Chocolate Cravings - Taming the Monster

America's favorite flavor is reportedly vanilla, but you would have a hard time convincing chocolate lovers of that.

Look at the grocery store check-out aisles. They are stocked with chocolate bars, after all, not vanilla bars.

That lady in the Nutrisystem TV ads who says she can eat it every day seems to be a poster child for chocolate addiction. No doubt she sells a lot of Nutrisystem diet plans, too.

While chocolate does contain anti-oxidants, that hardly qualifies it as a dietary staple.

A chocolate diet has actually been created by the French, but of course, the ChoclaSlim by Slim Delices. Some of the ingredients include chicory inulin (root), artichoke extract (leaf), green tea extract (leaf), and guarana extract (fruit).

Dietitians aren't buying it, however, and if YOU do, you'll shell out a pretty penny, about 80 dollars per month to be exact, for three pieces per day.

As comfort food, however, chocolate wins hands down. Primarily for women, though, not so much for men. Women tend to want food that is not labor intensive.

Comfort foods are eaten for extremes in emotions: Depression and elation. In fact, chocolate is the MOST craved food by women, according to studies, and not necessarily for its sweetness. Many other foods are sweet and don't have the same allure.

Caffeine effect perhaps? Maybe. Some contend that the cannabinoids found in chocolate mimic that found in marijuana, so perhaps there is some truth to chocaholics' claims.

But is it actually addictive? Many scientists have studied this. Some say no, some say yes, but the results are largely inconclusive.

Yes, it contains chemical compounds that are similar to those found in marijuana, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, and probably lots of other stuff, too. That in itself doesn't prove anything.

It is important to note, however, that many people have a medically defined allergy to chocolate.

Quality varies greatly. Price plays a big part in determining quality. You can pick up a cheap candy bar at the dollar store or purchase expensive Swiss candies, exquisitely boxed, at fine boutiques.

High quality chocolate contains just cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar, and sometimes real vanilla and soya lecithin as an emulsifier. The cheaper stuff includes fillers, cheap artificial flavorings, and preservatives.

What are the best ways to avoid cravings? Perhaps just say yes to one small piece. Make an event out of it and buy one piece of the expensive European kind. See if that satisfies your craving. If so, you've consumed a relatively small amount of calories.

Or try flavored foods, such as yogurt. Again, a small amount, such as you would find in a single serving yogurt container.

Taming the chocolate beast can take time and determination. When the monster roars, take a deep breath, think, then decide if indulging will really cure that stress you're under right now. Chances are, the answer is no.

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About The Author, Kathy Ferneau
Kathy Ferneau has created an excellent resource for information on diets, healthy eating, and exercise. Get a free smoothie recipe e-book just for visiting!