Overeating Survey: Chocolate May Be a Gateway Drug

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A recent survey (with 2,400+ respondents) found that chocolate may be a "Gateway Drug" which leads to difficulty controlling consumption of other foods. Compared to any other treat, participants troubled by chocolate were MUCH more likely to report a multitude of food difficulties. Detailed psychological differences between chocolate lovers and others were also found. Dr. Livingston does NOT recommend most people give up chocolate!

Sharon Livingston, Ph.D.

Most chocolate lovers I've met would rather die than give up chocolate.

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People have joked about the power of chocolate for years, but a new survey now suggests chocolate may actually act as a "gateway" to difficulties with other food.

"Participants who couldn't resist chocolate were MUCH more likely to report a multitude of food difficulties" says Sharon Livingston, Ph.D (http://www.MyChocolateProblem.com) who conducted the fascinating survey with over 2,400 respondents. In fact, those who had trouble resisting chocolate were 54.2% more likely than others to have trouble with at least 9 other foods! (This was particularly true for women over 40 years old, or those who lived alone).

"The findings are consistent with what we know about emotional overeating" says Dr. Livingston, who's previously consulted for Weight Watchers, Atkins, and South Beach, and now works with overeaters directly.

"Our previous studies found people turn to chocolate when they're unhappy, whereas they go for carbohydrates when feeling overstimulated.    Chocolate-Cravers have a harder time because they don't always know WHY they're unhappy. So when the chocolate wears off, the sadness returns, and they look for a solution in other foods. Carbo-Cravers, on the other hand, can often solve their problem with a little alone time"

Surprisingly, Dr. Livingston doesn't suggest giving up chocolate. "There's certainly nothing wrong with eliminating chocolate if you can't stop overeating", she says, "but most chocolate lovers I've met would rather die first"

Rather, says Dr. Livingston, people need to learn a kind of Jedi mind trick which allows them to pause long enough find out why they're unhappy.

"As crazy as it sounds, if you're craving chocolate, you need to ask yourself 'what's the most perfect chocolate I could imagine eating, where would I get it, where would I eat it, and how much would it take to satisfy me?'    Make sure you take every question seriously and explore it in detail. And if you still really want it when you're done, by all means, have it, and enjoy every bite without guilt.

But by the time most people are done answering these questions, they don't quite want it anymore. Because during the pause they gave themselves permission to find happiness, and started thinking of other ways to get it."

Sharon Livingston holds a Ph.D. in humanistic psychology. In addition to consulting for the weight loss industry, she's done research for dozens of Fortune 100 companies, worked with thousands of people, and and now coaches people through their cravings via http://www.EmotionalEatingSecrets.com

You can hear several live examples of her "Feeding Your Soulâ„¢" process for managing cravings at http://www.MyChocolateProblem.com

Members of the media will find a media kit with additional supporting data, sample interview questions, and charts/graphs at http://www.EmotionalEatingSecrets.com/Gateway/

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Sharon Livingston

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