Mid-life Cravings: The Chocolate Challenge

chocolate cravingIf you are a middle-aged woman and you find yourself dealing with food cravings, welcome to the club.  Statistics tell us that just about 100% of women report regular food cravings.  And unlike men, you may also be experiencing sleep difficulties and seasonal depressions.  Ladies, it’s not just that you have different hormones than men have, but your hormones have a certain agenda and they need attention and management in order for you to get through this time of your life.  You undoubtedly are craving more starch, more sugar and more chocolate than ever before.  Why is this happening and how do you deal with it?

First, let’s look into just what these cravings are and what causes them.  Women have two types of cravings.  There are emotionally driven cravings and biological/hormonal driven cravings.  Emotionally driven cravings include unmet needs, anger, resentments and loneliness. If you have ever experienced an “exercise high” after doing an intense workout, the feeling you may have after consuming chocolate may be similar.

Many women find that if they can be disciplined enough to eat a few squares of chocolate per day when they get their cravings, they can avoid the adverse effects of eating too much high calorie fatty and sugary food. If you are craving a particular food, instead of denying yourself the food, eat a very small portion of it to help you get through the craving.

To find hormonal happiness make sure that you eat a balanced diet of small regular meals and snacks every day. If your cravings are emotionally or biologically driven try exercise, yoga and hot baths as other alternatives to get through this time of you life.  These will also raise your serotonin levels without consuming any calories!  If you are having difficulties losing weight, that is normal for a middle-aged woman.   But don’t get discouraged!  With good healthy habits and regular exercise, you CAN lose weight even during mid-life.  It might go a little slower then when you were younger, but the weight can, and will come off.  And remember that all of your good lifestyle habits will make life easier during and after the menopausal years.

Keeping a handle on your food cravings in middle life is a very important ingredient to “add hours to your day, days to your year, and years to your life.”

 

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