Brisk walk could cut down your chocolate craving

November 17th, 2008 - 4:42 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 17 (IANS) A brisk 15 minute walk is all that is needed to reduce chocolate cravings.The benefits of exercise in helping people manage dependencies on nicotine and other drugs have previously been recognised. Now, research shows that the same may be true for food cravings.

Following three days of abstinence, 25 regular chocolate lovers were asked to either complete a 15-minute brisk walk or rest, in a random order.

Adrian Taylor, professor at Exeter University informed that “our ongoing work consistently shows that brief bouts of physical activity reduce cigarette cravings, but this is the first study to link exercise to reduced chocolate cravings.”

They then engaged in tasks that would normally induce chocolate cravings, including a mental challenge and opening a chocolate bar, said an Exeter release.

After exercise participants reported lower cravings than after rest. Cravings were not only reduced during the walk, but for at least 10 minutes afterwards. The exercise also limited increases in cravings in response to the two tasks.

Previous research has suggested that 97 percent of women and 68 percent of men experience such 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.

“This research furthers our understanding of the complex physical, psychological and emotional relationship we have with food,” said Taylor.

The research was published online in Appetite.

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