Outsmart Your Cravings with These Smarter Temptations

Cravings. We all get them, even the most disciplined of us. But when you're trying to lose weight or eat better, cravings for sweets, treats, or rich foods can become your downfall—if you let them. Instead of depriving yourself of fun foods that are less than nutritious, practice moderation. Eat wholesome, nutritious foods 80% of the time, but allow yourself to enjoy the not-so-healthy stuff occasionally. In fact, by giving in to your cravings the smart way, you'll remain in control stay on the path to a healthier lifestyle!

Next time a craving hits, try one of these smarter temptations to satisfy your cravings for fewer calories!

5-Minute Chocolate Cake for Two (198 calories, 0.5g fat)

When you just want a little chocolate, don't make an entire cake. This speedy version, baked in a mug or small ramekin, will tame your chocolate cravings in minutes!

Baked Mac & Cheese (166 calories, 5g fat)

This rich macaroni and cheese explodes with all the flavor--but a fraction of the fat--of traditional recipes.

110-Calorie Banana Bread (110 calories, 2g fat)

Quick breads can be heavy and high in fat. Not this one! More satisfying than any 100-calorie pack, this homemade bread makes a sweet afternoon treat.

Frozen Yogurt with Warm Banana Syrup (145 calories, 2g fat)

Honey and a mashed banana naturally sweeten this frozen yogurt treat! Serve in a decorative dish and eat slowly to savor the flavor.

Skinny Cheese Enchiladas (200 calories, 3g fat)

With all the cheesy goodness without all the fat, these enchiladas are ready in a flash, too!

Dark Chocolate Muffins (217 calories, 7g fat)

So sweet and chocolaty, these moist muffins are a smart way to quell your chocolate cravings!

Personal Pita Pizza (229 calories, 4.5g fat)

Looking for an alternative to high-fat pizza? This recipe, chock full of veggies and cheese, is sure to please!

50-Calorie Coconut Meringues (51 calories, 2g fat)

If creamy is your texture of choice, try these melt-in-your-mouth meringue cookies to transport taste buds to the tropics!

100-Calorie Cinnamon Pancakes (93 calories, 0.5g fat)

Cinnamon adds sweetness but not calories to these whole-wheat pancakes. This might become your favorite breakfast!

Mocha Fudge Brownies (126 calories, 5g fat)

Adding instant coffee to this brownie batter intensifies its chocolate flavor. Nix your coffee and chocolate fix in an instant!

Mini Cherry Cheesecake Bites (121 calories, 4g fat)

Traditional cheesecake is rich and delicious, and this low-fat version is no exception! Plus, it is petite and ready to eat in no time.

Meatloaf Muffins (107 calories, 3g fat)

Enjoy the portion control and portability of this classic comfort food! The fact that it tastes great doesn't hurt either!

Berry Sweet Smoothie (253 calories, 0.5g fat)

This simple smoothie is packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Try it for breakfast or an afternoon snack.


Nutty Granola Bars (220 calories, 5g fat)

This homemade alternative to store-bought granola bars is a good source of protein, fiber, healthy fats and all-natural sweeteners.
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Member Comments

Saved this in my recipes, it is whats for dinner Friday Night!!! Report
Thanks for the info Report
Nice recipes Report
Anything chocolate looks good. Thanks. Report
Thanks. Report
Thank you for the alternatives! Report
Yummy! Now, if I could only have a cook! Report
Good suggestions Report
Always good - I love spark recipes that help with substitutes. Report
If you're wiling to portion out individual servings and stash them in the freezer, then any recipe will work for a craving fix. I personally don't like the taste of artificial sweeteners, but I can see where that helps some people. My Kryptonite is cheese popcorn. It's hard to put that into the freezer and if you manage to hide the portions, after awhile, they get stale. So, I only buy small individual bags once in a blue moon and eat it all in one setting.

By the way, the Spark team that monitors these articles DO NOT read these comments, so if you want changes, you need to comment on their facebook page, or email them. Report
I'm afraid that any one of these would trigger cravings for me instead.
For me it's low-carb for better health. Report
I also agree. Not every article on SparkPeople is for everyone. I find this one very useful. I do make time for such great recipes. It's all about priorities. Report
Dear Tublady
I agree with you a 100%. I was glad to see the recipes,how helpful was that. There are some of us that need these substitutes, and I am grateful to see these.
rldn05 Report
You can't please all the people. Some of the comments here says that.
Having lost an whole person, and having cravings, some of these choices are better than pigging out on a whole pan of brownies or cake.
Many of us struggle with portion control. having a whole anything in the house is to tempting .
I do try to limit fake foods. I would rather have a small, or two bites of something real than no fat, fake sugar, food. But thats not possible for many, so to make a one serving to satisfy a craving is good.
I do believe you can overcome some cravings with doing others things. Take your mind off the craving. But it doesn't always work.
I can have candy and ice cream in the house and only eat a few bites ever so often. End up tossing ice cream out, it gets old. Others can't do that. But i can't have a whole pizza, So I make little pizzas for one. That way i control the size, and what's on it. Everyone has to find what works for them.
Don't knock the good intentions this article was trying to do in giving people choices. Report
Really? An article on how to fight cravings that has nothing but recipes? Don't you think this title is a bit misleading? I'm sure there are some great recipes, here, but how about some practical tips and suggestions on beating the craving and handling it when you don't have time to whip something up? Report


About The Author

Nicole Nichols
Nicole Nichols
A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, Nicole loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Nicole was formerly SparkPeople's fitness expert and editor-in-chief, known on the site as "Coach Nicole." Make sure to explore more of her articles and blog posts.
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