Put down that cinnamon roll! Read these 5 easy ways to turn the other cheek when sugary cravings come knocking. 

Credit: Photo: Iain Bagwell

I can't tell you how many times I've hit the office snack counter and felt guilty about it just moments later. I stayed strong all morning, followed my meal plans, and enjoyed a healthy breakfast and lunch. Suddenly, 3 p.m. rolls around and the chocolate covered pretzels start calling my name. It's a vicious cycle of defeat, and I'm definitely not alone. 

Sometimes you just have to say no to those pretzels. For help, I turned to members of the Cooking Light Diet, because they know what it’s like to crave—then defeat—that midday need for a sweet snack. Whether you want to avoid buying a bag of M&Ms from the vending machine during lunch or need alternatives to the candy bowl at your desk, here's just some of their great advice on curbing the daily sugar cravings. 

Cave A Little 

It's not the best practice to eat the entire bag of Reese's Pieces you're eyeing, but you're also not doing yourself any favors by denying yourself the foods you want, either. By taking a tiny taste, you can let go and continue on the road to good health. 

Cooking Light Diet community member Nancy Richardson Bryant likes to eat just a few chocolate or semi sweet chocolate chips to get it out of her system. She'll portion out 10 chips and eat them one at a time to truly savor the moment. Cynthia Mason Moran will also indulge a little. She finds that if she denies herself something she truly wants, she'll end up overeating to try and suppress the craving. Instead, she knows having a small treat and moving on can save her tons of accidental calories. 

Have Something Sweet But Smart

Like I mentioned above, sometimes when you're craving sweet the only way to sate that urge is to actually have something sweet. But, there are tons of alternatives to sugary candy more in line with a healthy eating mindset, and they can help keep you on track even in your weakest moments. 

Community member Sharleen Christensen finds healthier sweets, like fruit or a small piece of dark chocolate, can satisfy her sweet tooth. Likewise for Julie Klussman Sanchez, who likes to top some Greek yogurt with strawberries or blueberries and a little grated dark chocolate for a low calorie dessert. Craving busters don't have to also bust your calorie requirements for the day, so treat yourself to something sweet and smart. 

Plan The Chocolate

If you can anticipate your cravings in advance, you'll be able to truly enjoy the treats. That's when you can plan ahead, like many Cooking Light Diet community members do every week, especially when it comes to chocolate.

Lindsey Lorraine will schedule Hershey's Kisses into her diet plan as a snack, so they feel more like part of her daily routine and not something to feel guilty about. Sharon Garrett factors a dark chocolate square into her daily snack routine to make sure her calorie intake is on point without any post-indulgence guilt. If you plan ahead, you're better equipped to not spiral out of control when a chocolate craving comes.

Sip It

Liquids definitely have calories, but by sipping on something sweet and light, you can give in to your cravings without the repercussions of say, eating an entire bag of M&M's. 

Community member Lisa Lieberwirth Dembkowski likes to plan a small amount of chocolate milk into her daily menus so she gets some protein and sweet in one sitting. If you're looking for something a little more low calorie, Anne Egelhof Ritchie likes to order an iced coffee with a splash of dark chocolate syrup, providing a subtle sweetness that ends her sugar needs. 

These are just a few of the many examples of real people winning over their sugar cravings via the Cooking Light Diet. For more, head to the Facebook community, or learn more at CookingLightDiet.com.

Try Something Else

When you're craving something sweet, it's sometimes all you can think about. It might sound crazy, but trying a different small snack to ensure you're full might be more helpful than you think. 

Tara Swift likes to enjoy apple slices and a skim milk mozzarella stick when she's thinking chocolate. She finds the snack helps satisfy her cravings and fills her up. So just because you're thinking sweet, don't hesitate to see if something slightly more savory can satisfy that urge.