If you’re trying with every fibre of your being to resist chocolate, read on to boost your willpower
1. Make friends with magnesium Did you know that chocolate cravings could indicate a lack of this vital mineral? Chocolate is high in magnesium, which could explain why many women tend to crave the good stuff prior to their period, as this is when magnesium levels tend to dip. Try taking a supplement such as Floradix Magnesium Liquid Mineral, available at www.goodnessdirect.co.uk, to ward off cravings.
2. Get snack happy Have small, regular (and healthy!) snacks throughout the day to satisfy any choccy cravings and to help regulate your blood sugar. Munch on something nutritious and low in sugar such as nuts and seeds or have an avocado or some chopped vegetables. These foods release their energy slowly, which will help you feel fuller for longer.
3. Go to the dark side Sometimes you need to fight chocolate with chocolate. Just one or two pieces of good-quality dark chocolate – at least 70 per cent cocoa solids – will appease that monster in your belly. The dark stuff contains tryptophan, a building block of serotonin, which helps curb your appetite. Plus, the higher the percentage of cocoa the more antioxidants it contains – and the better it is for you.
4. Don’t stress out easier said than done, we know, but it’s a biggie. Your body produces cortisol in response to stress, causing a blood sugar imbalance which can increase your need for high-energy food like chocolate. In prehistoric times, the stress response was produced as a result of danger and would usually be followed by a burst of intense exercise, burning up any excess energy. But, let’s face it, you’re unlikely to respond to a ticking off from your boss with a sprint around the block! So, try reaching for a calming cuppa instead of a Snickers.
5. Walk it off Taking a short walk at lunchtime could help you fight off the dreaded 4pm choc attack. According to a study by the University of Exeter, a 15-minute stroll can cut snacking on chocolate at work by half!
6. Keep it out of sight Store chocolate somewhere you’re not going to see it. It may seem obvious, but keeping treats hidden from view (rather than in an enticing position on your desk, kitchen bench or coffee table) will cut down the amount you munch and the frequency with which you tuck in.
7. Go green Sipping on green tea may help you ignore the calling of that pretty chocolate bunny. A study published in Clinical Nutrition suggests that green tea won’t only suppress your cravings, but will leave you with a nice full feeling, too. Stock up at www.pukkaherbs.com.
8. Fill up first thing Another reason not to skip breakfast! Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that tucking into a good brekkie helps to stabilise your blood sugar levels throughout the day, so chocolate won’t even cross your mind. Go for wholegrains teamed with some filling protein, such as a poached egg on brown toast.
9. Drink up
If you’re hungry or beset with cravings, a drink of water can help to temper that rumbling stomach. People often mistake dehydration for hunger. Have a large glass of water, wait 20 minutes and the feelings should subside.
10. Go on… have some chocolate
Yes, we’re serious! Going cold turkey will only make your chocolate cravings worse. Allocate one day a week to reward yourself with a supersized chunk of Easter egg or your favourite chocolate bar, and enjoy it, completely guilt free!