Everyone has a craving for chocolates, ever since from a young age we all have developed love for chocolates. Some people tend to binge eat on chocolates when they are under stress while some have made it their habit. Most of us are not even aware that eating chocolates can lead to chocolate addiction and like any addiction it has its downsides too. So, when do we classify chocolate eating as an addiction? It is said to be an addiction when a person has an intense craving for it, has no control over the object of craving and continue eating it despite having knowledge of its bad consequences. Most of you must have had a craving to have a chocolate in the middle of night but have you ever heard of anyone have a craving for vegetables at that time of night, no right. When you restrict yourself from eating chocolate and as a result experience anxiety or stress then you are addicted as these are considered as withdrawal effects. Eating chocolate in moderation is good for health but when we become overly dependent on it and make it a regular habit that is when you become an addict. Causes:There is no single cause of addiction but one of the most common is the addiction to sugar intake, we cannot seem to resist it and succumb to our desire to have it. When someone offers a chocolate no one can resist it, our first instinct is to grab it but if you have the will power to say no then you are not addicted, when you have lost total control over it that’s when you have become addicted to it. Even when a person is under stress most of them increase their intake of sugar because they find solace in eating more and more of chocolates. Another cause is hormones, any change in hormone levels in women can cause an intense craving of chocolates. Eating chocolate activates the neuro transmitters that sends the message of pleasure to the brain. The brain considers it like a reward and keeps wanting more.Symptoms:Following are some of the common symptoms of chocolate addiction:Even after having a full healthy meal and on a full stomach you still have an intense craving for chocolate.When one bar of chocolates turns into 20 bars and still you have a craving for more chocolates and keep eating until you don’t have the urge anymore to eat.When we continuously make excuses to have chocolate.Even despite of physical problems you cannot seem to convince yourself that it’s better to stop.When you prefer eating it alone rather sharing with others.Treatment:Increase intake of magnesium: Since chocolate contains magnesium if we increase the intake of magnesium in our diet then it was found that the craving for chocolate subsides.Dark chocolate: Substitute milk chocolate with dark chocolate as it hard to binge on it. You could try organic dark chocolate as it caters to most of our body needs and will not be able to eat more that 4-5 small squares.Identify your emotions that lead to addiction: People find comfort in binge eating chocolate, it is important for people to identify what emotions lead to it. Drink water and eat enough: Some people eat chocolates because they have not eaten enough. So, drink water in between meals and try to eat more food rich in fibre and also chew your food slowly so as to send signals to the brain that you are full.Prevention:As they say prevention is better than cure, it’s always good to control ourselves at early stages and save the trouble of becoming an addict. In order to stop yourself from becoming an addict you can plan it out at what time and day in the week or month you can treat yourself so that it sets in with your routine and the craving will subside with time. You can look at images of what too much chocolate can do to your body, most of the time this works and you start developing distaste for chocolate.Withdrawal Symptoms:Like any other addiction chocolate addiction has withdrawal symptoms too and the most common are the headaches just like the type you get when you give up caffeine, make sure to drink plenty of water. You may even experience stress and a drop in the blood sugar level which could result in ‘the shakes’. You could try to have some herbal tea to see if it calms your nerves. Some have even complained of having aches and flu like symptoms, to overcome this have a warm bath with Epsom salts which helps in flushing out toxins from the body.