7 Smart Ways to Satisfy Your Chocolate Cravings

by | Updated: February 13th, 2017 | Read time: 3 minutes

Craving chocolate? You aren’t the only one. In fact, the coveted confection accounted for an estimated $21.1 billion in sales in the U.S. alone in 2014, according to the National Confectioners Association.

White chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate… When it comes to this sweet treat, it’s okay to play favorites. For many chocolate lovers, nothing beats a slice of velvety, rich, chocolate cake topped with chocolate frosting, whereas others prefer a bowl of cool, creamy chocolate ice cream crowned with hot fudge and chocolate sprinkles. Then, of course, there are the purists who choose chocolate in its bar form without a lot of added ingredients.

Woman Staring at Chocolate Dessert Looking to Curb Craving | Vitacost.com/Blog

Regardless of your chocolate preference, one thing is certain. Like all good things, chocolate is best consumed in moderation. So what can you do when your brain practically begs for the sweet stuff? Following are seven smart alternatives to help you conquer your cocoa cravings—and avoid succumbing to the post-chocolate sugar slump:

  1. Reach for your favorite fruit
    When the chocolate cravings come knocking, they may be satisfied by a different sweet treat. And there’s no better choice than fresh fruit. Unlike most chocolate confections, fruits like grapes, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, oranges, grapefruit and melon are low in fat and calories.
  2. Go for the yogurt
    Yogurt is another sweet and satisfying substitute for chocolate (not to mention a good source of vitamins, minerals and beneficial live probiotics). There are many different varieties available, but to achieve a feeling of fullness and quash cocoa cravings, a high-protein option is your best bet. Read the nutrition label and choose one with around 20 grams per serving.
  3. Nut butter to the rescue
    Nut butters are full of flavor, packed with protein and low in carbohydrates. They also contain fiber, which can make you feel full and quell your chocolate cravings. And talk about variety! The next time you go to reach for a king-sized chocolate bar, enjoy a few spoonfuls of rich, satisfying almond, cashew, peanut, hazelnut or walnut butter
  4. Hit the trail (mix)
    Tamp down your chocolate urges with a sweet trail mix that contains dried fruit, nuts, seeds and other tasty ingredients, such as yogurt-covered raisins. You can make your own or opt for one of many delicious, nutritious pre-packaged trail mix varieties.

  5. Get loco with cocoa (powder, that is)
    To replicate the flavor of chocolate, try experimenting with cocoa powder. Add a small amount of it to milk, coffee, tea, yogurt, cottage cheese, shakes and smoothies. You’ll enjoy the rich, chocolatey goodness without the added fat, calories and sugar! For more ideas, check out 10 creative ways to use cocoa powder

  6. Consider carob
    is hands-down a healthier choice than chocolate. Unlike chocolate, carob doesn’t contain caffeine or cholesterol and it’s low in sodium and fat and high in calcium and fiber. For some, carob is an acquired taste. However, many people grow to enjoy carob’s sweet flavor and even sweeter health benefits in time.
  7. Wait it out
    When you feel as though no substitute will do, try waiting 10 to 20 minutes to see if your chocolate craving subsides. If you still feel the pull of the mighty cocoa bean after that time has passed, indulge in a small piece of your chocolate of choice (but keep in mind dark chocolate is typically the best for you!).