5 Healthy Ways to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Red Hot Apple Pie in a Cup
Courtesy of Hungry-Girl.com

Candy is everywhere—especially during the fall and winter holiday seasons. From TV commercials to the receptionist’s cheery pumpkin-shaped jar, candy is calling your name. But along with that candy comes an avalanche of sugary calories. No worries. Here are five ways to outsmart those cravings without depriving yourself.

Mix Candy With Filling, Good-For-You Foods

By mixing your candy with healthier items, you'll feed your craving without going overboard. Try mixing M&M’s or Raisinets with light popcorn, high-fiber cereal, and/or freeze-dried fruit for a crunchy snack that'll satisfy your sweet tooth.

For something creamy, top off light yogurt or low-fat ricotta cheese with your bite-sized candy of choice.

Turn to Mini Versions

Luckily for us all, many of our favorite candies come in miniature versions. These tiny treats are especially abundant around Halloween. They're perfect for trick-or-treaters and adults!

Some minis, like 3 Musketeers bars, give you more bang for your buck; you could have seven of these small squares for just 170 calories. (I recommend sticking with just three or four, though!)

Keep yourself honest by having those open candy wrappers in sight. This way, you won’t lose count of how many minis you’ve had. Studies have shown that visual reminders (like those wrappers!) keep us accountable and help prevent overeating!

Be Choosy With Your Candy

While I think most of us know candy is pretty much a nutritional zero, it isn’t necessarily high in calories. If you make the right choices, you can enjoy candy without destroying your diet.

When I’m craving candy, I go for sugar-free hard candies or lollipops. They take a long time to eat, so a little goes a long way! Gummies are also good; you can have 17 Twizzler Cherry Bites for 140 calories. And a Tootsie Roll Snack Bar has just 50 calories.

Befriend Fruit

Fruit is such a fantastic, nutrient-packed snack, and its natural sweetness makes it a great choice when you're craving sweets. Did you know that you can actually train your taste buds to crave healthier food? It might take time if you're a real candy fiend, but if you start eating more fruit, your sweet tooth will catch on! So the next time you feel that demand for sugar, try fruit first.

Go for sweet (not tart) fruits, like grapes (check out cotton candy grapes!) and pineapple. You can still let yourself have those candy treats, but save them for special occasions. I always have fresh fruit ready to go in my fridge, so it’s easy to grab.

Find Better-for-You Swaps

If you’re craving chocolate, a candy bar isn't your only option. Try a mug of low-calorie hot chocolate or a few chocolate-covered strawberries! And dark chocolate is an antioxidant powerhouse, making it a smarter pick than milk chocolate.

There are also tons of low-calorie snack bars that can satisfy your candy obsession. Look for flavors that remind you of your favorite candies. For example, if you love Snickers, try a chocolate-caramel snack bar. If you're obsessed with Reeses, go for PB-chocolate bars. Quaker makes a great line of chewy granola bars with impressive flavors and stats!

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