When I get a craving it's hard to curb, and over the years I've learned that if I constantly ignore my cravings I feel cheated. Instead of depriving myself or always giving into a decadent dessert, I've found healthy substitutions. Whenever my sweet tooth kicks in I reach for one of these go-to snacks. They're all totally satisfying but much healthier than a cupcake or Twinkie. Try one the next time you're craving something sweet — you won't be disappointed!
I know that eating too much refined sugar increases my risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke, but it's so hard to resist sweet treats. If you have a hard time saying no to all things sugar-sweetened and chocolate-covered, here are some ways you can cut down on the white stuff.
- Don't go cold turkey. This plan usually backfires and you end up missing the sweet stuff so much you binge on an entire bag of M&Ms. It's best to limit the amount of sweets you eat gradually.
- Decrease the amount of sugar you add to foods. Stir less into your morning cup of joe and sprinkle less brown sugar on your oatmeal.
- Choose one sweet treat per day. Moderation is key, so if you can't live without a piece of chocolate after lunch or ice cream after dinner, then don't. Designate one time each day to indulge in a little dessert and limit your sugar intake for the rest of the day.
- Read labels and watch out for natural sugars. Brown sugar, molasses, Sucanat, and organic sugar are still sugar.
Curb your sweet tooth with these other tips when you read more
When going out to dinner, I specifically don't stuff myself silly so I can save room for a few bites of dessert. My hubby also has a big sweet tooth, but he has a much bigger appetite for deliciously savory foods. He always downs his meal without thinking twice, and feels too engorged to order a dessert to share. So when I get home, I have a few bites of ice cream or a piece of dark chocolate. What about you?
If you're a runner, or have ever trained for a marathon, maybe you can offer some suggestions for FitSugar reader lroselei.
I'm a runner and am in pre-training to run a marathon. Just building my base runs. So all is good, however TWICE ALREADY I'VE GOTTEN UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND EATEN SWEET THINGS! I don't know what's going on. I am eating complex carbs and veggies and protein, lots during the day, and then it's like the sweet zombie comes alive after I start sleeping. LOL. I've been told to watch out about sugar intake and weight gain. My pants have actually started feeling looser and falling off a bit. I'm not worried so much about weight gain as I am about building a bad midnight cookie habit. Helpful ideas wanted, please. I feel like I'm sleepwalking when it happens! LOL.
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You're asking and I'm answering . . .
During the holidays, I got into the habit of eating dessert after dinner. I crave sweets at night and I can tell that I've gained a couple pounds, but I can't seem to help myself. How can I break this habit without feeling like I'm on a diet or denying myself?
—Got a Sweet Tooth Tori
I totally feel your pain. There's nothing wrong with having a taste of a sweet treat here and there, but between all the pies, cakes, cookies, and chocolates, my body has gotten used to the sugar rush too. You can either go cold turkey, which might be a little depressing and too much of a shock. Or you can taper off the post-dinner sweet treats slowly, so it's less of a shock to both your taste buds and your brain. You can still let yourself eat things that are sweet without piling on the refined sugar that rots your teeth, causes gain weight, and makes you feel like crap. For some healthy sweet ideas, read more