Even when following a healthy diet, sometimes you just crave a treat. And when those moments strike, it’s always better to grab something that’s naturally sweet but nutritious, rather than reaching for a pastry or candy bar.
Of course now and then you should indulge in what your heart desires (holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions); however, grabbing a sweet snack or dessert that settles the urge without wrecking your diet is an easy way to satisfy that sweet tooth in moderation as part of your lifestyle.
Plus, the same goes for other cravings too, like salty or crispy ones, which might signify a need for potato chips or pizza, for example. Yet, you can curb those cravings as you head into the New Year with a clear direction in place as to how best to indulge without compromising your health or gaining weight. Here are a few handy food tips to keep in mind as part of your New Year’s resolutions.
Choose Sweets With Nutrition
Instead of enjoying a slice of cake or a baked good that is lacking in nutrition and dense in calories, sugar, carbs and fat, go for a food that is naturally sweet or a packaged sweet snack that happens to have a good nutrition profile. For instance, you can always pick a piece of fruit, which is naturally sweet. You can also take it up a notch by dunking that fruit in chocolate with a bit of whipped cream, as well!
Another option is to find packaged sweets that have some protein or good fats to keep you satiated (you’ll be less likely to reach for seconds!) and that are low in sugar. A great option are the Quest PB Cups, which are low in sugar and net carbs but with just the right amount of protein, so you can indulge freely without compromising that sweet flavor you get in a classic Peanut Butter Cup or candy bar. They really are stupid good.
You can sprinkle these in yogurt or top a scoop or two of lightened ice cream, freeze them for a cold snack, or just open up a pack and eat as is!
Drink a Glass of Water
Sometimes when you have a craving for something sweet or salty, it’s really because you are thirsty. So, before indulging in whatever you’re coveting, drink a large glass of cold water and wait a few moments to see if the craving dissipates. If you were thirsty, you’ll probably forget about that urge to snack. And that water in your belly will fill you up too, so any actual hunger is more likely to vanish.
Go for Lightened Versions of Comfort Foods
If you’re craving pizza, you can still enjoy a serving, but make it a lower carb option. This will help curb your craving for more, as you’ll be satisfied with what you’re eating.
For example, choose a thin crust, low carb style and then top it with more veggies to get that extra fiber boost to increase satiety, keep you hydrated, and improve your health long-term. Veggies have antioxidants to improve heart healthy and promote fresher, dewier skin! Split a pie too—you can include a salad as another option to go with it and still get those fibrous greens.
The same goes for a bag of chips—find one with protein in it and portion controlled so you can stick with one or two servings total. Don’t just dip your hand into a large bag, as you won’t be able to stop munching away!
If you have a craving, it could be coming from boredom. Instead of going to the fridge or pantry, take yourself out for a walk or find another way to distract yourself first. The fresh air can be especially helpful, as it can clear the mind and get your body moving. Yet, you can also call a friend, FaceTime a family member, go for a workout, read a book, or start cleaning your home. Find what works for you!