Cravings Control

Control sudden food cravings… by giving into them! Here’s how you can snack – and more importantly, snack well – no matter what you’re hankering for.

  • Be prepared. Make sure you have healthier snacks on hand, and keep cookies and other high-fat, high-sugar treats hidden from sight in the back of the cupboard and refrigerator.
  • Use the food pyramid to fill in the gaps. If breakfast was cereal and toast, perhaps a midmorning snack could consist of fruit, yogurt or string cheese -- all items missing from breakfast. If you use this tactic, you won't be as easily tempted to choose high-calorie snacks, and you'll improve your nutritional intake at the same time. 
  • Choose a satisfying snack. Do you want something salty? Sweet? Cold? If we can understand what type of flavor or texture we want, we're more likely to be satisfied sooner rather than later, after we've rummaged through the cupboards

Here are some ideas for healthy snacks:

  • To satisfy your sweet tooth:
    • Fresh or dried fruit
    • A frozen fruit-based sweet or other frozen treat
    • Frozen grapes or berries
    • Low-fat yogurts in exotic flavors: cappuccino, banana cream pie and even chocolate mint 
  • If you're looking for something crunchy:
    • Plain, reduced-fat microwave popcorn. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
    • Pretzels and low-fat crackers made with whole grains.
    • Bagel or tortilla chips. Make your own: Cut tortillas into pie-shaped wedges and slice bagels thinly. Place on a cookie sheet in a single layer, and bake in a 400-degree oven until toasted (5-10 minutes).
    • Baby carrots, celery sticks and jicama slices. Keep them ready to eat in the refrigerator
  • Craving protein?
    • Low-fat string cheese or cubes of other reduced-fat cheese.
    • A hard-boiled egg.
    • Rolled-up slices of low-fat turkey or ham.
    • A hearty lentil or black bean salad for fiber and protein: simply mix rinsed and drained canned legumes with your favorite fat-free salad dressing.
  • If you'd rather sip your snack:
    • Blender drinks: Mix any combination of skim milk, yogurt, fruit juice and fruit in a blender.
    • Caffeine-free flavored teas.
    • We often mistake thirst for hunger: Try calorie-free flavored waters, or add your own flavor to sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime, or even add fresh cranberries.
    • Sugar-free hot chocolate made with skim milk: It not only satisfies your sweet tooth, it adds essential calcium and vitamin D  to your diet.
  • Bag a healthy snack:
    • Pretzels or plain popcorn in individual bags.
    • Cereal or granola bars that contain added calcium.
    • Reduced-fat or baked potato chips.
    • Snack in a bag: Mix your favorite types of dry cereal, and add a handful of raisins and a sprinkling of roasted nuts.
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