The health benefits of exercise are obvious, but a brisk walk could stop food cravings in the same way that it helps people dependent on alcohol, drugs or cigarettes.
The tests carried out by the University of Exeter were carried out on regular chocolate eaters. With three days off the chocs, they were asked to complete a 15-minute walk or a 15-minute rest in a random pattern.
Following the three days abstinence, participants were asked to carry out tasks that would normally bring about a chocolate craving.
Results showed that participants had lower cravings after exercise and the desire for chocolate was reduced during the walk and for 10 minutes afterwards.
Researchers commented that brief sessions of physical activity were known to reduce nicotine cravings but this test was the first to identify a link with food addictions. They believe exercise alters chemicals in the brain that affects mood and cravings and by carrying out physical activity people who struggle to manage food cravings can lose weight more effectively.
Chocolate has been found to be the food that enhances mood the most, particularly when stressed, and in turn leads to bad eating habits. So, once again, exercise is the answer. And a balanced diet of course.