The Girl Who Could (Formerly) Eat Anything

Getting fit and taking names

How to Handle a Sweet Tooth While Dieting

Waif supermodel Kate Moss. (Photo courtesy


My friend Christina, who I’ve known forever and ever, gave me the idea for this post in a comment she made on An Unexplored Wilderness

The key to losing weight in a healthy, manageable, sane way is to eat fewer calories than you burn. That’s it! I know it sounds too simple, but that’s really all it takes. Not that it’s easy to do that, mind you, or we’d all be the size of Kate Moss. But it works. 

So what do you do when you crave something that’s very high in calories, such as sweets? This has been a challenge for me, since I crave sugar. Specifically, I crave chocolate cheesecake and peanut butter cups. It doesn’t get any better than that! 

Before trying to lose weight, I regularly visited Barnes and Noble’s café and ate a slice of Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake. The day I started Weight Watchers, I was allowed 22 daily points and any of the extra 35 weekly points I wanted to use, plus the activity points one gains through exercise. But I’ll explain all that another time. Bottom line is, my minimum requirement per day was 22 and my maximum average per day, if I didn’t exercise, was 27. A slice of that cheesecake is 21 points. 

So you see my problem! And who wants to give up something he or she loves just for the sake of looking good? And is it really necessary? 

No. It’s not necessary. In fact, it’s OK to eat that slice of cheesecake every once in a while if you plan for it, but every day will mess you up. The key is to fight the craving by replacing the nutritionally devoid, high-calorie treats with something else that tastes as good and tricks one’s senses. I have a few go-tos for this: 

  1. Green & Black’s 85% cocoa dark chocolate. I eat six squares from a bar each day. It’s full of antioxidants, iron (important for a vegetarian!) and dark chocolate is an appetite suppressant. The Green & Black’s brand is the best chocolate I ever had (and I used to absolutely hate dark chocolate). It’s rich and satisfying and if you eat one square at a time, it lasts and lasts. So good! Some people may prefer a different brand, so try whatever you choose. (130 calories)
  2. Blue Diamond brown sugar and cinnamon almonds. The sugar and cinnamon satisfy the sweet tooth. Cinnamon is also an appetite suppressant and almonds have a lot of fiber and protein, plus heart-healthy fats. I tend to eat the almonds and chocolate at the same time. I highly recommend it! (160 calories for 1 ounce)
  3. A fruit smoothie. I’ll post my recipe, but a smoothie can be pretty much anything you want it to be, so experiment if you don’t think you’ll like my recipe or if you just want to try different things. A lot of people use milk, soy milk or yogurt in their smoothies or different juices. Some use spinach. I’ve tried spinach in mine. I couldn’t taste it, but it dulled the taste of the other ingredients, so I won’t do that again. My smoothie (310 calories):

1 banana, sliced
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries, thawed (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)
1 T Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams
Top with a dollop of light whipped cream

The smoothie has a ton of vitamin C (this helps strengthen the immune system, blocks UV rays from the sun and promotes the building of collagen in the body, which prevents wrinkles and visible cellulite), 12 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein and 677 grams of potassium. And it will soothe the strongest sweet tooth. It’s a great dessert. 

So, don’t let a sweet tooth derail your efforts. Anything you once loved can be incorporated in a balanced, low(er)-calorie diet.


August 26, 2010 - Posted by | Tips | , , ,


  1. Reasonable as always!

    Comment by Leigh | August 26, 2010 | Reply

  2. we all look like Kate Moss, underneath all the padding.

    Comment by mama mia | August 26, 2010 | Reply

    • So very true.

      Comment by Renee | August 26, 2010 | Reply

      • 🙂

        Comment by mama mia | August 26, 2010

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