Cravings go beyond simply being hungry – we can crave different foods due to stress, certain deficiencies, the sight or smell of foods we like, or even our DNA.
Sometimes the reason we have cravings is because we haven’t eaten, according to a Cleveland Clinic article. If we skip or postpone meals, we’re basically setting ourselves up to experience cravings. And if we’re hungry, we start craving easy fuel – stuff like simple sugars and refined grains.
Similarly, cutting out the things we commonly crave – sugar and salt – altogether, can lead us to crave them more and potentially binge on them later.
Not to mention, sugar is pretty addictive. Brigid Titgemeier, MS, RDN, LD, notes in the Cleveland Clinic article, “sweet and salty foods and beverages are incredibly addictive. That’s why many processed foods are loaded with them. They trigger the release of dopamine, a brain chemical that motivates us to engage in rewarding behaviors.”
By having healthy alternative sweet snacks on hand, we can avoid binges, continue eating healthily, and satisfy our cravings all in one.
Sweet Snacks to Have on Hand
- Dried coconut chips and dried fruit like tart cherries, apricots, apple rings
- Dark chocolate
- Plain yogurt with honey and cinnamon
Apple slices and natural peanut butter (no added sugar or hydrogenated oils)
Batch Prep Idea
Energy bites are all the rage because they’re easy to make, portable, and usually full of protein. They’re a perfect sweet snack to prepare in batches – and they freeze really well – so give them a shot. We like this recipe, but feel free to play around with the ingredients as you like – you can easily change the peanut butter for another nut butter, and you can swap the chocolate out for dried cranberries or cherries.