why do these women experience an increased craving?
Here are the top reasons you might be feeling like a choco-holic. There’s a chance you’re more devoted to sugar than to chocolate. Pure chocolate comes from the cocoa bean. On its own, it’s super bitter. To get the yummy taste you know and love, cocoa powder is mixed with a hefty amount of sugar.
Why do you give your sweetie chocolate on Valentine’s Day?
Ever wonder why on Valentine’s day you give your sweetie a chocolate? It’s a chemical way of making them love you!
See, chocolate is made up of cocoa powder, along with sugar.
This sugar then causes food cravings. For example, the plain Herhey’s chocolate bar has 17 grams of sugar while flavors like “Milk Chocolate” have 24 grams per bar.
In addition to sugar and serotonin, chocolate has trace amounts of caffeine. For example, a bar of chocolate has about 10 mg of caffeine, and the darker the chocolate, the more caffeine. To put things in perspective though, a cup of coffee has about 100-200 mg of caffeine. So this amount of caffeine in chocolate is pretty minuscule in comparison.
The darker the chocolate the more cacao. The less sugar. ( if you feel guilty about eating chocolate, try switching to dark chocolate as a little experiment and see what happens) Plus, there are possible natural health benefits to cacao such as: Improve mood. Reduce stress.
Cacao is different from chocolate. All the sugar Hershey adds to cacao makes candy ‘unhealthy’ and contributes to food cravings. If you still are going to eat chocolate as a regular part of your life and are worried about sugar, then at least just go for darker chocolate. Think dark chocolate.
When you’re hungry, it’s normal to crave fat and sugar.
What is the theory of cravings?
The Serotonin Theory. One theory about food cravings involves serotonin, a neurotransmitter needed for mood regulation. Researchers believe that having an imbalance of serotonin in the brain contributes to the development of depression .
When you first feel a craving, reach for your water bottle or fill up a glass of water first. You may find this was just what your body needed. After you’ve rehydrated, check back in with your body. If you’re still feeling hungry, the next step is to pause and think about what to eat.
A diet with plenty of high-tryptophan foods may be helpful in boosting mood and managing cravings. Tryptophan is naturally found in protein-rich foods such as seafood, eggs, and poultry, and can also be taken in the form of a supplement .
If you have constant sugar cravings, talk to your doctor about the medications you’re taking. You may be able to adjust the dose or switch to a different drug. If not, once your doctor is on board, you’ll be able to work together on developing strategies for coping with cravings and their cause.
If you find yourself thinking about your Grandma’s molasses cookies or your mom’s famous apple pie, you may be missing your family members, not the food.
Tryptophan may also produce a calming effect through interactions that take place within the realm of the gut-brain axis . Several studies have proposed that low levels of tryptophan can increase hunger and drive food cravings, as well as contribute to symptoms of depression. 7 .
There are also emotional consequences. Over time, a high-sugar diet may worsen symptoms of depression ( especially if you tend to feel guilty about having or “giving in” to cravings).
How to stop cravings for sweets?
Here are some tips for cutting your cravings: 1 Eat a balanced diet of whole foods with lots of complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats. 2 Stay hydrated. 3 Replace refined sugars and grains with more wholesome ingredients when baking. 4 Satisfy your sweet tooth with organic fruit and smoothies. 5 Steer clear of nut butters with added sugar.
Pure chocolate comes from the cocoa bean. On its own, it’s super bitter. To get the yummy taste you know and love, cocoa powder is mixed with a hefty amount of sugar. The average chocolate bar also contains dairy and other forms of fat.
To put that in perspective, a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar has a whopping 24 grams of sugar. Yikes. If you gotta have some chocolate, opt for a variety with a high cocoa content. Bars that have 70 percent cocoa or more typically have less than 10 grams of sugar. Just double-check the nutrition info on the label.
To get the biggest bang for your healthy buck, go for dark chocolate. Bars with 70 percent or more cocoa are the best choice, since they contain less sugar and dairy.
Your chocolate craving might not have anything to do with chocolate itself — you might just be hungry. It’s totally normal to crave fast-acting sugars when you’re feeling peckish. Simple carbs can give you a quick energy boost.
A magnesium deficiency might play a role in chocolate cravings, but the jury is still out. There are a lot of foods higher in magnesium that you prob don’t crave. A big bowl of Swiss chard doesn’t have the same drool value as a chocolate chip cookie.
A lot of chocolate products contain beaucoup caffeine. In fact, a serving of chocolate can have more caffeine than a can of soda. This might be why you fantasize about Ms. Green M&M during midday energy slumps.