Top 5: Guilt-free treats to satisfy a sweet tooth
Find yourself reaching for that bar of chocolate after a workout? Or perhaps you’re partial to a slice of cake (or two) after dinner? For many people out there, the urge to reach for something sweet and sugary during the day is high – and so is the feeling of guilt straight after. But it doesn’t have to be. You can satisfy your sweet tooth and stay on track with your diet at the same time. How? By substituting your sugary favourites for some of our top 5 guilt-free alternatives, helpfully constructed by Sportspace Personal Trainer, Lewis Erskine.
1. Dark chocolate (70% cacao solids or above)
We are a nation of chocolate lovers! But unlike its more unnatural sugary counterparts, dark chocolate not only tastes fantastic, but also has much lower sugar content and is richly nutritious. It’s a powerful source of antioxidants, can protect you against heart disease and contains the compound flavonol which can both protect the skin and boost brain function. And its super powers don’t end there, dark chocolate can also improve your metabolism and control appetite – a big bonus if you’re looking to lose weight.
However, as with everything in life, you’ll need to consume in moderation. Three ounces (that’s about the same as two dairy milk chocolate bars) three times a week will satisfy sugary cravings without pushing the limits.
2. Banana Omelette
Three eggs, one banana, coconut oil (for frying), a small blender and voila – you’ve got yourself 18 grams of protein and 21 grams of natural carbohydrates! This is a great pre-workout meal, post-workout meal and healthy dessert choice. Want to give it that extra kick? Sprinkle some cinnamon over the top after frying (cinnamon also has weight loss and health benefits).
3. Paleo primal bar
The Paleo Diet was the most googled diet in 2015. On the back of its popularity, the UK’s first ever Paleo bar, the Paleo primal bar, was born. Boasting no grains, gluten, refined sugars, vegetable oils, dairy and suitability for vegans and vegetarians, the Paleo bar is a delicious sweet snack ideal for fuelling a workout. So what exactly is the Paleo diet? Quite simply, it’s all about going back to ‘hunter-gatherer’ times when the only foods available to us were meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and the cocoa bean. The diet argues that modern eating habits are at odds with our genetics and are responsible for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
4. Fruit smoothie
It may sound simple but you honestly can’t go wrong with a homemade fruit smoothie! Just blend your chosen fruits in a blender, add some ice and that’s it – a treat to satisfy the sweet tooth without the guilt of an empty wrapper. For anyone wanting to lose weight, choose fruits low in fructose (the natural sugar found in fruit) such as blackberries, strawberries, rhubarb, pineapples and kiwi.
5. Dark chocolate fondue
It’s such a good substitute we’ve added it to the list twice. Melt some dark chocolate that’s 70% cacao solids or more (Green and Blacks chocolate is a good choice) over a low heat before slicing some low fructose fruits (see above for examples) and set aside. After the chocolate has melted, place the fruit onto wooden skewers or fondue sticks and dip into the chocolate at will. Sweet, tasty but healthy too – this alternative is a real winner!
So there you have it – our top 5 guilt-free sugar alternatives. Have some of your own hints and tips to help satisfy a sweet tooth? Why not head over to our Facebook or Twitter page and share them with us. If you have any further questions regarding any of the points in this article, get in touch with a member of our gym team by calling 01442 507100 or emailing email@example.com .