Whenever someone starts to live a healthier lifestyle or try to lose weight, a common decision they make is to cut out all chocolate, and all kinds of treats.
However, what usually happens is that they then experience huge cravings – and end up eating all the ‘banned’ foods which leads to feelings of guilt and failure and derail their health and weight loss efforts – and this could well be the reason that so many people find losing weight hard.
So what is the solution
The simplest plan of attack is not to ban foods! Instead aim for eating healthy foods 80% of the time and then allow 20% of the time to be more relaxed so you can have a treat. This way your brain won’t crave the bad foods as you are not totally banning everything and you will find the weight loss plan easier to stick to.
The second plan of attack is to start incorporating healthier treats into your life. There are so many naturally sweet foods, which will satisfy your body’s sweet craving but also give it nutrients and fibre when you enjoy them. Below are some great ‘healthy sweet treats’ to enjoy that will keep your healthy eating and weight loss plan on track:
Check out the 28 Day Weightloss Challenge for more healthy treats
Top 5 sweet treats
1) Yoghurty Vanilla pudding – Mix 2 tbsp. low fat Jalna vanilla yoghurt (or use Greek yoghurt) with a tsp. ground cinnamon, tsp. shredded coconut and fresh or frozen blueberries or raspberries. (250 calories)
2) Chocolate hedgehogs – 1 cup dark chocolate chips (the higher cocoa content the better), 1 tbsp. frozen blueberries, 1 tbsp. flaked almonds. Makes 4-6 hedgehogs (200 calories per hedgehog)
Microwave the chocolate on high until melted then add in the blueberries and flaked almonds. Place tbsp. size portions on a dinner plate and refrigerate for 5-10 minutes until set.
3) Oaty chocolate biscuits – 1 ripe banana, mashed, 2 tbsp. honey, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 cup skim milk, 1/4 cup low fat plain yoghurt, 1/2 cup reduced salt nut butter (peanut, almond or hazelnut are all delish), 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract, 2 cups rolled oats
In a small saucepan, combine banana, honey, cocoa, milk and nut butter over a medium/high. Bring to the boil then simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add oats, vanilla and yoghurt and stir to combine. Place teaspoon sized portions on a large dinner plate and refrigerate till firm. Makes 6-8 cookies. (240 calories per cookie)
4) Ice-cream free ‘ice-cream sandwich – 2 large bananas, 1 tbsp. salt reduced peanut butter, 2 tbsp. low fat natural yoghurt, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 2 drops pure vanilla essence.
Slice bananas into pieces and place in the fridge to cool. Combine yoghurt, peanut butter, cinnamon and vanilla in a small bowl. Remove banana from the fridge and assemble pieces into ‘sandwiches’ i.e. spread one slice of banana with peanut butter mix then top with another slice. Place in the freezer for 2-3 hours. Makes 6 sandwiches (60 calories per sandwich)
5) Single serve strawberry ‘cheesecakes’ – 1 punnet of ripe strawberries, 2 tbsp. low fat natural or vanilla yoghurt, 1/2 small ripe banana, 2 tbsp. dark chocolate chips, 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Mash the banana and mix in natural yoghurt and vanilla extract. Wash and cut the top off each strawberry, then using a sharp knife, remove the flesh from the centre to create a cavity. Spoon the yoghurt mixture into the empty cavity and top with a couple of chocolate chips.
And just remember to watch portion size – which can be hard as these sweet treats are so yummy
And for more delicious and healthy treats see our Guilt Free Chocolate Treats & Baking Cookbook here
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