Chocolate and caffeine – cravings or addiction?
Chocolate and caffeine are in many people’s daily diet. You could be drinking coffee, tea or energy drinks or just having a hot chocolate. Many of these contain different amounts of caffeine. Everyone reacts different to the caffeine. Some people need higher levels to feel the affect, while others feel wired after just one cup of coffee.
If you find you are getting headaches, feel restless or get anxiety you may need to re-evaluate your caffeine intake. Caffeine is a stimulant, so it’s only natural that you crave it when your energy levels are low. Over time consuming caffeine will have an opposite affect and cause constant rises in cortisol. These make you feel more tired but wired.
Adrenal fatigue makes you feel tired and washed out. This condition is a controversial diagnosis that relates to the depletion of the adrenal glands. High stress causes the adrenals to release higher levels of the hormone cortisol than normal which overworks the adrenals. Adrenal fatigue happens when the adrenals are overworked. Caffeine causes your adrenals to overwork and burns out your glands, weakening them so they don’t respond adequately. Higher and higher levels of caffeine are needed to stimulate people who have adrenal fatigue.
Caffeine can temporarily increase metabolism by increasing fat utilization. As the thyroid is responsible for regulating your metabolic processes in your body, when the caffeine increases the body’s metabolism, your thyroid gland may become taxed while regulating your system because caffeine is present.
How to cut your cravings
Address signs of adrenal fatigue. If too stressed, look at what the biggest contributors are to your stress. This may mean you have to change your job, downscale to a smaller house or address other issues, like unresolved trauma, through counselling. Try serving small starters before your meal such as a soup or salad, this will make you full for longer and will give you a more sustained source of energy. Drink a coffee substitute. Gradually cut back on your caffeine intake and switch to drinking dandelion and herbal teas.
Chocolate is high in magnesium so, if you crave a lot of chocolate, you may be magnesium deficient. Magnesium helps activate enzymes that are involved in a lot of different but important reactions in your body, such as for proper methylation. This is a process that helps your body produce calming hormones. People who suffer depression tend to eat more chocolate, so, if you have repeated chocolate cravings it may be a sign your mood is slipping. If you are craving chocolate replace with magnesium which will boost your immune system. Once your immunity increases and your nerves are calmer you may find you don’t crave chocolate quite as much.
Some people feel they have less and less control over the amounts of caffeine and chocolate they consume. Check out my other article on cravings and fast food on this link https://www.wellbeing.com.au/body/nutrition/toxic-eating-and-your-cravings-the-fast-food-drug.html. If this fits you and you need help contact a naturopath or nutritionist to help you with better food planning as well as perhaps a hypnotherapist or counsellor to assist in lowering the psychological effect of the cravings.