Healthier Ways to Beat That Sweet Tooth

Crave.jpg

Spring is here and you know what that means: Summer and bathing suit season is around the corner.

While I think the vast majority of us are trying to make healthy decisions year round, I know the promise of minimal body coverage pretty much always gives one pause.

One thing I know I struggle with from time to time is conquering my sweet tooth.

Here are a few things that have helped me conquer my inner Cookie Monster.

Know Thyself

Crave.jpgI figured out a few years ago that when I crave sweets, it often has nothing to do with needing sugar, and has everything to do with the fact that I’m actually a little dehydrated.

That may sound crazy, but more times than not, when I down a glass of water when I’m hit with a sweets craving, that usually will do the trick.

I’m not claiming that this is proven or anything beyond Michelle’s personal science, but hey, it might be worth a try, right?

Also, a lot of times when I’m craving something sweet, I’m not actually all that hungry. It can have more to do with a lingering taste in my mouth that sweets would obliterate or with an emotional state that needs a hug more than a Hershey’s kiss.

In these cases, if I just brush my teeth or munch on a mint leaf or two, that’ll often do the trick and the craving for sweets will leave the building.

When do you usually crave sweets?

If you don’t know the answer right off the top of your head, start paying attention to this and see if any lightbulb moments are forthcoming. We are creatures of habit after all. Crack that code!

Naturally Sweet

FRUITSWhen choosing a “healthier” sweet, the main idea is to cut waaaaaaay back on refined sugar and super processed foods.

Easiest way to do that? Reach for whole foods like fresh fruit!

Whole foods are the BEST sweets out there for you!

I mean, what’s better than sweet strawberries, raspberries, cantaloupes, mangoes and peaches in the summer?

Or, to get a boost of antioxidants AND chocolatey goodness, reach for dark chocolate (that’s 70% or more cacao)!

Another example? Instead of buying pre-made cinnamon toast, toast a piece of whole wheat or whole grain bread, smear a little bit of peanut (or your other favorite nut butter) on top, drizzle a little local honey on it and then sprinkle some cinnamon to top it all off!

The best part? You’re getting protein AND natural sweetness AND fiber in this one. #winning

One of my personal protein+sweet faves is to cut up an apple, put a tablespoon-sized dollop on a plate, and dip away. #omnomnom

How Do I Even Pronounce That?

If you look at the ingredients in a food you like and you pause, unsure of how to pronounce one of those crazy complicated words, that may be a good sign to just put it down and walk away.

Don’t believe me? Just look up butylated hydroxyanisole or azodicarbonamide…

Or, an even easier bet is to go for the food with the least amount of ingredients in it.

The next time you’re in the frozen section of your market, grab a regular ice cream or frozen yogurt and check out the ingredients list. Odds are that there are a TON on there. (Shudder)

For example: Instead of an ice cream or other frozen treat that’s laden with preservatives, emulsifiers, food coloring and God only knows what else, try a sorbet or a

Or, even better, I whip up some Shakeology blended with lots of ice, maybe throw in some banana and natural peanut butter and let it freeze for about 30 minutes……YUM! And what’s better than enjoying a delicious frozen treat WHILE getting super dense nutrition?

Savor It!

At the end of the day, whatever you decide to indulge in or munch on, try to slow. down.

So many people just inhale their food without even tasting it.

Take a bite. Chew it thoroughly. Really savor the flavors of what you’re eating.

Swallow.

Breathe.

Repeat.

I think you’ll find that even just slowing down or reducing the quantity of the food you’re eating — even just by a little bit — will make a big difference for you in the long run.

Your Turn!

What are some of your favorite ways to beat the ole sweet tooth? Do you have any fabulous tips or recipes to share? I’d love to hear from you!

 

Author: Michelle Whitley

Wife. Mother of 5 Boys. Entrepreneur. Health and Fitness Coach. Lover of living a life of full potential.

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