Bored at work?
Mindlessly reaching for chocolate?
Try going for a wee walk instead. A new study in the U.K. has found that taking a quick 15-minute walk cuts down on chocolate consumption by 50 per cent.
Researchers at the University of Exeter invited 78 chocolate fiends to come to a simulated work environment after abstaining from eating chocolate for two days.
They gave all subjects some work to do. Beforehand, half of the subjects had gone for a quick walk and the other half had rested. Chocolate goodies were available to everyone in the study while they worked. Those who had exercised before working ate on average half as much chocolate as the others, about 15 grams, compared to 28 grams.
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“Stress, fatigue and boredom typically cause people to automatically snack to regulate mood,” Professor Hwajung Oh, one of the authors of the study, told Metro.
“Somehow, exercise impacts on mood-induced eating behaviour.”
He surmised that exercise reduces stress and alleviates boredom. It may also serve as a distraction from thoughts of snacking.
Eating chocolate is unhealthy if it escalates — contributing to weight gain, obesity and diabetes.
“A 15-minute walk is a small dose of physical activity that can be easily achieved,” Ho says. “Long term, the results may contribute to not only weight management, but also healthy eating behaviour.”