As a major sweets-aholic (and honestly, former fatty) I’ve been devising some creative ways to indulge in yummy things each and every day to cure the cravings without increasing the bum-size.
1. Discover your inner fatty. Many people tell you to cut down on portions, but my theory is there are different kinds of inner fatties:
- The Palatable Portionist: You have to have something extremely rich almost every day to survive… but a taste can satisfy you. You crave treats like caramel, extra dark chocolate, and other strong flavors.
- The Greedy Gobbler: You have to have a giant scoop of lovin’ every day…but since you gobble it up greedily, it doesn’t have to be the worst-for-you treat in the world. You crave treats like ice cream, cookies, and cake.
Once you find out which kind you are, pay attention to eliminating the easier side of dessert cravings: Palatable Portionists, keep your portions smaller than ever knowing you can bear it; Greedy Gobblers, watch the ingredients panel to make sure your over-indulgences aren’t overly awful.
2. Pinpoint your weakness. Pinpoint exactly where your weakness lies. Is it the chocolate chips you munch mindlessly in front of the TV? The full-fat ice cream you eat from the tub? The once-a-year Girl Scout Cookie binge? Really narrow in on your weakness so you can pay attention to it and find healthier options.
3. Find a healthier alternative. In these days of constant dieting, there is always a healthier alternative to what you’re craving. Below is a list of things I’ve discovered or created, but if you do your research I’m sure you can find a suitable alternative to pretty much anything you’re obsessed with.
- Ice cream -> Frozen yogurt. Ok, so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out, but I wanted to stress this one especially, because fro-yo has gotten a whole lot better lately. With trendy new places that use skim milk and real cultured tangy yogurts instead of over-sugared fro-yos of the past, organic nonfat choices in the grocery store such as Stonyfield Organic Nonfat frozen yogurts and even store-brand fro-yos with delicious flavors such as Publix‘s Key Lime Pie and Moose Tracks, there is absolutely no reason to buy full-fat ice cream anymore.
Recipe: For the healthiest option, make your own fro-yo by tossing some plain organic nonfat yogurt (and food processed fruit for a flavor) in an ice cream maker for 20 minutes and freezing for a couple of hours. Add some fruit or a few semi-sweet chocolate chips and it’s a yummy low-sugar, low-fat treat.
- Candy bars ->Dark Chocolate-covered Pretzels. Candy bars are so nasty when you really look into the ingredients. They’re full of chemicals and the lowest-cost, highest-processed sweeteners and fats known to man. Making chocolate-covered pretzels is really easy and just as yummy with the sweet and salty flavor and crunch you crave from a Snickers bar — plus, that dark chocolate is lower sugar and has at least some health benefits in small portions.
Recipe: Simply melt some semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave (30-second intervals, stirring between, until melted) and pour over pretzel sticks or pretzel Goldfish on a piece of wax paper. Eat drippy or freeze to harden, it’s up to you.
- Fruity desserts -> Quick Cobbler. Fruity desserts aren’t that bad if made from scratch, but those at the store have corn starch and high fructose corn syrup among other things to make them sweet, gelatinous and preserved. However, making a pie or gourmet dessert from scratch can take hours. Make the healthier lazy-girl version in a jiff.
Quick Apple Cobbler: Cook apples in cinnamon and just a little brown sugar over the stove for a few minutes, then bake them at 375 degrees with a blend of wheat flour, brown sugar, pecans/walnuts and cinnamon (and a a touch of oil to moisten) on top for 20 minutes or so.
Quick Bananas Foster: Stir-fry bananas in some rum, cinnamon and a pinch of brown sugar for a couple of minutes, and eat with a dollop of fro-yo on top.