Let’s talk about replacing not so good for you cravings with healthier options. I’m not going to sit here and say that these work 100% of the time but I will say 3 out of the 4 replacements do 99% of the time! I’ve been working on having a healthier lifestyle rather than just dieting and these are a few of the replacements that I use to help me with that!
I don’t deny myself of ice cream, or chocolate or having a full blow 1,500 calorie meal, I’ve accepted that every once in awhile it’s okay to do that!
Replacement tip #1: Hot Lemon Water. Coffee is good for you in moderation if you drink it black without all of the added sugar and cream, or milk. I am not one of those people, if I’m going to drink coffee I’m guaranteed to get a 500 cal coffee from a coffee shop or I’m adding cream and sugar to my coffee at home., which isn’t that great for you, especially every day. So one thing I do is drink hot lemon water first thing in the morning when I get up. I squeeze half a lemon into some hot water and sip on that throughout the morning as I get ready.
Now I will say this: the first day you decide to cut out coffee, okay the first week, you will still want coffee to some degree…. if you can push through that first week that craving for coffee will subside substantially. For me personally how I knew this was working is I stopped having coffee last Monday, on Sunday (day 7) I was working on photos for the blog and had a coffee, now it was great and divine, HOWEVER, my body hated me the rest of the day for it and because of that reaction I knew the lemon water was working. So you just have to give this one some time (as little as 3-4 days)!
Replacement tip #2: Sparkling Water. Do you crave soda? I use to all the time! It didn’t matter what flavor it was because I didn’t crave any soda in particular I really just like the carbonation and wanted something other than just flat water. I didn’t have any trouble cutting out soda but I still had the craving so my first attempt to cut down on soda was only drink it when I went out to dinner, this didn’t work so well. I then recently (a few months ago) have found that whenever I’m craving a soda (or anything besides water really) that I reach for a sparkling water. It gives you the carbonation you’re looking for and when you find the right flavor (this is important because not all of them taste great to me), you’ll be reaching for a sparkling water over a lemonade or soda!
Side tip: If you like a margarita and are looking for a skinny version try 1 oz. tequila, 1 tbsp. agave, fresh squeezed lime juice and add lime flavored sparkling water to top it off! Tastes great and gives you a little fizz action!
Replacement tip #3: Chocolate No Bake Cookies. I am a chocolate lover and this craving is almost everyday! Now chocolate is good for you in moderation, especially dark chocolate it has some health benefits to it so I’m not saying you need to cut anything out of what you eat. In fact you just have to accept that having a chocolate bar every once in awhile is okay and that it’s not something to be disappointed with yourself about! This cookie recipe was a life save when I was on the 21 day fix diet and honestly I would rather eat these then the fat filled version! If you have a strong aversion to coconut I wouldn’t suggest these as they do have a coconut flavor added! Just one of these will fill your chocolate craving for the day, they are moist and chewy, just yum!
All your gonna do is melt 1 c. natural peanut butter (I use almond butter), 3/4 c. honey, 1/2 c. coconut oil in a sauce pan making sure to stir so it all gets incorporated and nothing sticks to the bottom, I would suggest doing this on medium heat. Once everything is melted remove from the heat and add 2 tsp. vanilla, 6 tbsp. cocoa powder, and 2 1/4 c. oatmeal (I use the quick 1-minute oats to ensure the oats will be cooked), combine everything together and just drop the spoonful on parchment paper. You will need to place these in the fridge to harden and keep them in the fridge when storing or they won’t necessarily stay together well! This will make about 25-30 cookies depending on how big your spoons are! I find that an ice cream scoop helps with size consistency.
Replacement #4: Veggie Chips or Carrots. Now this replacement may be a bit of a stretch but it’s helped in times when I want something crunchy or I’m just craving something unhealthy, doesn’t matter what it is. This actually happened to me last night, I was just hungry and wanted something crunchy but crunchy in the sense of a piece of pie or chips, get my drift? So I made the conscious decision to grab the bag of carrots and eat those instead, I was SHOCKED with how well this worked. By the time I had finished one serving (bout a cup) of them I was full and was no longer craving anything!
Another thing you can grab are pea crisps or veggie chips, these are definitely good if you are craving chips because you’ll get the chip crunch as well as the salt. I would be careful as to which veggie chips you buy because there are some out there that are just as bad as some chips are and I would stick to the serving size!
These are the main replacement I use everyday to help me have a healthier lifestyle. I think it’s important to remember when you are eating healthy it doesn’t mean you can’t indulge on the foods that aren’t healthy. For me this last week I didn’t indulge in one thing and then Saturday came around and I ate out twice in one day – definitely not the best but I didn’t get down on myself for having a meal that I enjoyed. When this happens I just tell myself that it’s okay and that having an indulgent meal once in awhile is okay! It’s important not to get down on yourself for not being perfect while choosing a healthier lifestyle because some days it’s just not easy, especially if you’ve had a stressful day at work and just want to come home and have chocolate cake – have that cake, just have a smaller piece than you normally would and move on.
I hope that you find these helpful to you and if you have any healthy food replacement tips that you use I’d love to hear them in the comments below!