Chocolate tastes too good and a lot of us have the infamous sweet tooth. But chocolate is very high in sugar, calories and fat. So here comes some health news that offers nutrition advice, mixed with exercise advice. Here is how to cut your chocolate consumption in half.
Researchers found that simply walking for 15 minutes can cut snacking on chocolate at work by half. The study showed that, even in stressful situations, workers eat only half as much chocolate as they normally would after this short burst of physical activity. If you are a sugary-snacker no matter what you do, get up and get moving and your stash of sweets will last twice as long as usual.
In the study, 78 regular chocolate-eaters were invited to enter a simulated work environment, after two days abstinence from chocolate snacking. Two groups were asked to take a brisk 15-minute walk on a treadmill and were then given work to complete at a desk.
One group was given an easy, low-stress task, while the other was asked to complete a more demanding job. The other two groups were asked to have a rest before completing the same tasks as the first two groups. Again, half were given an easier and the remainder a more challenging task. Chocolate was available in a bowl on the desk for all participants as they carried out their work.
Those who exercised before working ate about half as much: around 15 grams compared to 28 grams. How difficult the task was did not make a difference, showing that stress did not play a role in having a sweet tooth.
Remember that, in moderation, chocolate can be very heart-healthy, as shown in the article Evidence Confirms This Treat Helps Protect Your Heart
However, snacking on high-calorie foods, like chocolate, at work can become a mindless habit and can lead to weight gain over time. We talk ourselves into it, like we need the energy or we are rewarding a job well done, but the truth is that we are most often just a bit bored and looking for something stimulating. Chocolate fits that bill well. But now we know that taking a short walk can help substantially. Plus, exercise has significant benefits for mood and energy levels. And it is always a good idea to move around every so often, because we were not meant to sit for long periods of time.