Top Healthy Treats
All treats are a key part of any nutritional plan. It is overwhelming and unrealistic to say you are going to totally cut an unhealthy food out altogether in the name of a diet. However, constant treats simply create an unhealthy diet. So how can you reward yourself without piling on the calories?
Appreciate The Treat
It may seem obvious, but savouring a treat can make all the difference to your diet. If you grab a chocolate bar and eat it at work while you do emails, you’ll finish the bar before you’ve even really considered the flavours. Take a moment to appreciate your treat, without doing another task alongside it. You’ll find it much more satisfying, so you’re less likely to start craving something else straight after.
One of the key foods that trigger the reward sensors in our brains is sugar. It makes snacks and desserts delicious. But, a food that is high in sugar is generally high in calories. Fruits contain a natural sugar called fructose. This makes them great treat choices if you feel like a sweet treat. Make a mango and strawberry smoothie, or make a melon platter. If the fruit isn’t doing the trick, try a low-calorie snack like Protein Wafers or Protein Cookies to get your sugar fix without the high-calorie consequence.
Meal Prep Pro
If you’re stuck in a prep rut, consider shaking out of your treat. Pick some new Veg or prepare a new sauce. Choose a variety of colours and take the time to present it nicely. Every meal will give you a buzz with the novelty of your new prep work. Stuck for inspiration? Try cooking your meats or sauces on a lower heat for longer. You’ll be amazed at how much richer your food will taste with this simple step.
Upgrade Your Shakes
If you feel you deserve a treat after a workout, why not make your protein shake deluxe? Add some Flavdrops, peanut butter or milk to create a tasty and nutritious post workout drink. You’ll get all the benefits of the whey protein, plus a boost to make you feel good.
Try Treat Swaps
You can still trigger the reward sensors in your brain without the calories with some clever food swaps. Instead of fudge cake, try a protein brownie or energy ball with cocoa powder. If you’re missing butter, spread avocado on your toast. If you are craving your milky lattes, make a treat one with a dairy free alternative. Even ice cream can be faked by freezing a mashed banana, protein powder and strawberries. This will give you a boost without compromising your nutrition or your energy levels.
When we think of treating yourself, we often think of food. However, there are plenty of nice things you can do to give yourself a pat on the back that doesn’t involve food. Get a new hairstyle or go and watch a film that has interested you. Shifting your rewards to routinely being activity based is great for kicking any bad nutrition habits that are proving tough to shake off.