Controlling Your Sweet Tooth
It is important to have a plan once the “No Sweets” challenge is over. It isn't realistic to think you can restrict sugar and continue following “no sweets” for the rest of your life, especially if you previously ate a lot of sugar. But, you can control the “sweet tooth”! Many who allow themselves an occasional sweet treat have success at making healthier changes. Make sure you schedule in extra exercise to burn those extra calories though!
Tips to control the “sweet tooth”:
Choose your added sugar allowance in nutrient –rich foods, such as sweetened yogurt, flavored low-fat milk, and high-fiber whole grain breakfast cereals. This is much better than having a soda or a candy bar with no nutrients!
Substitute mixed nuts, dried fruit (without added sugar) and low-sugar cereals for candy. A few small pieces of dark chocolate in the mix can satisfy the sweet and/or chocolate craving!
Eat whole-grain graham crackers and fig bars instead of store-bought chocolate chip or cream-filled sandwich cookies.
Use less sugar in recipes to make your own desserts, cookies, and quick breads. Use ¼ to 1/3 less sugar! Experiment with all recipes to use less sugar.
Consider substituting artificial sweeteners for some sugar. Be careful with sugar-free desserts and candy….it’s not calorie free and if not portion controlled (sugar alcohols like xylitol and mannitol) can cause some stomach symptoms (ex. diarrhea, gas etc.).
Have 1 portion of a sweet food you are craving. Some examples:
- 4 Hershey kisses =135 calories and 10 grams of sugar.
- Make your own chocolate covered raisins by melting ¼ of dark chocolate bar in microwave and stir in 40 raisins. Let cool on wax paper. 120 calories and 5 grams added sugar.
- Air popped popcorn-1 ½ cups, drizzle with ½ of a melted dark chocolate bar=150 calories and 10 grams added sugar.
- 5 strawberries dipped in ½ melted dark chocolate bar = 70 calories and 10 grams added sugar
Can you tell I like chocolate for my added sugar allowance?:)