Many people enjoy enjoying a delicious chocolate snack once in a while. However, for some people, chocolate addiction is a very difficult challenge. If you are addicted to chocolate, fight the addiction by understanding its causes and triggers better. Once you understand your addiction, you can work around it by eating chocolate in moderation or, if necessary, stopping it altogether.
Method 1 of 3: Understanding Your Addiction
Step 1. Know when the dependency started
So that you can understand your addiction and deal with it, try to find out when you first increased your chocolate consumption and started depending on it. You may have always liked chocolate. However, think about the conditions under which you began to show signs of chocolate addiction (eg an intense craving for chocolate, an inability to resist or control the craving, and excessive chocolate consumption despite the negative consequences).
Addiction usually appears as a side effect or impact of other problems. For example, you may notice that you started eating chocolate until you got sick after losing your job. After that, you can understand what triggers the dependency. This understanding is an important step you need to go through in order to mentally overcome your chocolate addiction
Step 2. Think about what prompted you to depend on chocolate
If you don't eat chocolate because it makes you happy, you may be "abusing" chocolate to fight other feelings or emotions. There are many reasons why people want food, and most of them have to do with negative emotions. If you can identify the reasons for your addiction or excessive chocolate consumption, you can determine what actions need to be taken to combat the addiction problem.
- To determine why you're depending on chocolate, try to hold yourself back and pay attention to how you really feel when you want to indulge in chocolate (or a chocolate snack). Ask yourself if you want to eat it because you really want to enjoy the deliciousness, or because you feel sadness, annoyance, anxiety, or some other emotion that prompts the urge to eat.
- In other words, practice mindfulness when you eat chocolate. This way, you can be more aware of your chocolate addiction and identify the help you need to fight your addiction.
Step 3. Record the time of consumption and the amount of chocolate eaten each day
Sometimes, you can't tell when the urge to eat chocolate kicks in or why it keeps coming back. Therefore, it's a good idea to keep a diary that includes the timing of your cravings and chocolate consumption, as well as the amount of chocolate you eat each time you enjoy it. This way, you can not only be honest with yourself about your addiction, but also see the patterns of chocolate addiction and consumption that you exhibit.
- For example, after noting this pattern for a few months, you may notice that you are addicted to chocolate more often in certain seasons or weather. As a result, your dependence turns out to be a side effect of seasonal depression.
- You may notice that your chocolate addiction gets worse with your period, or when you feel emotionally, psychologically, or physically stressed.
Step 4. Talk to a healthcare professional so you can understand your addiction
Whatever the cause, chocolate addiction can have a significant impact on your physical, mental and emotional health. Therefore, it's a good idea to talk to a health professional so that you can understand the causes of addiction better, and make a plan to deal with it.
- A mental health professional can help you understand your addiction and treat its causes. In this way, you can overcome the addiction on your own.
- Your family doctor or nutritionist can help you understand the physical effects of chocolate addiction on your body. In addition, a doctor or nutritionist can also plan a diet and exercise plan that can eliminate the urge to eat chocolate and eliminate its negative effects on the body.
Method 2 of 3: Consume Chocolate in Limited
Step 1. Set a goal to limit chocolate intake
So that you can overcome your addiction and learn to eat chocolate in a limited way, try setting a limit on the amount of chocolate you can consume each day or week. Once you've set a limit, buy that amount of chocolate so you don't feel compelled to overeat.
For example, try to eat at most 60 grams of chocolate each day
Step 2. Choose dark chocolate instead of white or milk chocolate
If you want to control your addiction without giving up chocolate altogether, choose dark chocolate instead of white or milk chocolate that you want to enjoy. Dark chocolate has more benefits for the body than white or milk chocolate, making it a healthier choice.
- The benefits of chocolate come from the cocoa content. Milk and white chocolate contain less cocoa than dark chocolate due to additives such as milk and sugar.
- Cocoa is rich in flavonoid antioxidants that help fight heart disease, improve vascular function, and lower blood pressure.
- Also, because dark chocolate is less sweet and darker, there's a good chance that you'll be full before you can overeat.
Step 3. Eat chocolate with fruit or nuts
To reduce and manage your chocolate intake, choose chocolate-covered fruits or nuts, or some other type of snack that contains a combination of all three. This way, your body will get a healthy intake of nutrients and you can limit the amount of chocolate you eat.
Step 4. Increase your magnesium intake to reduce cravings for chocolate
When you can't stand the urge to eat chocolate, eat foods rich in magnesium, such as nuts, seeds, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables. If the body needs magnesium, the deficiency will encourage you to consume chocolate in excess. When you replace chocolate with foods rich in magnesium, the urge to eat chocolate can be eased.
- Magnesium is an essential nutrient that helps the body regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure.
- Consumption of supplements or foods rich in magnesium is useful for reducing the urge to eat chocolate during menstruation.
Step 5. Eat healthier foods
If you want to reduce chocolate consumption to overcome addiction, try eating healthier foods in larger portions. Usually, people who are addicted to chocolate deliberately eat less so that the stomach still has "lots of room" for chocolate. If you eat healthier foods in larger portions, you will feel too full to eat a lot of chocolate (or the urge to eat chocolate can be eased).
Step 6. Limit chocolate intake on holidays and special occasions
To control your chocolate addiction, don't use holidays or special moments as an excuse to overindulge in chocolate. For some people, enjoying large amounts of food on special occasions is not a problem. However, for people who are addicted to chocolate, this pattern actually exacerbates the dependence (or triggers the re-emergence of addictions that have been successfully eliminated).
When viewing chocolate treats on certain occasions, watch your consumption and use the same approach to controlling your chocolate addiction on a typical day
Method 3 of 3: Eliminate Chocolate from Your Diet
Step 1. Discard all chocolate at home and at work
Get rid of or give away any remaining chocolate, and don't buy more chocolate later on. If you are aware that you are addicted to chocolate and need to reduce or eliminate chocolate from your diet for the sake of your physical or mental health, the first step you need to take is to remove the "opiate" from your life. It will be more difficult to get over your addiction if you can still get your hands on chocolate easily.
Step 2. Make a mantra to remind yourself that you need to give up your chocolate addiction
When you're addicted, it's often easy to convince yourself that you need chocolate at certain times (or you'll just enjoy chocolate one last time). However, having a "spell" can help you ward off such distractions. This mantra will remind you that you need to overcome your addiction and that you can do it.
- When you start to crave chocolate or are offered chocolate, say to yourself, "I don't need chocolate to be happy."
- It's also a good idea to have a simple mantra that you can pronounce clearly, like "I don't eat chocolate." In this way, you not only remind yourself, but also show responsibility and assertiveness to everyone who hears it.
Step 3. Find a new sweet treat
Usually, chocolate addiction is a specific form of sugar addiction. Therefore, if you want to reduce your chocolate intake to overcome addiction, it's a good idea to replace it with natural sweet snacks to fulfill your craving for sweet foods.
Fresh fruit, for example, can be a good alternative. While still rich in sugar and very sweet, fruits are more filling than chocolate and have better nutritional value. Therefore, fruits can be a sweet snack that is healthy and filling
Step 4. Go for a walk when you start to feel like eating chocolate
When dealing with addiction, it's a good idea to plan actions that can be taken immediately to distract yourself until the urge to eat chocolate disappears. A 20-30 minute walk, for example, not only distracts you from the urge to eat chocolate, it also triggers the production of endorphins that can eliminate those cravings.
Step 5. Do something that makes you happy when you have the urge to eat chocolate
For chocolate addicts, the urge to eat often comes when you're feeling depressed, sad, or overwhelmed. Therefore, to get rid of the urge to eat chocolate, it's a good idea to do something cheerful. After that, you can address the cause or trigger of the urge you feel. Thus, the urge to eat chocolate excessively can be appeased.
- For example, if you're having a bad day and are tempted to eat a lot of chocolate, try calling a friend to cheer you up instead of just enjoying chocolate. After chatting with a friend who can bring you back to life, chances are you will feel more relieved and the urge to eat chocolate will disappear.
- Take up a hobby that you enjoy, such as knitting, painting, or playing the piano to keep yourself happy and avoid chocolate cravings.
Step 6. Reward yourself for avoiding chocolate
To keep you motivated to overcome addiction, occasionally reward yourself when you succeed in not eating chocolate. Small weekly gifts can have a long-term impact in helping you stay on the right track.