Are you one of those people who no matter what they try, just has a SWEET tooth? I definitely have one and forever I was told to just keep sweets out of the house. Time after time I would do this and would find myself sneaking out to get sweets whenever I really had those cravings come back. The problem with grocery stores being so close is that even if its out of your house the store is only 5 minutes away.
As everyone knows, dessert is bad for you, right? It is where all the weight gain comes from. I can’t have it before bed because I’ll gain fat.
I’m sure you have all heard these statements and at one time we even told clients this. But one day I was introduced to a philosophy by Abel James, author of the Wild Diet. He explained it perfectly to the point that I realized you should always have dessert (if you want it of course).
I am considering dessert as a food that you have as a sweet snack sometime during the day. So it could be after lunch or after dinner. Some foods that fit into this concept would be ice cream, bars, cookies, pies, etc. But how can this be healthy for me?
Two main reasons:
- If you don’t restrict yourself from eating it you won’t crave it as much
When we try to restrict ourselves from eating something it usually causes the reverse effect. We end up wanting it way more. So every time we push this dessert off it will show up somewhere else in our diet in probably worse off fashion.
- Dessert made with healthy ingredients are the same as other foods
Dessert doesn’t have to be pure sugar. If you make a dessert with healthy ingredients it will have as much nutrient value as a normal meal. There are many ways to supplement healthy fats for unhealthy ones. As well as supplement healthy sugars. Reducing the carbs in a dessert will help out as well.
I’m here to tell you, it’s ok to have sweets in the house!!! But we do have to make sure we make SMART choices on what those sweets really are. The foods have to be sweet or salty enough to elicit that feeling of getting rid of the sweet tooth without destroying out nutrition, carb and calorie goals all at the same time. They also have to taste good or it will never really conquer that craving.
I do have a few rules when you are looking at the list of snacks I recommend. The rules will help you be successful with stopping the cravings but also learning how to control the cravings as well.
RULE 1: Take only a few bites to start with, drink a little water and see if the craving is gone. If it is, then put the treat back until you need it again. There is no reason to finish off a treat if the initial sensation of it is gone. Save the calories and work on the control.
RULE 2: If you find one of the treats sets you off and you have trouble controlling how much of it you eat, then that treat can no longer be brought in the house. Even though these are low calorie, low carb, and low sugar options, we are still trying to learn how to have self-control.
RULE 3: Only one treat per day. Don’t have something at each meal.
Here is the list of what I have compiled as SMART SWEETS to keep in the house at all times:
- Sugar Free Jello- this is an amazing treat to have, comes in many flavors. A serving is 0 carb, 0 sugar and 1.9g protein. It does take about 4 hours to sit so you do need make this ahead of time and always keep in the fridge
- Fat Free Whipped Cream- this is great to have to top off your jello or other treats and make you really feel like you are having a dessert. You do have to be careful about how much exactly you use but
- Sugar Free Popsicle– These are super low calorie, there are many different options out there. The rule of thumb when looking for these is finding one with less than 5g of carbs per Popsicle.
- PB2– Powdered peanut butter is for more than just adding to smoothies. Make a big container of it to put in the fridge when you want just peanut butter. Way less calories, sugars and fats than regular peanut butter. You can also flavor many things to have a PB taste.
- Halo Top– Having this ice cream in the fridge can be awesome if you have control of yourself. The max calorie one for a whole pint is only 320 cal but I recommend only eating 1/2 a pint at a time. Be in control because there are still a decent amount of carbs in this. There are a few other ice cream brands like this now.
- Smart Pop– As long as its in individual bags and you only eat 1 bag at a time. Not a lot in these except some carbs.
- Zevia– This is a soda substitute that use stevia instead of other sugars. Comes in many flavors that normal soda comes in.
- Nuts– Be careful how much you have of these however, because the salty versions can really become addicting for the small amount you are allowed to eat.
- BCAA Drink– These are my secret go to. You have to find one that is either sugar free or low sugar but they have a really satisfying flavor. I love either Scivation Xtends or Giant Sports Perfomance BCAA’s personally.
Recreating recipes is also a great option as well. I’m not a great cook/baker so I don’t do that often. One for me is natural peanut butter in a low carb tortilla and warming it on the stove top! There are a ton of creations out there, goal is trying to stay relatively low carb and fat as well as getting a higher protein level if possible. Greek yogurt mixed with some BCAA’s or mixed with fruit to make parfait always taste amazing as well.
Remember the key is it has to take that edge off. If it doesn’t do that, then these also are just empty calories so don’t put something in your house if it doesn’t eliminate a craving for you. A lot of times you’ll notice you don’t touch them, but having them in the house and not feeling bad about being able to have a treat whenever you want actually prevents the desire to have it.