Curb the urge for chocolate with exercise! A recent study found that 15 minutes of brisk walking actually reduces cravings for the diet-busting treat. Past studies have demonstrated similar relationships between exercise and other addictive substances such as alcohol and cigarettes.
Twenty-five regular chocolate eaters abstained from the treat for three days before participating in the study, for which they walked on a treadmill for 15 minutes. After completion, they waited 10 minutes before engaging in two activities that generally stimulate chocolate cravings: a simulation of a stressful situation and the unwrapping of a chocolate bar. The treadmill walkers felt decreased desire for chocolate compared with a control group. They also waited longer before snacking again.
"If you get pleasure from exercise, you don't need the pleasure from somewhere else," says Adrian Taylor of the University of Exeter, who coauthored the study.