How To Have Your Cake & Eat It Too: Dealing With Sugar Cravings

First off, did anyone see Clemson win against Georgia last night? Way to start the season!

Now that that is off my chest, it’s time for me to make the announcement:

Sugar isn’t the devil. 

Yes, it’s linked to tooth decay, diabetes, and weight gain; but like everything else in this world…

Moderation is key.

I have a sweet tooth, a really big one. When I see a plate of cookies or a platter of cupcakes, my heart rate increases and my excitement rises.

Perhaps you saw this Friday night on my Instagram:

vegan cookie

Sorry for the quality, taken with my phone

That would be 2 vegan shortbread cookies with a coconut sugar filling. Holy sugar rush is all I have to say (the recipe needs some work before I can share).

I’ve mentioned that Friday nights are stay home date nights for Dan and I, which means an extra special 2-3 course meal.

Generally ending with dessert. It’s my excuse to “experiment with a new recipe idea” for Fit Womens Weekly, and it works.

Here was last week’s treat that will be posted this afternoon:

walnutRaw Walnut Chocolate Fudge Balls (So good!) 

But how is it possible to indulge in your sweet fantasies while still maintaining a healthy, fit body? How do I eat sweet prize food (because it’s clearly not “junk food”) without my weight creeping up?

Here are a few sugar tricks I follow:

How To Eat Sugary Foods Without Gaining Weight

  • Make it as healthy as possible. Every single recipe I make, I set the goal to make it as healthy and low in sugar as possible. That often means using 1/2 the amount of sugar the “real” recipe would call for (trust me, it will be sweet enough); adding ingredients like sweet potato, protein powder, and even blending up greens for some added nutritional punches.As for ingredient substitutions, here are a few: coconut sugar in place of real; almond milk over regular; oats and/or rye flour over wheat flour; and apple sauce (unsweetened) over oil.
  • Make just enough. When I bake, I only make enough for 1-2 servings per person. If I bake cookies, I never make over 6 total. If I bake a cake, I half the recipe, and pour the batter into small individual cake pans. Making portion sizes perfect, and helping me to avoid sugar crashes and jitters.

Individual sized espresso chocolate cake ready for decorating

  • Just one day. I limit baking to just one day a week. Dan and I look forward to Friday nights because we’ve been good all week and now we feel it’s okay to indulge a little.
  • If you don’t bake it, don’t eat it. I never buy pre-made desserts. The servings are often too many, and let’s face it, there is nothing like a homemade treat. This helps us to avoid keeping sugary foods in the house. If they were in the pantry, I am not sure I would have the will power to avoid them.
  • The bowl wash. It can be very, very easy to indulge in the bowl after the batter/dough has been poured out for baking. I’ve done my fair share of bowl licking in the past and those calories can add up fast. Now, as soon as I am done, I IMMEDIATELY wash the bowls.
  • Individually wrap treats. If I am making a larger batch of something (say for gifts), as soon as the goodies are cooled, I go ahead and wrap them up. If it’s for friends, I will place their gifts in tins. If it’s something like granola bars for us (which can get over eaten quickly), I’ll slice them up and put them in baggies for grab and go snacks.
  • Remember moderation isn’t bad. Finally, I remind myself that one sweet treat isn’t going to kill me. I love desserts, and if I avoided them all together, I would end up going overboard that the first chance I got. I don’t believe in ever giving up your favorite foods, no matter what that might be. The magic principle is moderation. Do this, and you’ll do just fine.

What about you, are you a sweets person? Salty?

Make sure to come back tomorrow, I’ve got a killer workout to share. It’ll help burn off the tailgating food from this weekend!


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