I’m pretty sure that when you’re trying to lose weight you look for healthy alternatives to your favorite sweet treats.
Are there any healthy treats?
Well, it depends.
That’s because you will have to start seeing treats in a different light. You cannot have daily chocolate bars or cakes and no amount of fresh fruits or berries is going to completely satisfy that craving. The good news is that you only need to really fight those cravings for about a week. After that the cravings are almost gone. After a week you will notice that you really enjoy the natural sweet taste of apples and oranges – and even replace sweet treats by having something savory.
Why you need to find healthy treats?
Well, you don’t need to really. If you start eating good sized portions with enough fat (I’ve noticed that fat is key) you might not even crave sweets.
But let’s be honest, most of us do.
You might be on a mission to get rid of added sugar or otherwise on a strict diet (Whole30, Atkins or even just calorie counting) and need to stay away from sweet treats. Here’s a list of things you might be able to have instead of your old sugary favorites:
A list of healthy treats for sugar craving
I just love love love fresh pineapple. It’s a bit difficult to find a good pineapple sometimes. At least for me it’s a hit and miss although I try to smell the fruit and tug the leaves like you’re supposed to. But when you find a perfect one it’s one of the best things you’ve ever eaten.
Nothing beats a bowl of sweet fresh berries. There’s really no point in buying the imported hard tasteless ones though – wait for the summer when your local berries are in season and eat in abundance.
Perhaps this could count as a sweet treat rather than a replacement but dark chocolate has just so many health benefits that it has to be listed here. Look for a variety with more than 70 % cacao though. Have a square or two with a hot cup of your favorite tea.
Dried fruits such as prunes, figs and dates
Dried fruits are a great snack as they don’t have any added sugar and are high in fiber. Don’t go crazy though – they contain a lot of calories so you shouldn’t make them a daily habit.
Choose your favorite fruits to make a salad that you can snack on. Try to use different colored fruits for a variety of vitamins and other antioxidants.
Smoothie is a great dessert or a snack. Use bananas to make it sweet so you don’t have to add sugar, honey or artificial sweeteners.
Frozen grapes are so good. Have you tried them? I have a small problem with them though: I’m not allergic to fresh grapes but I think that frozen grapes make my throat tickle. That is so strange. Does anyone else get that?
My boyfriend loves water melons. Along with dried figs and dates a mini water melon is his choice of a sweet treat.
Greek / plain yogurt
Have some plain yogurt with your choice of fruits and berries. You can add apple sauce or peanut butter to the yogurt and some crunch with nuts or almonds. You can also flavor it with unsweetened cocoa or cinnamon.
Banana ice cream
Have you tried making ice cream from bananas? You really should give it a go because it is delicious. All you need is a couple of ripe bananas. Well, and a freezer and a blender.
If your diet allows you to have some sugar then you could make a chocolate dip and coat your favorite fruits and berries with it. Just dip some banana or strawberries to chocolate and eat straight away or put them in the freezer and eat when the chocolate coating has hardened.
This isn’t my first choice but it is an option. There are some studies that suggest that chewing gum can curb sweet cravings. Makes me hungry for some reason so I try to avoid it…
Think outside the box and go for something savory instead
It might seem weird to have something salty when you crave for sweet but it really might help! Try these options:
If you think that you don’t like olives it might be because you’ve never had a really good olive. There’s a world of difference between a really good olive and a “regular” one. Spoil yourself a bit and find some really good ones. The unpitted olives are more difficult to eat but they taste much better.
Nuts and almonds
Often when you crave for sweets it could be that you’re just hungry. Nuts and almonds contain a lot of fat and protein, two things that will keep you full – and happy.
My personal favorite. Cheese will make you happy for the same reasons as nuts. Make a small platter of your favorite cheese/s.
You might look at these savory options – olives, nuts and cheese – and think: Hang on, those three contain a lot of calories, are they any healthier than my usual sugary treats?
They are. A lot healthier. They might contain a lot of calories, but that’s why you shouldn’t have a lot of them. But they are so much healthier than anything that contains sugar, and they will keep you full for longer.
I haven’t found this helpful personally but some have so I’ll add it here. Some people find that having vegetables such as sweet potatoes, corn, snap peas, tomatoes or carrots help with their sweet cravings. Try and see if that works for you.
Remember, that there are times when you should not really replace what you crave – just have a little bit of what you want. You’ll be much happier.
However, if you’re like me and have daily cravings, then you really should find ways to change both your taste buds and your behavior.
Years ago I read a book called French women don’t get fat (Amazon affiliate link). There was a story about a French woman who bought a peach (I think it was a peach) at a market. The peach smelled wonderful as it was ripe and delicious. She left the peach on her kitchen table. The next day she came home from work and she could smell the peach as soon as she got home. She savored that fact that she would eat it and finally enjoyed every bite of it.
I know that sounds a bit mental, the way I wrote it up there but the writer of the book made it sound so wonderful. I would like to see fruit like that – not as a replacement for something that I can’t have but rather as a treat that it is.
What do you have when you crave sweet treats?