The holidays are here and other than the presents, there’s probably one thing filling your home – CANDY! If you’re anything like this caveman, the leftover mountains of sugary goodness are more than just a little bit tempting. So how do you curb your candy cravings?
Well the first thing you need to recognize is just how much are those pieces of chocolatey goodness costing you calorie-wise. While it may not sound like that big of a deal to pop the occasional marshmallow morsel into your mouth, a few of those sugary nibblets over the course of the day can really add up. For example, if you’re eating one handful of green and red M&Ms every so often throughout your day, you could be unthinkingly taking in an extra few hundred calories. Another thing to recognize is the serving size of the candies you’re consuming. Only four Hershey’s kisses will set you back 100 calories! Don’t believe me? Check out this nutrition list and see how your favorite candy stacks up.
So what can you do to cut back on unwanted calorie consumption? The number one thing you can do (other than not eatin’ the stuff in the first place, but who are we kiddin’ here) is to mind your serving size. Havin’ a sweet tooth ain’t nothin’ to be ashamed of, but once you’re about 2/3 of the way through that jumbo bag of M&Ms that you’ve shoveled through in about a day, that’s about when the shame should start to set in. Try to satisfy your cravings in moderation. Don’t start snackin’ on the sweet stuff when you’re particularly hungry – you’ll probably end up overeating. Candy does not a meal make, but it can make a great dessert. Save a servin’ of chocolate for after lunch or dinner – by then you’ll already be filled up on real food, so you’ll be less likely to gorge on empty calories. If you’re craving some sugar, stop and ask yourself, “Am I hungry or do I just want to eat?” If you’re hungry, go and grab a healthy snack. If you just want to eat, try to satisfy that sweet tooth with some sugar free gum or hot tea with a touch of honey.
Still want to get in the festive spirit? There are a number of healthy candy alternatives that are still holiday-themed so that you can get your holiday fix without fillin’ yourself with calories. Shaped graham crackers are a festive and high-fiber addition to any stockings. Peeps, while not necessarily loaded with nutritional value, are at least a low-calorie alternative to most holiday candies. A serving size of four Peeps only adds up to 128 calories! If you still need that chocolate fix, try to opt for dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants whereas milk and white chocolates do not. Dark chocolate is also traditionally lower-calorie than its milky alternative. Chocolate pudding is another great way to get in your choco-holic fix. Since prepackaged pudding cups come in predetermined serving sizes of usually around 100 calories, they’re a sweet way to get that chocolate flavor without the risk of overeating or underestimating the serving size. Sneak some superfoods into your dessert with this Chocolate Avocado Mousse. Sounds weird I know, but trust me it’s good. Just keep an eye on your portion size.
So how ’bout it Rockheads? Got a favorite low-calorie holiday treat you’d like to share? Or even a chocolate cautionary tale to warn others of the dangers of a sweet tooth seduction? Leave your tales in the comment section!