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Sugar Cravings: 4 Reasons They Happen and How to Stop Them

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By Keri Glassman, MS, RD

Sugar cravings are the worst.

It’s like a little army of meanies grab hold of you and torture you until you feed them jellybeans, right?

In this video, my good friend Natalie Jill and talk about sugar cravings, especially the kind that seem to attack as soon as you’ve finished eating a meal.

Sugar cravings affect everyone—myself and Natalie Jill included. Clients ask us both about this all the time, so we thought we’d explain why they happen and what you can do to fight them. The key to dealing with them is to start with understanding why you’re getting them in the first place.

Then, once you’re armed with that knowledge, you can make necessary changes to lessen them in the future while also having a healthy plan in place to deal with them in a conscious manner when they pay you a visit.

For more on why you’re craving sugar, scroll down to read up on the four most common causes and what to do when that sweet tooth strikes.

4 Reasons You Have Sugar Cravings

  • 1. Sugar Craving Cause: You didn’t eat enough, or you ate the wrong things

    When you don’t eat enough calories, your body starts looking for fuel fast as a way to catch up. So what do you do? Crave sugar! As you know, sugar gives you quick energy, even though it’s not necessarily good energy.

    How to Stop the Craving

    So one way to get around this little conundrum is to just choose something sweet with artificial sweetener in it, right? Wrong! So, so wrong. Artificial sweeteners might momentarily satisfy that sweet craving, but they trick your body into thinking it’s getting fuel when it’s not. Your body soon goes looking for more calories in the form of, you guessed it, sugar, and you’re right back where you started.

    Calories are the only thing that provides real energy, so eat them consistently, in the form of whole foods, and break the sugar cravings cycle once and for all.

  • 2. Sugar Craving Cause: You picked up a bad habit

    Some people smack their gum without even realizing it. Some people have picked their fingernails their entire lives. And, sigh, some people eat a chocolate bar every day at 3:00 p.m., because, well, they eat a chocolate bar every day at 3:00 p.m. Yep, bad habits.

    When something becomes habit, especially when it comes to food, you have to ask yourself: Are you even aware you’re doing it? Do you really want to be doing it? Are you truly craving what you are eating? When you’re really hungry and you haven’t eaten enough throughout the day, breaking a 3:00 p.m. vending machine run is going to be tough. But if you start to eat more consistently throughout the day and get in enough and the right types of calories, then your defenses are up and it’s easier to change the habit.

    One thing I always suggest that people do to change the habit is to go for a sweet herbal tea when they have a craving. This works particularly well for my afternoon chocoholics. I don’t mean sweet like adding sugar, but rather a naturally sweet tea such as apple spice or vanilla almond that has no calories and nothing artificial in it. I’m telling you, this works.

  • 3. Sugar Craving Cause: You ate too much starch and not enough fat and/or protein

    When you eat a heavy, starchy meal, like a giant bowl of grandma’s spaghetti, you’re pretty much setting yourself up for a guaranteed gelato craving. All that pasta with no fiber or protein (and depending upon the sauce, perhaps not enough fat, either) is like a big bowl of sugar. Those calories are absorbed fast and they do not keep you feeling full or satisfied. In other words, that big bowl of sugar doesn’t provide satiety like protein or fat does.

    What’s a pasta lover to do? First, practice proper portion control. And, add a portion of lean protein. You need a little protein to help you feel satisfied, and/or a little olive oil for some healthy fat. I also suggest a big bowl of veggies with lean protein, topped off with a little pasta—versus the other way around. Another trick is to make friends with spaghetti squash in place of spaghetti. Grandma will still love you. Satiety is the name of the game here, people.

  • 4. Sugar Craving Cause: You chowed down on salty foods

    When you dine out or eat packaged, processed foods, your food has more sodium in it than you probably even realize. This usually remains true even when you’re eating something clean like grilled salmon and sautéed or steamed spinach from your fave “healthy” restaurant. Here’s the kicker: the saltier your food, the bigger your sweet craving.

    The first step here is to be aware that this may happen to you. Then, the more you skip the chips or fries, the less you’ll want the donuts or cookies. When you eat more naturally salty foods like cheese or olives, your sweet cravings will lessen, and you’ll tend to go for naturally sweet snacks like herbal tea or fruit when that craving comes on. See? Choosing clean foods leads to choosing more clean foods, no matter what the craving.

    (Photos: )

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Healthy Ways to Satisfy Your Sugar Cravings and Silence Your Sweet Tooth

2) Eat before hunger strikes

A drop in your blood sugar will increase your sugar cravings. As your body goes into starvation mode, it will crave foods that will give it instant energy. But you will most likely overeat and any sugar the body doesn’t immediately burn, will store as fat. To avoid this, eat small meals regularly and always keep snacks at hand.

If you need help regulating, planning and tracking your meals, Fitwell’s nutritional coaching and calorie tracking features help you eat regularly and find healthy snack options that will keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day.

3) Distract yourself

If the sugar craving is too strong, and nothing but the most processed of foods will do, then do your best to walk away. Go outside! Go for a walk, a bike ride, or just sit in the park and read a book. Fresh air will increase your metabolism and improve your heart rate. Your blood sugar will level out (if you are not already starving that is) and you will feel less inclined to binge on sugary treats. When you get back to what you are doing, you’ll realise that your sugar tooth has waned or disappeared. If you are still still craving something, you’ll find it easier to reach for one of the healthier options above.

4) Learn the amount of sugar in your food and know what foods to avoid

Food is not always as healthy as it seems!

Your average, over-the-counter yoghurt can contain more sugar than three cups of grapes, three large peaches, or 300 gr of strawberries. (fruit sugar content retrieved from the United States Department of Agriculture)

Consuming foods that are high in sugar will increase the frequency and intensity of your cravings. Always look at the sugar content in your food. Shop ahead of time and have healthy options at hand.

Use Fitwell Premium to help you make your grocery store! Fitwell’s meal-logging feature can provide you with further insight into your food, helping you become more knowledgeable about your diet. It can also give you more information on your daily carb consumption and provide you with healthy meal suggestions to help you gain better eating habits.

What causes food cravings?

There are a variety of ways to reduce unwanted food cravings. These include:

Reducing stress levels

Share on PinterestPregnant women often experience strong cravings. This may be due to hormonal changes, which are thought to cause some food cravings.

Stress and emotional eating can influence a variety of health issues. Feeling stressed may promote emotional eating and cravings for comfort foods.

One study found that stressed women are more prone to cravings for sweets than women without stress. Eating due to stress may also cause weight gain and a larger hip circumference.

Stress may also cause weight gain on its own, without extra food cravings. Stress results in higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which may promote belly fat.

Drinking plenty of water

Hunger and thirst can produce very similar sensations in the mind, causing it to become confused. One of the easiest ways to reduce food cravings is to make sure the body is hydrated throughout the day.

Drinking plenty of water helps clean out toxins from the body, which may also benefit a person’s overall well-being.

Getting enough sleep

A 2013 study found that not getting enough sleep could alter the body’s hormonal balance. This imbalance contributes to overeating and weight gain.

The researchers noted that when the sleep-deprived participants switched to an adequate sleep schedule, they lost weight, which indicates that their hormones were brought back into balance.

Eating enough protein

A healthful diet should contain plenty of lean sources of protein, as they may help reduce cravings.

A study in the journal Obesity found that overweight men were able to reduce their cravings by up to 60 percent by getting 25 percent of their daily calorie intake from protein.

The same study found that a high protein diet helped reduce the desire for nighttime snacks by 50 percent.

Chewing gum

Chewing gum keeps the mouth busy and may help reduce both sweet and salty cravings.

One study found a small but significant difference in sweet and salty snack consumption among people who chewed gum and those who did not. Those who chewed gum rated themselves less hungry, had fewer cravings for snacks, and felt fuller than those who did not chew gum.

Changing the scenery

Share on PinterestChanging habits, such as stopping at the park instead of picking up fast food on the way home, can help to reduce cravings in the long-term.

Replacing habits can be difficult, and some food cravings may be due to long-term habits. For instance, if someone gets fast food on their way home from work every day, this practice may reinforce their cravings.

In situations like these, it is best to start new habits. This can be as easy as taking a new route home from work or stopping at the park for a quick walk instead.

For cravings at home, it may help to take a walk around the block, take a shower, or even call a friend. These things may help distract a person from their craving long enough for it to subside.

Avoiding hunger

A healthful diet does not include frequent hunger pangs. In fact, under-eating can make food cravings worse.

When the body is very hungry, it may crave more calorie-dense foods than usual, including fried and processed foods.

Instead of waiting for intense feelings of hunger, it is better to have a regular pattern of meals and healthful snacks planned throughout the day to avoid potential cravings.

Controlling portions

For some people, completely avoiding the food they crave may make these cravings worse. This can lead to overeating or feeling miserable without that food. In this case, it may be better to satisfy the cravings with a small, portion-controlled treat.

It can help to put this treat at the end of a healthful habit, such as going for a walk or completing an exercise routine.

If a person is prone to binge eating, a better option is to replace the craving altogether.

Changing out the junk foods for some fruit could give you the sweet one need and helps to stop cravings. Pexels

Giving up sweets can be one of the hardest things to do when trying to live a healthier lifestyle.

We spoke to dietitian Nhluvuko Ngobeni about healthy food alternatives for a sweet tooth, and below is what he said.

Fruit

When most people feel sugar cravings, they tend to reach for high sugary foods like chocolate. However, changing out the junk foods for some fruit could give you the sweet one need and helps to stop cravings. Fruit is naturally sweet but also contains lots of beneficial plant compounds and fibre which is good for one’s health. To make sure you feel satisfied try to eat fruits which are slightly higher in sugar such as grapes and mangoes.

Sugar free chewing gum. Supplied

Sugar free chewing gum

Chewing gum can be the best way to control ones sugar cravings. Gum that are made with artificial sweeteners taste sweet but contains a minimal number of energy and no sugar.

Legumes

Legumes like lentils, beans and chickpeas are good plant based sources of fibre and protein. As a matter of fact one cup of lentils provides one with around 18g of protein and 16g of fibre. Both of these nutrients are thought to increase feelings of fullness. As result legumes in the diet could assist one to feel fuller and reduce hunger driven sugar cravings.

Sweet potatoes. Supplied

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are nutritious, sweet and very filling. They contain mostly carbs but also fibre and a number of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, Vitamin C and potassium. Some people get sugar cravings, reason being they are not eating enough throughout the day. As a result adding a carb source like sweet potatoes in the meals can combat this by adding energy to your meals and making them more balanced ,all while providing the sweet taste you’re craving.

Yogurt

Yogurt is a healthy snack that’s high in protein and rich in calcium. Some studies indicates that yogurt could be a good snack to help regulate appetite and control your craving. The healthiest choice for yogurt is one that contains live cultures and is free of added sugar.

Meat. Pexels

Meat, poultry and fish

Including a source of protein like meat, poultry or fish in your meal may assist to prevent sugar cravings. Eating adequate amount of proteins may be very important for managing your food intake, cravings and weight. The proteins helps to keep one full and prevent cravings for sweets.

Vegetables

While eating vegetables may not be satisfying when experiencing an acute sugar cravings, including them in your diet regularly could be helpful. Vegetables are high in fibre and low in energy. They also contain lots of beneficial nutrients and plant compounds. As a result adding more vegetables to your meal could help fill you up and prevent you from getting sugar cravings due to hunger.

Eat Out

  • Story

We all have weaknesses. For many it comes in a sweet craving late in the night after supper or a salty cheesy treat during the day after a long day of hard work. Before you stuff your mouth with your favorite but oh so unhealthy fix, there are healthier guilt free snacks that might just hit the spot while packing loads of nutritional value.

Before you give in, try these healthy substitutes.

  1. Yogurt

Skip the unhealthy drinks and go for yogurt with live culture and fruits. You can also chop your favorite fruits and add a few table spoons of your favorite yogurt. If that isn’t enough, give it some crunch by throwing in some nuts, granola or edible seeds. Let it chill then give it a try. Yum!

  1. Chocolate dipped fruits

Many of us have been condemned to a lifetime addiction of chocolate. For a healthier alternative get a darker chocolate which has antioxidants and melt it to use it as a jacket on your favorite fruit. Pick the sweetest fruits and dip them in the melted chocolate. Refrigerate until the chocolate coating is hard.

  1. Cereal

First and foremost, there is no law that says cereal should only be reserved for breakfast. Pick a high fiber or whole grain cereal and add a warm or cold cup of milk. To sweeten add honey or cinnamon.

  1. Sweet potatoes

If you’re having a serious craving for fries, replace it immediately with baked sweet potatoes. Pick a simple recipe for example; slice the sweet potatoes into wedges or slices and sprinkle with salt, pepper and olive oil then bake. For a morning or evening tea snack, have it boiled or roasted. You can also add some cassava or arrow roots for some variety.

  1. Fruit salad

If you sleep late, chances are you will get hungry and you are likely to make poor food choices. Give yourself an alternative by preparing a fruit salad after you finish dinner and chill it. When the pangs come knocking, give yourself a generous serving.

  1. Hot chocolate

Onto a cup of hot milk, stir in some cocoa. Skip sugar and use cinnamon or honey for sweetness.

  1. Smoothies

Always have a stash of your favorite fruits ready when the cravings strike. To make this sweet treat, blend a cup of milk with your favorite fruit. Feel free to throw in some nuts, ice cubes, raisins, seeds or vegetables.

  1. Egg sandwiches

Instead of a pizza, make an egg sandwich. Boil two eggs and once ready cut into small pieces. Place on high fiber bread and toast.

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44 Healthy Desserts Nutrition Experts Swear By

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Chia Pudding

“Chia pudding will satisfy your sweet tooth, but is healthy and filling enough to have for both an easy breakfast. To make, just stir approximately two tablespoons of chia seeds into the milk of your choice. Sweeten with a dash of honey, maple syrup, flavored protein powder, or maple syrup. For optimal consistency, allow your chia pudding to set in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.”

— Dr. Candice Seti, PsyD, CPT, CNC

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Coconut Whipped Cream

“Whether you make it yourself with a can of full-fat coconut cream or you buy it pre-made, coconut whipped cream is a minimal-ingredient, gluten-free, and dairy-free dessert option that always surprises people with its amazing taste and texture. It’s great on fresh fruit or just in a bowl with some cocoa powder. Not to mention, it’s loaded with iron, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins B, C, E, and K. Try layering it with fresh fruit to make a beautiful and healthy parfait.”

— Melinda Arcara, Certified Health Coach

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Greek Yogurt Mousse

“My favorite go-to dessert is plain Greek yogurt. It’s packed with protein and very versatile. Protein satiates you and wards off cravings. I can add berries, such as blueberries and raspberries for extra vitamins, potassium, and fiber. I also add a scoop of chocolate protein powder and a Splenda packet for a healthy chocolate mousse. Pistachios are my favorite add-in for a vitamin B6 boost and additional fiber. At around 100 calories per 6-ounce serving, it always satisfies my taste buds no matter what I add to it!”

— Dr. Luiza Petre, Board-Certified cardiologist

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Probiotic Drink

Courtesy of Farmhouse Culture

“One of my favorite tricks for curbing sweet cravings is to shock my palate with a robust, savory flavor. My current obsession is Farmhouse Culture’s Gut Shot, a probiotic-rich kraut juice that is zingy and really satisfying. I have found that one swig can really balance my cravings. Plus, it is packed with good-for-you nutrients.”

— Katie Cavuto, RD

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Prunes

“I admit it. I have a sweet tooth—a strong one, in fact. It hits right around 3:00 pm, and when it does, I’ll often reach for a handful of prunes, also known as dried plums. They’re naturally sweet, and a serving of six carries just 100 calories. I keep the single-serve packet of Sunkist in my car’s glove box, but you can save money by purchasing them in a lidded container.”

— Christine Palumbo, RD

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Spiced Hibiscus Tea

“When I’m craving a sweetened beverage, I brew some hibiscus tea with orange segments and cinnamon sticks,” says Cavuto. “Hibiscus is naturally sweet, and it’s delicious hot or cold.” Registered dietitian Isabel Smith relies on dessert-inspired teas when her sweet tooth strikes. “Chocolate teas are definitely a favorite of mine when I’m in the mood for something sweet. They’re delicious and a good source of antioxidants and nutrients.” (Yes, there are even teas that taste like dessert.) Amy Shapiro, RD, CDN, also recommends tea, but typically turns to the dandelion or licorice root varieties. “Both teas are naturally sweet and take the edge off. Plus, they give you something to do with your hands and mouth, and they have volume, so they fill you up,” she explains.

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Homemade Chai Latte

When she’s not in the mood for plain tea, Shapiro will whip up a homemade low-calorie latte. Here’s her recommended recipe: Steep a chai tea bag in a cup of unsweetened almond milk. Heat the liquid slowly over low heat in a pan with a cinnamon stick and a few cardamom pods. Right before it boils, pour into a mug and enjoy. Add stevia as needed for sweetness.

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Berries

“I love berries,” says Palumbo. “They’re sweet, and there’s a bit of an indulgence factor, too. Interestingly, a recent small study in the journal Appetite found that young women who ate a cup (65 calories) of mixed berries consumed about 20 percent fewer calories an hour later than women who ate the same number of calories in candy.” Translation: “Eating berries (which just so happen to be one of the best breakfast foods for weight loss) won’t just quell your cravings, they’ll ward off overeating, too.”

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Sweet Veggies

They may not be the first things that come to mind when you want candy or cookies, but Cavuto says that sweet-tasting vegetables like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots are a great choice when you are craving something sugary. “Their natural sweetness, which is concentrated if you roast them, paired with their nutrient density and high fiber content makes them a great choice to curb sweet cravings,” she says.

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Nice Cream

“One of my favorite healthy desserts is making ‘ice cream’ with frozen bananas as the main base, making it lower in fat and sugar compared to traditional ice cream. I like to take frozen bananas, add peanut butter, and a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk or 1% milk. Mash with all ingredients with a fork (or use a food processor) until it has a creamy, ice cream consistency, and eat immediately. You can change flavors by adding unsweetened cocoa powder for chocolate, or add a tablespoon of chocolate chips for added crunch.”

— Alison Barkman, MS, RD, CDN

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Chocolate With Fruit

“I’m a nutritionist with a serious sweet tooth,” Smith tells us. “To indulge without going off the deep end, I’ll often melt one or two squares of 70 to 80 percent dark chocolate and drizzle it over berries. This provides the sweetness I crave, along with antioxidants and filling nutrients like fiber.” Registered dietitian, Libby Smith, has a similar go-to snack when she craves something sweet. “I melt chocolate made with 70 percent cocoa and dip banana slices in it. Then, I’ll top off the bites with unsalted chopped peanuts or unsweetened coconut flakes and pop them in the fridge to harden up a bit. It’s the perfect summer treat, and it’s filled with flavonoids.” If you want an even easier idea, simply mix some chocolate PB2 with some water and spread the mixture on a medium banana. “PB2 is a delicious alternative to high-calorie spreads like Nutella. Pairing it with fruit makes for a sweet, yet satiating dessert,” Leah Kaufman CDN, MS, RD tells us.

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Protein Balls

“I keep a few healthy desserts in my fridge at all times to combat sweet cravings. I make these great peanut butter protein balls that are packed with protein and healthy fats. They’re a great naturally-sweet snack that I can take on the go. One or two is the perfect portion size.” Here’s how to make them: Mix 1/2 cup peanut butter, 2/3 cup protein powder, and 3 tablespoons honey in a bowl. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls. Toss them in unsweetened coconut or flax seeds, or add a few dark chocolate chips. Lay them on a plate, cover with foil and place in the fridge to harden.

— Stephanie Brookshier, RDN

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Hot Cocoa

“Consider making a cup of homemade hot cocoa to quell your sweet tooth. All you need is unsweetened cocoa powder, a sugar or sugar alternative of choice, milk, and a splash of vanilla for flavor. Making homemade hot chocolate allows you to control the sweetness and calories, while still getting the health benefits found in the other ingredients. Cocoa powder is particularly high in flavonoids, and the milk contributes to your daily protein, vitamin D, and calcium needs. Plus, the liquid will boost feelings of satiety.”

— Heather Mangieri, RDN, CSSD, LDN

RELATED: The Best and Worst Chocolates for Weight Loss

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Raw Coconut

“Coconut is rich in satiating fats, and it has a naturally sweet flavor. Try munching and crunching on unsweetened coconut chips or shreds, or add coconut milk to oatmeal or coffee.”

— Cavuto

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Grilled Pineapple

“It’s never too early to start grilling! I love grilled pineapple wedges that have been sprinkled with cinnamon and cloves. Serve them warm or chilled with a dollop of low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt and some lime zest. Not only is this treat refreshing and sweet, but the protein also helps staves off cravings.”

— Libby Mills, RD

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Yasso Greek Yogurt Pops

“My clients love Yasso Greek Yogurt pops because they are individually portioned, have some filling protein, and just the right amount of sweetness. Plus, they only have 80 to 100 calories each. These are definitely worth trying as a healthier dessert alternative.”

— Shapiro

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Quest Bar

“I love Quest Bars because they’re low in sugar and calories, but high in protein and fiber. With delicious flavors like Cookies and Cream and Chocolate Chip Cookie, they also satisfy my sweet tooth.”

– Lauren Minchen, RD

RELATED: 16 Healthy, Homemade Protein Bar Recipes

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Kind Bars

Courtesy of KIND

“KIND bars are absolutely delicious, filled with healthy fats, fiber, and a bit of protein. The Dark Chocolate, Nuts, & Sea Salt flavor always kills my cravings. It’s salty and sweet, so it takes care of both cravings while still providing your body with nourishment. When shopping for KIND bars, always look for varieties with 5 grams of sugar or less.”

— Kaufman

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Bean Brownie

“Dense like a brownie, the chocolaty goodness of a slice of garbanzo bean cake never disappoints. To make it, simply process 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, 4 eggs, ¾ cup of sugar, and a 19-ounce can of garbanzo beans, and bake on 350°F in a 9-inch round cake. “I like to cut the cake into pre-portioned slices, individually wrap them, and keep them in a sealable plastic freezer bag.”

— Mills

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Frozen Grapes

“Freeze grapes and savor a handful for a long-lasting sweet snack. It’s like a handful of mini fruit sorbets. Plus, this sweet snack is a natural source of antioxidants and other polyphenols that can contribute to heart health.”

— Marisa Moore, RDN, Owner of Marisa Moore Nutrition

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Fruit Slushie

Another frozen concoction Moore loves? Fresh fruit slushies. (And no, these are nothing like the kinds you find in 7-11.) To whip up this craving-crushing sip, “freeze, then blend cantaloupe or watermelon chunks into a sweet and satisfying slushy,” Moore explains. “When these melons are sweet, there’s no need to add any sugar.”

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Cold-Pressed Juice

Courtesy of WTRMLN WTR

“When I’m craving something sweet, I’ll grab a cold-pressed watermelon juice. There’s something about the cool, refreshing, and sweet fruit flavor that tends to do the trick.”

— Toby Amidor, MS, RD

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Nuts

“Cocoa-dusted nuts are a nice crunchy way to quell a craving for something sweet or chocolatey.”

— Moore

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Coconut Banana Chips

Courtesy of Fluffy Vegan

“Lately, I’ve been obsessing over Fluffy Vegans’ Coconut Banana Chips for my go-to dessert. Made with just bananas and coconut, its natural sweetness will be enough to satisfy any sweet tooth. I always tell clients to pick branded products with the shortest list of ingredients. The fewer ingredients, the better!”

— Rebecca Stib, MS, RDN

Get the New Book!

Want to lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds—all without dieting?! Get your copy of Eat This, Not That: The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!, and learn how to indulge smarter and lose weight fast!

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The best clean eating and healthy sweets, snacks, desserts, and treats ALL less than 100 calories! Easy, delicious and simple recipes including no-bake bites, brownies, bars, flourless baked goods, and cookies! All are completely vegan, gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and many low carb, paleo, primal and sugar free options!

You guys asked, I answered…sort of.

I’ve mentioned it several times on here before, but one of the most consistent questions I get asked is for nutritional information on my recipes.

I get it.

I know many of my readers DO count calories and/or try to count specific macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, protein). I also do know many of my readers DON’T count calories.

While I have included nutritional information for some recipes, I haven’t kept it up consistently. I’m making an effort to go through my recipe archives, especially with my most popular recipes, and have those as a point of reference if you are someone keen on the nutritional profile of the recipes.

To kick it off, I’ve decided to share a round-up of ten to twelve sweet snacks, desserts, and treats which all clock in at 100 calories or less!

The packaged snack and dessert market are already FILLED with 100 calorie snack packs or treats. However, if you’ve been unfortunate fortunate enough to sample one, you’ll notice they would be satisfying for an ant.

Just kidding, ants would still be starving too.

While all the recipes below are all less than 100 calories, the portion sizes are reasonable, and most are considerably generous too! With small ingredient lists filled with wholesome ingredients, here is a range of brownies, blondies, no-bake bites, no bake bars, protein bars, and cookies which fall under that banner! Bonus? All are completely gluten free, vegan, dairy free and refined sugar free, with many paleo, primal, sugar free and low carb options!

LET’S GO!

4 Ingredient Flourless Protein Brownie Bites

These flourless protein brownie bites are super fudgy, moist and gooey in the center, you’d be shocked that they have ZERO butter, oil, flour or grains! Bonus? You literally need just four ingredients for them!

3 Ingredient Flourless Banana Bread Cookies

The ultimate fool-proof cookie recipe based around rolled oats, overripe bananas, and your favorite nut butter (I personally love smooth peanut butter or smooth almond butter!). They literally take minutes to prep and an easy 12 minutes in the oven! Soft, chewy and satisfies the sweet tooth!

WANT TO SEE HOW IT IS MADE? Check out the video below!

No Bake Pumpkin Spice Latte Bites

Just because pumpkin season may be technically over, it doesn’t mean that pumpkins need to be forgotten about- That is why canned pumpkin is available year round! These protein-packed bites are soft, doughy and loaded with pumpkin spice flavor!

3 Ingredient No Bake Cereal Bars

My favorite childhood granola bar gets the ultimate make-over! Traditional cereal bars are made up of several forms of sugar PER BAR! My version uses unsweetened gluten free O cereal, and two healthy ingredients to create these delicious no-cook cereal bars!

3 Ingredient Flourless Pumpkin Brownies

…So seriously, stock up on the canned pumpkin. These super fudgy brownies are ridiculously moist and rich tasting (thanks to the dark cocoa powder!) but definitely aren’t like a traditional brownie. However, you can easily polish off this pan completely guilt-free!

3 Ingredient No Bake Paleo Protein Bars

Store bought ‘paleo’ protein bars often rely on nuts and seeds to up their protein content. While that is delicious, the protein content isn’t particularly noteworthy! I’ve created this no-bake paleo protein bar which is PACKED with protein and very low in carbs and fats- You could pretty much eat this in between a sandwich!

Healthy 4 Ingredient Flourless Apple Pie Blondies

These apple pie blondies have no butter, oil, grains or sugar, but taste fantastic- They are soft, have amazing texture and under 70 calories a piece!

No Bake Banana Bread Bites

A one bowl recipe, ready in under ten minutes! These banana bread inspired no bake bites are soft, doughy, and made without any dried fruit for texture- We can thank my favorite coconut flour for it!

3 Ingredient No Bake Cookie Dough Protein Bars

The taste and texture of real cookie dough and made in a blender! Seriously, blend, form into bars and you are left with Larabar copycat bars, but with a ton more protein!

4 Ingredient Banana Cake Cookies

One of my all time favorite cookies, and ready in under 20 minutes FLAT! These cookies are cake-like and are refined sugar free and naturally sweetened!

Healthy 3 Ingredient Flourless Brownies

Out of all my flourless brownies, these are the fudgiest! Like the other flourless brownies, these aren’t like your traditional ones (which are loaded with flour, butter, oil, and sugar) but are an anytime snack or treat to enjoy!

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Healthy Ways to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I have friends and family members who — no joke — order a slice of cake as an appetizer at dinner. There are those of us who just need that fix. If this describes you, it might be time to finally take control of your cravings (rather than letting them control you.) Next time you get a hankering for a donut, why not try one of these seven healthier alternatives?

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1. Eat a Piece of Chocolate

Sure, eating chocolate seems like an obvious way to satisfy a sugar craving, but research continues to tell us that in small doses, cocoa consumption can have positive impacts on your heart. The key is opting for dark chocolate that is at least 70% cacao, and limiting yourself to one or two small pieces per serving.

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2. Drink Water

Did you know that dehydration is a common cause of sugar cravings? John Higgins, MD explains that “When you’re dehydrated, it can be difficult for organs like the liver, which uses water, to release glycogen and other components of your energy stores, so you can actually get cravings for sweets.”

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3. Snack on Fresh Fruit

Nothing hits the spot like the sugars found in natures candy — fresh fruit. Next time you’re craving something sweet, pick out something seasonal. You’ll be amazed at how well it hits the spot, without leaving you with that icky why-did-I-just-eat-that-cakepop feeling afterwards.

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4. Brush Your Teeth

How unappetizing does any food sound immediately after brushing your teeth? There’s no better way to curb a craving than by filling your mouth with that clean, minty fresh feeling.

5. Freeze Your Grapes

There are approximately 62 calories in a cup of grapes — that’s a win! Wanna make this sweet snack really go the distance? Freeze those bursting-with-flavor babies for 4-5 hours, and voila!

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6. Sample Some Ice Cream

That craving for ice cream is REAL. Next time you feel yours coming on, instead of suppressing it, honor it. The best life hack ever — go to an ice cream shop, sample a few of your favorite flavors, and call it a day. It’s amazing what a few bites can do to cure a craving, and hey, that’s what samples are for!

7. Eat a Dried Date

Dried dates are one of nature’s best sweeteners when it comes to baking. So you can bet that they’re super effective when it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth in a healthy way.

What to eat when you re craving sweets?

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