There you are, minding your business, when suddenly all you can think about is getting your hands on some chocolate. Can exercise ease the urge? Research says yes— and, in fact, physical activity has a twofold benefit when it comes to kicking a craving.
First, a short bout of exercise can im- mediately reduce the severity of the desire. One study of 75 chocolate lovers found that those who took a 15-minute walk ate only 54 percent as much chocolate as the group who napped instead.
It also appears thatpeoplewho form a regular ex- ercise habit enjoy some long-lasting relief from cravings. A recent study worked with 12 overweight women, measuring their brain activity while they viewed pictures of tempting treats. After a six-month exercise program, not only did the subjects lose weight, but brain scans showed they were less stimulated by the photos than they had been before.