This post is all about one of my favorite things in the world: chocolate!
Like most of you, I have a huge sweet tooth. I rarely go out to a nice dinner without trying a specialty dessert, and always make sure to have healthier-for-you desserts on hand at home for after dinner.
I guess you could say I am lucky to have never really struggled with craving candy bars and super sugary chocolate treats. Yes, I will allow myself an occasional 3 Muskateers Bar or York Peppermint Pattie (<- the best combo ever), but beyond that once in a blue moon pattern, I just don’t feel the need to eat candies and cakes on a day-to-day basis.
Over the years of cleaning up my eats and enjoying a balanced healthy lifestyle with eating, I have acquired tricks to help me tame my chocolate cravings. Yes, they still exist, but they aren’t nearly as often or intense as they used to be.
Here are some tips to help get you off of the candy bars and onto curbing your chocolate cravings!
• DON’T rule chocolate out of your diet
I am a firm believer in eating any food your body desires, as long as it is in moderation. Learning from my own experience, I can tell you that cutting something you love completely out of your diet doesn’t work for most people. You’ll do just fine for a while and then – BAM – you find yourself spoon first and half a gallon deep into a container of triple chocolate ice cream. It happens to the best of us.
Give yourself some wiggle room! If your body is telling you it wants chocolate, find a small handful of dark chocolate chips or enjoy a tall glass of chocolate milk to tame the craving.
A small amount of dark chocolate a day can actually be good for your health, according to some doctors. Do yourself a favor and live a little. Allowing yourself tiny amounts of chocolate at a time will spare you the temptation of binging on something much higher in calories and fat content later on!
• include a little chocolate into your healthy recipes
This way, you feel like you are treating yourself, but you are also getting other healthier-for-you foods along with it.
Here are some my my favorite ways to use chocolate:
» in smoothies
» in protein cookie balls
» in cookies
» in banana bread
» in banana muffins
• three words: chocolate peanut butter
Oh my gosh. I remember the very first time I tried chocolate peanut butter. My mind was blown.
You can usually find organic dark chocolate almond butter if you look for it in the organic section of the grocery store. If I ever have a choice between regular and chocolate peanut butter, I will most like choose the chocolate.
Use it just like you would regular peanut or almond butter: smeared on toast or waffles, in sandwiches (so yummy with sliced bananas!), or even on top of your favorite oatmeal or cereal.
Peanut butter = love. Chocolate peanut butter = (healthy) obsession.
• sip hot chocolate – or better yet – hot Ovaltine
I am definitely one to crave something sweet before bed every single night.
I have been in the habit of drinking a tall glass of milk to fill me up, and often turn to dark chocolate almond milk to satisfy my sweet tooth. Every once in a while, I will heat it up in the microwave to mix it up. Drinking it hot forces you to sip slowly and enjoy it.
Looking to get in some extra vitamins and minerals? Try making a cup of hot Ovaltine. I’ve turned to this strategy for years and it usually does the trick!
• snack throughout the day
If you find yourself eating one, two, or even three big meals a day, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. Amp up your metabolic burn by focusing on correctly portioned meals and including snacks and small treats throughout the day. If you work outside of the home, take them with you!
Doing this will not only help your metabolism burn calories (and fat!) faster, but it will also help you avoid staring aimlessly into the pantry late at night.
Eat often, just keep it intuitive with healthy and nutritious options in mind.
• Find healthier snack and dessert substitutes
Here are some of my favorite go-to healthy snack options I often turn to!
I recently got the opportunity to try the new Special K Brownies in both flavors: Divine Fudge and Heavenly Caramel.
Both will be added to my list for sure! Each box came with seven individually wrapped brownies with a shockingly low number of 80 calories per package.
Special K Brownies are made with real cocoa, chocolate or caramel chips, and topped with a drizzle of chocolate fudge. The bars aren’t huge, but they certainly are enough to satisfy that chocolate craving!
And hey, at 80 tiny calories per bar, you could even stack two together and still have a healthier option at 160 calories, only 6g of fat, and 6g of fiber!
I have been snacking on these brownie bars right out of the package while on-the-go. I also stack, warm up, and eat two with a fork as a brownie-like cake when I’m at home. Both flavors taste fantastically sinful, and I feel completely at ease knowing that I’m not having to splurge on calories to enjoy them.
Visit SpecialK.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for more information on the new Special K Brownies in Divine Fudge and Heavenly Caramel, available now at grocery and mass retail stores nationwide!
I hope you found these tips helpful and can use them as inspiration to drop the candy bars or habit of regularly buying treats from the bakery section. I have been incorporating easy changes like these into my everyday diet for years and don’t feel like I’m missing out on a thing!
I still allow myself to eat regular ‘ol chocolate cake every now and then, but to be honest, it’s not always to-die-for. Most of the time, I would much rather go home and eat something sweet that I know I will love for half the calories!
Questions of the Afternoon
• Do you have a sweet tooth for chocolate?
• What are some of your tricks to tame your cravings?
Please note: I am not a registered dietician or health professional. All content I post on this blog stems from my personal experience and knowledge, and I recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet.
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Special K Brownies.