Is Chocolate Addiction All in Your Mind?

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Chocolate heart on fire, addiction or love?

Can a chocolate addiction take over your brain? Will you do almost anything for a hit of cocoa? Of course, but does that mean you're hooked?

There's no doubt that dark chocolate hits the spot. It rattles your brain's pleasure center. But does it alter it like an addicting drug?

Chocoholic, yes.  Addictive? Can you enjoy it without fear?

That intense desire for another taste of delicious chocolate can feel like an addiction. But is it?


There's nothing like a delicious piece of dark chocolate after a hard day.

Who hasn't looked forward to a little “me time” with your semisweet pal?

That awesome taste really can melt your cares for a few moments. Nothing wrong with a little indulgence.

Sometimes it's the only thing that keeps you going, right? There's no shame in that.

If you're a chocoholic like me, you've probably wondered whether you're hooked on chocolate. The cravings can be intense.

But can you become addicted to chocolate?

Addicted to Chocolate?

Rich and delectable, dark chocolate is a pleasure to consume.

It contains happy chemicals that arouse your brain, giving you a buzz. You're rewarded with a pleasant sensation.

Who doesn't like that? So you eat it, you feel better. You feel better, so you eat it.

But does that mean you're addicted to chocolate?

Well, if you don't have any, do you feel traumatized? Desperate to get some cocoa at any cost?

Slightly unhappy or disappointed maybe but not desperate. That's the difference.

Addiction compels you to get more in order to feel right/normal. You need it.

Chocolate causes your brain to unleash a tiny amount of pleasure and mood enhancing chemicals. The effect is short lived.

True Addiction

Addictive drugs cause the brain to release much more of the mood altering substances. And the effect lasts longer.

They can actually alter your brain chemistry. Scary.

According to the web site “The resulting effects on the brain's pleasure circuit dwarfs those produced by naturally rewarding behaviors such as eating”.

Your connection to chocolate may be strong but doesn't rise to the level of an addiction.

I checked the Medlineplus, Mayo Clinic and the Physician's Desktop Reference web sites. None list chocolate addiction.

So if it's not an addiction why do you desire it?

Emotional Overeating

Eat too much chocolate? It's probably due to emotional overeating. 

You might have a very emotional relationship with it.  Who wouldn't become attached to something that never judges or degrades you.

It's just there when you need it.

Not only does dark chocolate bring you pleasure, eating it can also take your mind off of your problems.

Your focus switches to the dark chocolate's delectable flavor. A respite from reality.

Plus there's now finally scientific proof of what women already knew. Sunil Kochhar and cohorts found that a daily dose (1.4 oz or 40 g) of dark chocolate reduced the effect of stress on the body.

Stress hormone levels decreased.

Chocolate offers so much who wants to say no? Your desire to eat it can feel like an addiction, I know.

Those chocolate cravings can be overwhelming in times of stress.

But use it sparingly for anxiety help. Overindulge and you'll have to fight the bulge.

You don't want to gain another problem while trying to reduce your troubles!

Looks like dark chocolate addiction doesn't exist. A strong emotional bond maybe, a delicious anxiety reducer definitely! Chocoholics don't fret. You're not addicted, you're just in love.

Return to Effects of Chocolate

Return to Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate Home Page

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