Does this look familiar? When you are trying to lose weight or even just eat healthy, does this picture play over and over in your mind? Well, welcome to the club. Even if you aren’t a total sweet eater, something about knowing you CAN’T have these things makes them so much more tempting. I have gathered some of the best tips for curbing those cravings and working toward a healthier you.

Combining foods

Try combining a healthy food with just a little bit of a treat. Mix some almonds or other nuts with chocolate chips. Dip or drizzle some strawberries or bananas in chocolate sauce. Dip a square or two of DARK chocolate in some peanut butter. This way you are getting healthy food along with the food you crave. And the sweet from the fruit will make the little bit of treat go a longer way to easing the craving.

Chew some gum

Gum can give you the sweet taste you desire. Make sure you go for a sugarless option. The other great thing about this one is the chewing actually can help you keep your mind off of eating. It kind of tricks your brain to think you are eating so you don’t feel hungry.

Try fruit

Fruit is naturally sweet. Berries are a wonderful choice because they are sweet enough to bash the craving, but they are actually very low on the glycemic index. This makes them super healthy because your body won’t get the sugar spikes and crashes that other sweet eats can cause. Most other fruits are a good option too. Make sure you keep bananas to a minimum, as they are very high on the index – still better for you than a Snickers, but use careful moderation.

Drink plenty of water

I once read that, because babies drink to get nourished, as we get older our bodies sometimes have trouble distinguishing between hunger and thirst. Sometimes when we think we want something to eat, a simple trip to the kitchen for a glass of water is all we need. Most of us have heard the formulas for drinking water: divide your weight (lbs.) in half and that’s how many ounces you should drink; everyone should drink 64 ounces of water a day; everyone should drink 80 ounces of water a day; everyone should drink an OCEAN of water a day. Ok, maybe you haven’t heard that last one, but everyone seems to have a different idea of what we need. Here’s what I do (brace yourself for the brilliant science you are about to encounter here): I always keep a ginormous glass of water by me at all times. Yes I said always and at all times in the same sentence. (This is because this is such a brilliant science.) If I have a glass of water within arm’s reach, I drink a LOT of water. That’s how simple it is. If I forget to go fill my glass when I get a free minute, guess what! I don’t drink as much water. Get yourself a Bubba Keg and have it full always, at all times!

Get active

When a craving hits, get moving. Take a walk. Ride a bike. Move a load of laundry. Sweep a floor. Throw or kick a ball with your kids. Just do something to change your focus. Once you get busy, the craving will slip from your mind just as fast as it snuck in.

Eat regularly

Choose your foods carefully. Protein rich foods help curb cravings and fuel your body. Planning to have these foods on hand to eat at regular intervals will help your blood sugar to remain stable and to keep your body from craving sweets. Menu planning is essential for making sure that you don’t  put yourself in a position where you will make a bad choice for convenience. I use Plan to Eat and it makes my life less hectic and so much easier. Read my post about it here and try it for yourself free for 30 days.

Give in a little

Give in to your cravings a little bit. Don’t just completely deprive yourself. If you like natural sweeteners like Stevia, Xylitol, or Erithrytol, make some sweets with these. If you add some protein in what your making, you are actually even doing yourself a favor. If you don’t like those sweeteners, then go ahead and have a little sugar. Eat something small – a snack-size candy bar, 1 cookie or brownie, a tootsie roll or 2. Then move on and get back on track. Life is still good!