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Chocolate Addiction - What is it and How to Overcome it?

Nadia Galinova
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Nadia Galinova
Chocolate Addiction

Chocolate addiction is the uncontrollable consumption of large amounts of chocolate despite the knowledge that it will have adverse health effects.

Symptoms of chocolate addiction include an unbridled desire for chocolate, continued consumption of chocolate even after significant weight gain and the inability to control chocolate intake despite attempts to stop eating it.

Effects of chocolate addiction include eating disorders, obesity, guilt, self-loathing, depression and anxiety. These health problems often occur as a result of excessive chocolate consumption.

What is chocolate addiction?

Chocolate addiction is the lack of control over the consumption of chocolate, which is characterized by an intense appetite for this food.

A chocolate addict may also continue to eat the treat regularly despite being aware of the resulting health problems. These addictive-like reactions are largely due to the fact that eating chocolate affects a person's good mood.

Reasons for regular chocolate consumption can vary:

Biological factors

A person's preference for sweet foods may be due to their genetics. There is evidence that children of parents with alcohol problems are more likely to develop preferences for sweet foods such as chocolate. Chocolate consumption increases levels of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, which are crucial for appetite and positive mood.

Psychological factors

Negative emotions such as stress, anxiety and depression can cause people to turn to chocolate for comfort and reassurance. Some people also tend to associate chocolate with a comforting food that they crave when they need a mood boost.

Social factors

Chocolate is very often featured in the media or in advertisements. This can influence increased consumption to the point of abuse, as people are exposed everywhere to images of chocolate.

What are the effects of chocolate addiction?

Addiction to Chocolate

Excessive consumption of chocolate can lead to health problems such as:

Physical effects

Excessive chocolate consumption can lead to physical problems, including weight gain, obesity, elevated blood sugar levels and breakouts in acne-prone skin. Chocolate and other sugary foods can alter blood sugar levels.

Research also shows that consuming large amounts of refined sugars can worsen existing acne problems or cause new ones.

Psychological effects

Chocolates can affect people's emotions in both positive and negative ways. Psychological effects of chocolate addiction include elevated mood, feelings of euphoria, mood swings and addictive-like cravings for more chocolate.

The release of serotonin and dopamine induced by chocolate helps regulate mood but it can also cause a person to eat chocolate repeatedly to experience pleasurable feelings. The fat in chocolate can also act like heroin and produce euphoric feelings. Also, certain chemicals in chocolate can cause a brief period of emotional highs and lows.

Short-term effects

Eating too much chocolate can have short-term effects, including sudden mood swings, nausea, headaches and spikes in blood pressure. The tyramine in chocolate is known to be a common migraine trigger and also promotes a sudden rise in blood pressure that can be accompanied by nausea and headaches.

Long-term effects

Consuming too much chocolate can lead to long-term health risks, including acid reflux, heartburn, rapid heart rate and sleep problems. The cocoa in chocolate is acidic and can cause gastrointestinal problems, including acid reflux and heartburn. The caffeine content of cocoa can also cause side effects such as insomnia and rapid heart rate.

A chocolate addict can begin treatment by placing a limit on how much chocolate they will eat per day or week. If necessary, a person can eliminate chocolate from their diet completely and seek alternative snacks with lower sugar and fat content or competent professional help.