If only losing weight was really as simple as quitting junk food cold turkey. Yet these temptations are shoved in our face daily: candy at the checkout line, the tantalizing smell of the bakery, and people’s endless Instagram pictures of whatever tasty morsel they’re chomping on at that moment. Let’s face it: it’s not fun to choose apple slices over M&Ms or a smoothie over Ben & Jerry’s.
Instead of setting yourself up for failure and a binge fest, replace your go-to sweets with their healthy alternatives instead of healthy junk foods. Below are some 5 quick fixes for your junk food cravings that won’t add inches to your waistline:
1.) Dark Chocolate. Dark chocolate is a wonder treat: it has antioxidants and flavonoids, which are beneficial for both your cells and your heart. It also releases endorphins and is actually high in vitamins and minerals such as potassium copper. Make sure to reach for a bar that is 80% in cacao or higher; any less and you don’t get the benefits, just the fat.
2.) Trail Mix. Instead of reaching for potato chips, buy healthy nuts like almonds and walnuts in bulk, dried fruit, and pretzels or dark chocolate bits to make a delicious and energizing trail mix. Always make sure to portion control so you don’t overdo it with this snack; nuts can get fattening.
3.) Gelato and Frozen Yogurt. We know, nothing compares to a pint of Ben & Jerry’s while watching your favorite movies. But if you’re fiending for some ice cream, do your thighs a favor and reach for some gelato or froyo. Gelato tastes creamier than ice cream but actually has less calories than fat, and froyo has a lot less sugar and fat than both. Make sure to pile on some fruit and only a little bit of naughty bits on your froyo to keep it healthy, and don’t go overboard with the ounces! (If you absolutely need real ice cream, I highly recommend Good Humor Birthday Cake bars. Only 180 calories and it tastes like birthday cake!)
4.) Healthy Candies. If you absolutely need a peanut butter cup or a Snickers bar, go for the healthy alternatives. Unjunked is a new-ish candy brand that takes all of the high fructose corn syrup and sugar out of normal candies and uses natural ingredients to make the same exact tasty versions: chocolate candies like M&M, a chewy chocolate caramel bar, and a peanut butter cup. Skinny Cow also provides tasty candies like milk chocolate caramels and crispy wafers that are relatively low in calories.
5.) Vegan Replacements. When I’m fiending for baked goods like cupcakes or cookies, I always hit up vegan cafes that sell fresh vegan options. It’s the easiest way to get your fix without any of the butter or fat. ChocolatedCoveredKatie.com provides great alternative, healthy dessert recipes that will satisfy your craving and yet keep you skinny!