Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

Nutrition Articles  ›  Healthy Habits

Smarter Ways to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Simple Tips for Mastering Your Sugar Cravings

-- By Bryn Mooth, SparkPeople Contributor
Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.
Make sensible sweet swaps. Many people tend to crave sweets in the afternoon, after dinner and before bed. If your sweet tooth regularly strikes mid-day or late at night, then choose healthy snacks (around 150 calories) that not only satisfy your craving but also have nutritional value. And if you simply must have something sweet after dinner, then choose a dessert that’s naturally low in calories—and preferably homemade. Here are 10 smart options:
  1. If you’re craving a rich chocolate dessert, satisfy the craving with this chocolate mousse, made with Greek yogurt, at 150 calories (vs. 380 for regular mousse).
     
  2. Instead of a large slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (which packs 350 calories), go for a piece of light and flavorful chocolate cherry angel food cake at just 105 calories per serving.
     
  3. If you’re dying for a brownie, try this homemade brownie recipe packed with black beans (you’ll never know they’re there), whole grains and dried fruit, with just 146 calories, 6 g fiber, just 3 g of fat per serving.
     
  4. If you HAVE to have a piece of cheesecake, make it a piece of homemade light classic cheesecake, made with low-fat cottage cheese and fat-free yogurt. You’ll spend 263 calories (vs. about 400 for standard cheesecake).
     
  5. If you need to nibble, take caution: nibbly sweets like M&Ms can be dangerously easy to eat mindlessly. Instead, make a healthy-sweet cereal trail mix. Combine 1 cup of bite-sized whole grain cereal (frosted wheat squares or oatmeal squares), 1/4 cup of dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of chocolate chips; one 1/2-cup serving has 130 calories.
     
  6. If you love yogurt, watch out for the super sweetened or ''lite'' products, which can pack a lot of calories or artificial ingredients. Instead, make your own fruited yogurt. Try 1/2 cup of nonfat Greek-style yogurt with 1 teaspoon of honey or real fruit preserves, for about 100 calories.
     
  7. If you’re craving something sweet and frosty, skip the high-calorie frozen coffee drinks (a Starbucks Grande Iced White Chocolate Mocha has 450 calories) and whip up a quick smoothie, instead: Blend 5 frozen strawberries, 4 ounces of nonfat plain yogurt, 1/3 cup skim milk and 1 teaspoon of sugar, and you have a nutritious snack that packs 150 calories and 10g of protein.
     
  8. If you love fruity candy, try homemade fruit leather instead of fruit-flavored hard candy.
     
  9. If you’re craving a candy bar, indulge your craving by eating a sensible portion of chocolate instead of gobbling a bar loaded with nuts and caramel. Choose antioxidant-rich dark chocolate; two squares of Ghirardelli dark chocolate have just 115 calories.
     
  10. If you have a taste for salty-sweet peanut butter, recognize that your body probably could use a bit of protein, so forget the peanut butter crackers or peanut candy. Instead, spread 1 Tablespoon of natural nut butter on half of a sliced apple. You’ll get protein and fiber in addition to about 150 calories.
 

Sources
 
Cleveland Clinic. ''Heart-Health Benefits of Chocolate Unveiled,'' accessed May 2012. http://my.clevelandclinic.org.
 
Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. ''Gain weight by ''going diet?'' Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings,'' accessed May 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
‹ Previous Page   Page 2 of 2   Return to main nutrition page »
Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

Stay in Touch With SparkPeople

Subscribe to our Newsletters

About The Author

Bryn Mooth Bryn Mooth
Bryn Mooth is an independent copywriter and journalist focused on food, wellness and design; she's also a Master Gardener and enthusiastic green thumb. She shares seasonal recipes, kitchen techniques, healthy eating tips and food wisdom on her blog writes4food.com.

Member Comments

  • FUNGI777
    i believe that taking the time to make a healthy snack cookie or bar is the answer to control.
    then you know how many servings you are allowed and how many calories are involved. find a recipe with a good amout of fiber, like oats, chia seeds, and check out king arthur flour web site. they have a hi maize flour that has lots of fiber. baking with them is a smart idea, learn about them. - 2/27/2014 11:38:44 AM
  • Soooo important to discover how to clean up the cleaned sweet tooth. - 1/31/2014 12:49:28 AM
  • I love this essay. - 1/31/2014 12:47:24 AM
  • Great tips!!! - 1/11/2014 9:46:32 AM
  • Great tips, will give them a try - 1/11/2014 9:14:34 AM
  • SHEAQUILTER1
    stopping artificial sweeteners tomorrow- hoping that this will help long term. - 1/10/2014 11:14:47 PM
  • When craving sweets, I look for whole raw fruit like strawberries, if I am craving chocolate then I try to melt a ounce of semi-sweet cholcolate chips and dip the strawberries into it. Much better for me then munching down on M&Ms. - 1/10/2014 2:02:18 PM
  • I like sweetner in my coffee. Never liked sugar. Will try Stevia, but my coffee this morning was not too good. - 1/10/2014 12:42:03 PM
  • REGINALEE62A
    Can't wait to try the brownie recipe. Sounds delicious, and love the 9grams of fiber. Thanks for the healthy alternative to my fav. sweet tooth indulgence.
    - 1/10/2014 11:26:52 AM
  • I wish I would have read this YESTERDAY as a reminder... I BLEW it yesterday because I have been CRAVING chocolate for more than a week and yesterday I caved... BIG TIME... oh well, dust myself off and move forward. :O) Today is a new day. - 1/10/2014 10:46:33 AM
  • FISHINGGAL101
    well I have to have my one see's candy everyday other wise I will eat most the box...LOL. I find that if I do it that way it works for me. One a Day. - 1/10/2014 10:33:03 AM
  • I do find that a little of something often leads to a LOT. If I just stay away, I can leave things alone. Maybe it is just the trigger foods but--I try to not have ANY unless there is NO MORE. - 1/10/2014 8:19:14 AM
  • Thanks CATINCJ. Some top tips
    I find pistachios in their shell a good one - 'coz you have to slow down your snacking by shelling the nuts! - 11/5/2013 5:47:00 PM
  • Great article. I think I'm going to try the brownie and fruit leather recipe. Yum! I also reach for a cup of orange juice when I'm in a pinch, know I'm going to lose control and go on a junk food binge. It works for me and it's better than the alternative. :) - 11/2/2013 2:05:28 PM
  • For my GO TO sweet tooth satisfier, I have some favs that work for me every time.

    1. I make myself sit down and eat it slowly, really savoring the flavor and texture.
    (How many pounds have I put on over the years by devouring a hand full of this or that without ever tasting it?)

    2. I make a pan of brownies or yummy cupcakes, portion them in individual servings (usually 100 calorie) and stick them in individual sandwich bags in the freezer so portion size is already calculated and it is easy to track.

    3. I'll cook some prunes and stick them in a sealed jar in the frig . . . I need the extra fiber in my diet. They are so syrupy sweet that a couple is all I need to satisfy the sweet craving.

    4. For pure indulgence, I'll melt 1 ounce of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave and savor each spoonful - only 70 calories!!!
    For extra protein, add 1/3 serving of raw or toasted almonds - and I'm still less than 200 calories.

    - 10/9/2013 12:10:35 PM