On to the emotional effects of eating chocolate:
Chocolate is often eaten ‘as a treat’. We want to do something nice for ourselves, something that conveys approval of ourselves, that we are ‘worthy’ of some nice little indulgence. Marketing often portrays chocolate in this light – as a little treat that really we are entitled to.
And it is an easy treat. It is relatively cheap (compared to a holiday in Tuscany, a Porsche, new diamonds, even a massage or a manicure etc).
It is relatively fast and easily accessible – it takes two seconds to eat a square of chocolate. In our habitually frenetic society we feel guilty about taking too much time to treat ourselves, so we do something nice for ourselves in the form of chocolate.
I am sure that you can see where the problems lie here.
Firstly – we are treating ourselves with something that isn’t great for us. Occasionally in a healthy body, fine, but as a continual substitute for a balanced fulfilling life it will harm our bodies.
Secondly the underlying issues are going unaddressed. Instead of getting exercise, doing something you want and relaxing, catching up with friends etc, you eat a piece of chocolate. Your life would be richer, you would be happier, and therefore healthier if you took the time to really ‘treat’ yourself well. Don’t worry it will gobble up your time and you will be less productive – people who have good life balance actually tend to excel. And any way, most of us could swap some of our TV time for a more productive and renewing form of relaxation.
So next time you want to ‘treat yourself’ with chocolate I challenge you to reach for your diary and schedule something that you really want to do – and then do it. It is a better treat. As an interesting side note, a psychiatrist friend of mine said that it is a hall mark of people suffering depression that they DO NOT make time to do things that they enjoy.