If you have been following for any amount of time, you know I have a big sweet tooth. My sweet tooth got super out of control when I was pregnant and I gave myself way too much slack. I’ve had to do a big diet overhaul recently and work to limit the sweets I have around.
I have made some changes lately that are actually sticking, so I wanted to share the ways I am still indulging without going completely eat-12-donuts-at-once crazy.
1 // Pick a single serving size or smaller item over the whole box/bag/tub.
I will always still want to have “normal” sweets around once in a while, but I have problems with portion control. If I buy the whole box of oreos, no matter how many times I tell myself to stop or “hide” them from myself, I eat the whole box of oreos way. Just having a 6 pack of oreos (270 calories) is a lot better than eating, say, 1,000 calories or more of them in a days worth time. Now only if you could get the fun flavored oreos in the smaller packs! 😉
I also like peanut butter cups. I love the Justin’s brand, and Target just happens to sell a BIG bag of these. It’s more cost effective for sure, but I really only need to buy the one pack of 2 cups and call it a day. The same goes for Ben & Jerry’s. If I can find the tiny cups instead of a pint (because I WILL eat the whole pint), I can still get my fix without there being any more to over do it on.
2 // Pick a protein-packed or other health benefit-packed alternative.
Sometimes it’s nice to have a treat do double duty and give you some health benefits too.
Lately, I use protein shakes as faux milkshakes and Quest bars as “candy” bars. I don’t think that protein shakes or Quest bars are the healthiest things in the world (still processed), but they do satisfy my sweet tooth and are full of protein, keeping me fuller longer and less likely to want more sweets once I’m done eating them.
It’s definitely better than an actual milkshake or candy bar. Since I’ve been replacing those types of sweets with healthier alternatives, I crave those more over the real thing now too.
3 // Make it yourself.
Anything I make at home is bound to be a lot healthier than something pre-packed, with preservatives, or full of extra sugar. The caveat with this one is that making a whole batch of cookies gives you the portion control problem again.
4 // Keep indulgences simple.
There was a time in my life when I used to go to extremes to “treat myself.” It’s treat time? Let’s get brownies and ice cream and make sundaes! I’d say. We’re going out for dessert? Let’s get the biggest, richest thing possible! I truly love dessert so sometimes it has been hard to realize that over the top treats can’t happen all the time if I ever want to keep my jeans fitting.
Now I look at treats as something small and most of all simple. My favorite simple treats are:
- wine and a few pieces of dark chocolate
- just wine or just dark chocolate (not both)
- one donut, not a donut (or two) and a big sugary coffee
- a less-sugary lower-calorie Starbucks drink (think tall flat white vs. grande white chocolate mocha)
- Chobani indulgences yogurt, especially in the raspberry flavor
These are seriously so good! There’s a bunch of flavors out right now too, if you can find them.
5 // Use other sweet things as dessert.
I don’t want this to sound like a cop out. If you want a cookie, eat a cookie! But I find that when I’m consistently wanting sweet things, I can’t always just grab a cookie because that turns into habit real fast. To keep my sweet tooth at bay without eating something super sweet, I grab something else.
Just last night after dinner, I wanted something sweet. I find that I have a real addiction to wanting to end my day with a sweet thing or treat-like food. But I didn’t have anything on hand so I had a tangerine instead. And it was really sweet and satisfied me.
I’m using things like strawberries or flavored Greek yogurt (like above) in place of chocolate and ice cream. They aren’t chocolate and ice cream, but they’re still sweet while being more natural and usually have less sugar and fat.
No matter what lifestyle I am trying to live or what I want my diet to look like, treats are always going to be a part of it for me. I’ve tried going cold turkey on sugar before and it has backfired every time. I think that everything in moderation is healthy. It’s the moderation part that I feel like I’ve just recently learned how to balance better.
Questions for You:
- What’s your favorite “big” treat?
- How do you stay balanced between having a sweet tooth and the “everything in moderation” notion?