Is there a snack food that you can’t seem to resist? A decadent delight that is the lone saboteur to your otherwise on-track diet plan? These are the top five tempting foods to any dieter (or healthy eater), why these five particular foods are so tempting to us and comparable snack food swaps that control the urge to splurge.
Give Me Chocolate
Chocolate is that 50/50 fat and sugar mix that not only tastes good, but makes us feel good. The fat/sugar combo causes the brain to release endorphins and serotonin, both are brain chemicals that produce pleasurable feelings.
When craving chocolate (women do just prior to the beginning of their periods each month when serotonin levels are at their lowest) reach for a high quality dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Dark chocolate contains a higher percentage of cocoa, and it’s intense flavor will satisfy the chocolate craving in fewer bites.
Give Me A Salty Crunch
For many the urge to splurge is spawned from a desire to hear food crunch while tasting salt on the tongue. The chewing action also is a stress reducer, which make potato chips the high calorie, high fat, salty snack food of choice when the salty crunch urge hits.
Swap this high fat snack food for low fat versions of salty, crunchy snack foods like pretzels, popcorn, rice cakes or even baked potato chip varieties which contain less fat.
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream
Ice cream is a cold, smooth creamy comfort food that stirs up comforting feelings of the carefree summer days of childhood. These unconscious feelings of safety, security and being carefree trigger the release of brain chemicals that will lift the mood.
Get the same mood lifting feelings by swapping high fat content ice cream for a low fat variety of ice cream of frozen yogurt. If the urge to splurge must be fulfilled with the real McCoy, then choose a child-sized version of an ice cream cone.
Fast Food Burger
When your performance is off the mark, the urge to splurge may include a trip to the nearest fast food joint for a burger. Burgers, especially when topped with cheese, create a high fat, high protein meal which improves performance, concentration, and alertness.
Swap the full size (or super-sized) fast food burger for a junior sized burger, or make your own small burger sliders at home using extra lean ground beef to keep calories low.
Cheese Pizza Please
Hot, gooey and delicious, a cheese pizza pleases. The gooey, fatty cheese and fatty oil on the pizza increase endorphins which produce a euphoric feeling and an energy boost.
Swap the cheese pizza for a veggie pizza topped with low fat cheese (still increases endorphins) to satisfy the pizza urge without ruining the diet. Eat a side salad with low fat dressing along with a couple of slices of veggie pizza and get your daily serving amount of vegetables while satisfying the pizza urge.