Keep these tricks up your sleeve to prevent going full Augustus Gloop.
We’ve all been there—you’re trying your best to eat healthy when suddenly the chocolate cravings set in. “Was that a commercial for Nutella?” Suddenly you recall seeing a leftover bag of chocolate chips in the pantry. Did you buy that candy bar last time you were at the checkout counter? Triggers can be everywhere, and sometimes cravings can turn into uncontrollable or emotional eating. But they don’t have to ruin your diet.
At Cooking Light, we embrace everything in moderation. We love recipes like Chocolate Buckwheat Waffles with Juicy Berries and Rich Dark Chocolate Smoothies that allow indulgence without fear of succumbing to unhealthy cravings. Recently, a Cooking Light Diet member posted in our Facebook Community and asked for advice to help curb chocolate cravings. We turned to the comments from other Community members in our community page and our expert Food and Nutrition Director, Brierley Horton, MS, RD, for the best advice when those yearnings strike.
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Pair with Fruit
Cooking Light Diet member Janine E. Guglielmino enjoys strawberries with a few chocolate kisses, and we’re definitely supportive of this snack. Horton suggests keeping this snack between 100 to 200 calories, while also taking your daily calorie goal into account.
If you think having the chocolate around at all will become difficult, member Cheryl Renee Jackie says, “I keep my sweets in the freezer. For whatever reason, it seems to help me forget about them. Plus, then they are frozen and you have to eat them slowly.”
With a rather unique approach, member Cindy Smith Shelton swears by dipping pretzels in chocolate hummus. Horton always suggests pairing chocolate with protein and a healthy fat to keep it nutritious and filling, so the combination of beans and cocoa hits the mark.
Toss the sugar-free puddings and bars for a high protein, chocolate yogurt. Horton says this is a great option for those who have trouble portioning or know chocolate is readily available. Buy some at the store and you’ll have a quick, chocolate-flavored 170-calorie fix.
Member Carrie Bulger says hot chocolate is “amazingly satisfying,” and we love this idea. Horton suggests making it with water or skim milk, depending on your daily calorie goals.
Chocolate Covered Snacks
Individually packaged chocolate-covered snacks are a great way to portion control and knock those cravings. Member Leigh Tilman likes the 100-calorie packs of Emerald Coast Roasted Almonds. She says, “I discovered cocoa roasted almonds through the Cooking Light Diet. Delicious and totally satisfying when chocolate cravings hit!”
Horton also suggests trying chocolate covered espresso beans. To keep portions in check, take out what you’ll eat and put the entire bag away before enjoying. If the idea of having the bag is bothersome, only buy individual serving sizes. The act of going to the store when a craving hits makes the choice more mindful, Horton says.
Grab a slice of toast and slather on a thin layer of chocolate hazelnut spread (like Justin’s) or chocolate tahini spread (like Soom), Horton suggests. She also likes to take two dark chocolate squares and make a little sandwich with peanut butter in between. Horton suggests dark chocolate, since it typically contains less sugar.
You’ve probably seen the frozen banana “Nice Cream” floating around the internet. Member Sandy Matassa likes to blend a frozen banana, cocoa, and skim milk for a frothy, chocolatey treat.
Make a Treat
There are currently 60 snack options on the Cooking Light Diet that hit your chocolate cravings. You can plan for simple suggestions like chocolate milk and chocolate dipped apples or make your own Cheesecake Sandwiches and Crunchy-Chewy Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies to pack as snacks every day.
Sometimes planning something chocolatey ahead of time as a snack can make all the difference. With the Cooking Light Diet, you can plan ahead so when the sugar craving hits, you can always be prepared.