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How to stop chocolate addiction. What will be the complications?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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Hello, i am 34 yrs old.i would like to know how to stop my chocolate addiction. i know i eat way to much of it and could happily munch away on many many bars a day, on each of my pregnancies (6) i ate more and more and now that i'm not pregnant i find myself stil unable to stop, i have tried to stop and eat less but i still find myself craving it so badly, tried not buying it while at shop but resort to eating even biscuits in the house that i don't really like just to eat something nice. i am lucky in that i'm 5ft 3" and weight is 10st 3lbs so weight wise i could be a lot worse considering the amount i eat.had cholestrol checked recently too and it was ok around 4.8. my youngest child is 9 mts old and i stil have 1 stone of weight to lose. i use to exercise a lot more but lately finding it hard to motivate myself as i try be good food wise then i fail so i give up and say whats the point of exercising if i'v eaten all of this chocolate, i can start next week, there is always an excuse. just finding it hard to kick this habit. i am otherwise well and coping well with demands of motherhood, i know been a stay at home mum probably doesn't help as in the house and tempted by the food constantly. i do get out and about most days with the kids. i sneak chocolate too and hide it on my husband, he knows i eat too much of it but he doesn't realise i actually eat double what he thinks. my kids don't know how much i eat as i don't give it too them and eat it when they are not looking. i am worried that if i continue like this i could end up having a heart attack or something similar. please please help me.
Posted Sat, 11 Aug 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Prasad 6 hours later

Thanks for posting your query here.

Food cravings is a common symptoms of pregnancy, however this craving persists in some women. A small study conducted by diabetic association have found about 40% women crave for chocolates.

The cause of addiction is most often due to an emotional feeling of happiness resulting in the amount of serotonin produced by high sugar and fat rather than physical addiction. A good way to replace this addiction is to identify other food products which are healthier and produced similar effects. I shall provide you with few tips which you can try.

1. Incorporate small amount of chocolate as a part of your diet rather than completely restrict it (moderation rather than restriction). You can add small amounts of chocolate within half an hour to an hour after your meal. By doing this you may find your daily meal produce the same satisfaction as chocolate itself.

2. A diet XXXXXXX in tryptophan is known to produce similar satisfaction as chocolates. XXXXXXX milk products and other non vegetarian diet are good examples of such diet. Include these into your diet. Alternatively you may ask your physician to suggest you a nutritional supplement containing tryptophan (if available at your location).

3. Some studies revealed good physical exercises can also release endorphins which can cause same effects as serotonin secreted after a meal. So exercises are good not only to maintain weight but to treat this addiction - continue with it or rather I would say, intensify your current exercise schedule. Take the help of your physical trainer if you wish.

4. Reading books, talking to a friend, taking your pet out for a walk and other activities can divert your mind from the craving.

5. I understand you've tried not buying chocolate, continue this and even ask your friends/family not to buy or reveal chocolates to you. Family and friends support is most important while treating addiction. Talk to them; there is no harm and it might help your cause.

6. If you are unable to stop the craving, use dark chocolates rather than milky/creamy or with nuts. Nutty chocolates can worsen the addiction, so avoid them altogether if possible.

7. Lastly, many people who crave for chocolates are associated with depression. Are you depressed? If yes, a visit to a nearby psychiatrist can be helpful.

These are few tips I would suggest to get over your addiction. Take help of people who have had similar addiction either through the web or through your doctor and see if they can be able to give you more tips.

Hope this information is useful to you.

All the Best!!

Dr. Prasad
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