This fifteen minute simple trick might be enough alone to satisfy your cravings for sweet snacks in moments of stress at work.
Can Fixing A Chocolate Craving Be As Simple As This Fifteen Minute Strategy?
What happens when you take 47 obese individuals, illicit a stress response, ask half the group to sit still while the other group takes a brisk walk, then asks them to hold a sweet snack of their choice? A reported decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, and sugar cravings.
What The Study Looked At
The study participants were told to not have any sugary snacks (with an emphasis on chocolate) and also asked not to eat or drink anything except water for two hours before each assessment in the study (to stimulate hunger). The participants were also asked not to exercise within that time frame as well.
The exercise session consisted of a two minute warm up followed by a fifteen minute semi-brisk walk on a flat treadmill – as if they “were trying to catch a bus” but not to the point where they got short of breath. The control in this study was individuals who sat quietly in the laboratory for fifteen minutes instead of activity.
After the fifteen minutes were up for both groups they were then asked to sit quietly for five minutes then asked to complete two tasks with a five minute rest period between each task. One was a computerized test to elevate stress. Afterwards the group was offered a selection of high calorie/sugary snacks and asked to unwrap the one of their choice and handle it for thirty seconds (to stimulate cravings).
In the study the researchers looked at heart rate and blood pressure and found that the exercise group had lower blood pressure and heart rate in the exercise group as well as a reported decrease in cravings for sweets in the group that took the time to go for a brisk walk for fifteen minutes.
Reduce Your Sugar Cravings With A Short Walk
Although the researchers didn’t look verify that the study participants indeed had no sugary snacks during the three day or two hour period, if you’re feeling stressed at work and craving sweets, it could be as simple as taking a short walk for fifteen minutes to satisfy those urges and break the habit of reaching for something sweet. And while the study measured heart rate and blood pressure (which the decrease could have been from exercise alone), if taking a short walk to help with your sugar craving helps for you, then more power to you – obese or not.
Kopp, M., Ledochowski, L., Reudl, G., Taylor, A. “Acute Effects Of Brisk Walking On Sugary Snack Cravings In Overweight People, Affect and Response To A Manipulated Stress Situation and To A Sugary Snack Cue: A Crossover Study.” PLOS One. 11 March 2015. Web. 20 May 2015.