Chocolate used to be a treat for special occasions but now it often seems as if it is a vital ingredient for any snack. Biscuits that used to be plain now come coated in chocolate and even snack bars that you might expect to be healthy are chocolate coated.

Eating a small amount of chocolate, even on a regular basis, is not a problem for many people. The cocoa in chocolate can be good for you because it contains antioxidants which keep cells healthy. It also produces endorphins that make you feel more relaxed and improve your mood.

But chocolate also contains sugar which does give you an instant energy boost but that quickly disappears and you are left with cravings which mean you want more chocolate. This can result in unwanted weight gain, bad skin and mood swings. Milk chocolate doesn't have very much cocoa in and white chocolate has none at all so you either have little or no benefit of antioxidants with those types of chocolate.

If you get cravings for chocolate or it is affecting your weight, mood or skin then there are several ways you can reduce the effect chocolate has on you. You could decide to stop eating it completely but that is too big a step for lots of people.

Instead, you can reduce your cravings for chocolate by satsifying your need to feel good. That means increasing the endorphins in your body as that improves your mood.

One way of increasing endorphins is to exercise. You don't need to spend all your time in the gym but getting some exercise will help to reduce the need for chocolate. If you are overweight then take medical advice before you exercise because some exercises can damage your joints if you put too much weight on them. A qualified personal trainer will be able to teach you exercises that you can do safely which will also help you to lose weight as well.

Hypnotherapy is another way to reduce chocolate cravings. Hypnotherapy helps you to feel good so you don't feel the need to eat chocolate to cheer yourself up. It also helps to deal with any habits that you have built up around eating chocolate. Using hypnosis means that you can still eat chocolate, but you will eat far less because it should get rid of the irresistable craving you felt for chocolate before. So if you don't have the craving you won't feel you're missing out even though you are eating less chocolate.

You may have met people who will take just one chocolate or eat a few bites of a chocolate bar and then don't eat any more. That is the type of eating habit many people achieve through hypnosis.

To help you improve your eating habits, add in some healthy snack alternatives as well. Foods such as raw vegetables, fruit or low sugar cereal will be good alternatives to the chocolate you used to eat.

Although this article is about chocolate addiction and cravings, these techniques should also be successful with other food addictions.