4

votes

How can you self-diagnose and treat addictions? Chocolate specifically.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 01, 2011 at 6:40 PM

Lately I have been getting the suspicion that I am addicted to chocolate. I eat either 99% schaffen berger baker chocolate or 100% cocoa powder mixed with coconut flakes and I believe I'm kidding myself into thinking this isn't a bad idea.

The reasons I may be addicted: 1. Never cared for chocolate as a kid (but I ate a ton of other candy so maybe non-pure sugar wasn't as good?) 2. I make excuses to eat it 3. Cravings and associations with a dessert for each meal. I feel off if I don't have chocolate-something after each meal. 4. Weird headaches lately

Have you discovered an addiction to a 'paleo' item? How did you treat yourself? Did you have to go cold turkey and reintroduce it later? Has anyone else discovered a chocolate addiction? Is chocolate addiction possible?

9ffe43c6c5990ed710c7c49b12d6ee7f

on November 02, 2011
at 10:42 AM

I agree. Get the chocolate out of the house and resist buying it for a little while. If magnesium deficiency is indeed the problem, either take mag supplements or throw some cocoa powder into your coffee or some hot water after a meal. Don't sweeten it. You don't want it to trigger any reward systems or perpetuate the addiction.

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137

(1520)

on November 01, 2011
at 08:28 PM

I agree it's unlikely to be related to magnesium. Neurotransmitters seem like a better candidate. I would experiment with amino acids to see if cravings reduce: tryptophan, tyrosine, glutamine

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 01, 2011
at 08:26 PM

I'm sorry about your poor reaction to chocolate. I think I need to get off the stuff. Thanks for the reply.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 01, 2011
at 08:24 PM

I eat 35-40% Protein generally. Thanks for the comment about that very helpful

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on November 01, 2011
at 08:14 PM

Also, if you are doing a high protein (mostly muscle meat) diet, that can cause magnesium wasting, and you'll end up needing to supplement even more. As far as supplements go, chocolate is pretty tasty, and as long as you are doing the super dark stuff, I'd say munch away without guilt.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 01, 2011
at 07:47 PM

That's probably a better idea. Maybe I'll just swap caffinated for more decaf eventually

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on November 01, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Not just paleos, most people (80% or more) are magnesium deficient because it has been leached out of the soil where we grow things through intensive farming without replacing it over the last 100+ years. Magnesium isn't usually considered to be an important soil input because produce can still grow well without adding it.

0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on November 01, 2011
at 07:33 PM

If you want to. It might help -- but it might make you crave the chocolate even more. Could argue either way -- quit 'em both at the same time, or get one under control, and then move to the other. Depends on your personality and temperament.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 01, 2011
at 07:14 PM

I don't take any magnesium supplements so this is a possibility. Why are so many paleos magnesium deficient?

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 01, 2011
at 07:14 PM

Should I quit caffeine too since it's a similar drug?

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 01, 2011
at 06:55 PM

Magnesium deficiency?

  • 1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

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6 Answers

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10
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on November 01, 2011
at 08:09 PM

Chocolate addiction is not merely plausible, it is something one should obviously expect. It's no less surprising than the fact that coffee is addictive. In addition to the caffeine, cocoa contains theobromine, which is another stimulant and various other pleasure-increasing/stress reducing compounds. It's been shown that if you add theobromine to a drink it will substantially increase liking of that drink compared to an identical tasting control. It would be shocking if such a food weren't addictive.

For what it's worth I find chocolate extremely addictive (eating/drinking 100% cocoa bars or powder or beans), despite the fact that it definitely irritates my stomach and gut (and possibly liver). I don't have any suggestions for getting off it- pretty much the only options are going cold turkey or doing it gradually.

I can't imagine that magnesium craving is the explanation. Not only is there no evidence, but there's some counter-evidence (i.e. that no-one gets addicted to spinach) and it seems a very poor explanation (in that it can't account for the nigh-identical addiction symptoms people have to caffeine and is a lot less simple an explanation than caffeine+theobromine). I've never noticed any changes in my chocolate craving with differing magnesium intake (and I'm not sure how much one absorbs from chocolate anyway, given its high levels of antinutrients).

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137

(1520)

on November 01, 2011
at 08:28 PM

I agree it's unlikely to be related to magnesium. Neurotransmitters seem like a better candidate. I would experiment with amino acids to see if cravings reduce: tryptophan, tyrosine, glutamine

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 01, 2011
at 08:26 PM

I'm sorry about your poor reaction to chocolate. I think I need to get off the stuff. Thanks for the reply.

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 01, 2011
at 07:20 PM

Well, before you treat it's best to confirm the problem. Eat a diet you KNOW agrees with you and every few days add the chocolate, wait until all symptoms are gone and add it again.

IF you confirm you do have a problem the only question is, is it worth it? That's what I did with wheat and it took several experiments before the truthful answer was negative.

2
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on November 01, 2011
at 07:09 PM

...step away from the chocolate!

Yes I'm pretty sure it would be easy to become addicted to chocolate. Not only is it delicious but it does have caffeine in it as well.

Go cold turkey, make sure you are getting plenty of good fats to take away any real cravings. Remove the chocolate from the house and be strong!!

good luck!

0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on November 01, 2011
at 07:33 PM

If you want to. It might help -- but it might make you crave the chocolate even more. Could argue either way -- quit 'em both at the same time, or get one under control, and then move to the other. Depends on your personality and temperament.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 01, 2011
at 07:14 PM

Should I quit caffeine too since it's a similar drug?

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 01, 2011
at 07:47 PM

That's probably a better idea. Maybe I'll just swap caffinated for more decaf eventually

2
5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on November 01, 2011
at 06:55 PM

In my experience, any mild addiction like this is best treated cold-turkey. The least stressful way to deal with this is to just not buy any more of the thing you crave.

9ffe43c6c5990ed710c7c49b12d6ee7f

on November 02, 2011
at 10:42 AM

I agree. Get the chocolate out of the house and resist buying it for a little while. If magnesium deficiency is indeed the problem, either take mag supplements or throw some cocoa powder into your coffee or some hot water after a meal. Don't sweeten it. You don't want it to trigger any reward systems or perpetuate the addiction.

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 02, 2011
at 07:28 AM

EFT (aka "Tapping") has been used successfully by many folks to eliminate their chocolate addiction. I have witnessed the results of this first-hand in many EFT trainings I've attended.

-1
Fe6a5d27e46bf7a63e4f656789209c38

on November 01, 2011
at 07:59 PM

I love chocolate, too! The chocolate you are eating sounds delicious! I eat chocolate in phases... I usually go without it for awhile, then eat a lot of it. I highly recommend LuLu's chocolate, particularly the Chocolate Maca Crunch. http://luluschocolate.com/

Perhaps we should start our own support group, just for people who love chocolate.

The headaches, if related to the chocolate, may be caused by caffeine. I am a coffee drinker and am very addicted to caffeine. When going through withdrawal, I get splitting headaches. Is that what you experience? If so, you may want to go "cold turkey" until the headaches go away, then try chocolate again in smaller quantities, more spread out.

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