How to Crave Fewer Snacks

Mar 15, 2012
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How can we crave fewer snacks? Most people are aware that eating snack food, especially “sugary or fatty snacks” is not good for us because it causes us to gain weight. But we are all still wondering how to crave fewer of these delicious snacks! Good news for us in here. A recent study at the University of Exeter has found that a 15 minute walk can cut snacking on chocolate at work in half!

The Exeter group studied 78 people who reported that they often ate chocolate. They divided these folks into two groups, and gave both groups work to do at office desks.  One group was given a 15 minute walk on a treadmill as exercise to do before beginning the work and the other half just sat down and started working. Everyone in the study was given a full bowl of chocolate candy right on their desks the whole day, from which they were told they were welcome to eat.

The work assigned to each group was either “hard” or “easy” at the start of the study, and then switched. That way all people had both easy and hard tasks to do over the course of the day, so that any snacking they did could be related to the stress of getting work done, if stress had anything to do with snacking.

Both groups ate from the bowl of chocolate on their desks. It was found that people consumed much less chocolate if they took a brisk 15 minute walk before being assigned their work. No matter whether the work was easy or difficult, the workers ate only half as much chocolate (one fun size bar compared to two fun size bars) if they had taken exercise. Due to this finding, it was determined that stress did not increase the amount of snacking done by either of the groups- since both groups had both easy and hard work to do but only one group had exercise.

The Exeter group found that since exercise – which was already known to have significant side benefits for mood and energy levels and has been helpful in managing addictions- can also reduce cravings for chocolate. It was found that 15 minutes of exercise reduces the craving for chocolate snacks, even when chocolate is right on the desk within an arm’s reach.

 

For more information check out Science Daily (Dec 7, 2011) at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111207105313.htm

Author: Tanya