Researchers at the University of Exeter have found that a walk of just fifteen minutes on your treadmill can reduce chocolate cravings. The benefits of exercise in helping people manage dependencies on nicotine and other drugs have previously been recognised.
Previous research has suggested that 97% of women and 68% of men experience food cravings. Craved foods tend to be calorie-dense, fatty or sugary foods, with chocolate being the most commonly reported. Chocolate has a number of biologically active constituents that temporarily enhance our mood with a result that eating it can become a habit, particularly when we are under stress and when it is readily available, and perhaps when we are least active.
Short bouts of physical activity on your treadmill or vibration machine can help to regulate how energised and pleasant we feel, and with a sedentary lifestyle we may naturally turn to mood regulating behaviours such as eating chocolate. Accumulating 30 minutes of daily physical activity, with two 15 minute brisk walks, for example, not only provides general physical and mental health benefits but also may help to regulate our energy intake. This research furthers our understanding of the complex physical, psychological and emotional relationship we have with food.