How Exercise Can Help Control Addictions And Cravings

Vic Paterson, Hypnotist at State 11 Hypnosis

Addiction & Cravings Aren't Just In The Mind

If I told you that your mind was immensely powerful, it wouldn't be news to you. And there's plenty of hypnotherapists, including me, who talk about how cravings and addictions can be dealt with in the mind.

But we also know there is a biological element in relation to addiction and cravings.

In this article, I'm going to talk about how the fabulous FGF21 hormone can help with addiction and cravings, and how you can boost the amount in your body.

About FGF21

In studies carried out on primates who had a preference for consuming alcohol, scientists discovered that giving them supplemental FGF21 reduced their alcohol consumption by 50%.

In other studies, FGF21 has been discovered to reduce sugar consumption and sugar cravings.

See, FGF21 changes neural transmission in an area of the brain that deals with reward and addiction.

About Exercise

There's two types of exercise - strength training and cardio / aerobic training.

Strength training involves picking things up and putting them down again, whilst cardio-vascular / aerobic training conditions the cardiovascular system (exercises such as cycling and running).

Both types of exercise are important, and affect the body in different ways (strength training will generally develop muscles more than cardio will, for instance), but there are also important differences in how our bodies respond to these two types of exercise.

Exercise and FGF21

A recent study shows that aerobic exercise increased FGF21 more than strength training. In fact, aerobic exercise can increase FGF21 by three times as much as strength training, although it needs to be at 70% of oxygen intake. You can find the study here:

What all this means for you

Aerobic exercise increases the body's FGF21, which in turn can reduce cravings and help control addictive behaviour.

It's more evidence that physical exercise is important not just for our physical health but our mental health too. Practically, this can be put to use as distraction behaviour - if you feeling a craving, putting it on hold till you've done some exercise and then assessing whether you still feel compelled to act on the craving could be a really effective technique for helping to manage craving or compulsive behaviour.

Need further help?

At State 11 Hypnosis, I use advanced hypnosis and hypnotherapy to help people with a wide range of issues, including anxiety, fears and phobias and addictive behaviours.

To book an appointment, click on the Book Now link, or call 07788 287098 today!

Vic Paterson is a trained hypnotherapist and hypnotist working at State 11 Hypnosis in Spalding, Lincolnshire


Vic Paterson is the co-founder of State 11, a private clinic in Spalding, Lincolnshire, offering hypnosis, hypnotherapy and soft tissue therapy. When she’s not helping people just like you, she can be found with her five dogs, in the gym or spending time with her husband, Greg from State 11 Soft Tissue Therapy. She calls Heronsford, South Ayrshire, home.