8 simple ways to satisfy your sweet tooth to help you lose weight
When you’re trying to lose weight or eat more healthily, one of the most difficult things to manage can be your sugar cravings. Whatever you try, you might feel you still need to have something sweet after you finish a meal – or, goshdarnit, you just want to treat yourself to a dessert!
If you’re looking for ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without going crazy on empty calories, then here are 8 quick tips that can make snacks and desserts much healthier without you having to sacrifice any flavour.
1. Switch out junky snacks
If you want a sweet treat, rather than reaching for a chocolate bar, think of alternatives that will fuel your body at the same time. Try fruit juices, dried fruit, fresh fruit, healthy snack bars, and protein bars and balls.
If you’re not making snacks yourself, then pay attention to the labels and check the sugar content of what you’re eating: there are lots of grain and protein bars marketed as being healthy when they’re really far from it!
2. Enjoy the best chocolate
If you love chocolate, don’t give it up – just swap out your usual high-sugar brand for a good quality dark chocolate (aim for at least 70% cocoa). It may cost a little more, but the cocoa hit will be more intense so you’ll need to eat less of it to feel satisfied.
As it contains a lot less sugar than normal milk and white chocolate, the switch will definitely make a difference to your energy, cravings and your waistline.
3. Keep your freezer stocked
If you want to prepare delicious desserts ahead of time, why not you’re your own sorbets and real fruit juice ice lollies? These are much better for you than ice cream.
If you usually eat frozen yoghurt, then make sure you check exactly what’s in your brand. Many frozen yoghurts have more sugar or sweeteners in than ice cream: either stick with something simple made from natural ingredients and minimal sweetners, or steer clear!
4. Try smoothies instead of milkshakes
If you enjoy the creaminess of a milkshake but could do without the extra calories, think about putting together some smoothies instead. You can change up the ingredients every time to keep them interesting, and add natural sweetness with fruit.
Just remember, fruit is great in moderation, but it’s high in sugar itself – so be aware of how much goes in the blender.
5. Turn the heat up
Baking fruit can concentrate the sweetness, and the warmth can make for a comforting dessert. Try baked apple with a little maple syrup and cinnamon – sprinkle it with granola or toasted oats for a simple and healthier take on a crumble.
You can even try this trick to add a little more sweetness to your main meals. Roasting vegetables like carrots, onions and sweet potato brings out their natural sugars and can add an extra dimension of flavour.
6. Reduce portion sizes
If you don’t want to compromise on what you eat, think about reducing the amount. Bake smaller biscuits, cut tray bakes into half sizes, and share desserts when you’re out.
You can also try paying a little extra for higher quality ingredients: the more flavour you get in a smaller portion, the more satisfied you’ll be having eaten less of it.
7. Bake with substitutions
Experiment with your home baking by replacing ingredients with healthier alternatives. Almond flour cakes have a lovely flavor and lightness to them, and cream cheese frosting can be a tasty substitute for traditional sugary icing on the right cake.
Fats are also easy to change out: butter is far better than margarine, and you can also try coconut oil and olive oil. Coconut oil usually substitutes about 1:1 to any other hard fat, but you’ll need less if you use olive oil.
8. Whatever you do - love your food
Even if you do play with substituting ingredients and looking for healthier options, it’s not usually a good idea to ban foods completely. Restricting yourself too much usually leads to binges, regret and all kinds of guilt and self-blame.
Weight loss and cravings control shouldn’t mean giving up all the things you love. Whatever treats you choose to indulge in, take the time to really enjoy them.