Fit Food: 5 Tips to Cut Back on Sweets

glasses: ray-ban | romper: love sadie via shopbop {on sale!} | swimsuit: mara hoffman | flip flops: old navy | bag: old navy {old; last seen here} | lips: ‘st germain’ by mac
If there’s one thing I’ve struggled with most when following a strict fitness and nutritional plan, it’s my dang sweet tooth.* I could eat ice cream all day, every day, and never get sick of it. If not tempered the right way, a craving can lead straight to an all-out binge. So, I’m sharing a few tricks I’ve learned for cutting back without feeling deprived… 
*For those of you who are the “savory cravers,” you can apply these tips to beat your guilty pleasure as well. 

Anticipate and plan for your sweet tooth

If you always get cravings after lunch, try packing some fruit (I’m hooked on grapes and strawberries lately) and instead of eating it with your lunch, save it for when your craving sets in. If you’re still not satisfied, try drinking a full 8 oz glass of water, followed by a piece of mint-flavored gum and take a quick walk to get your blood flowing and distract yourself. (Bonus tip: When I crave sweets after dinner, I rinse my mouth and throw in some teeth whitening strips for 30-60 min. When I’m done, I brush my teeth and I’m that much closer to being ready for bed, and eating is no longer a temptation.)

Find a satisfying replacement

This may sound a bit vague, but it’s mostly because you’ll have to try a few things to determine what works best for you. Of course I’d rather eat ice cream, macarons, and chocolate bars, but sometimes just eating some frozen grapes makes me feel better (sometimes not). I have tried dozens of different “chocolate cookie crunch” and “creamy peanut butter” protein bars, but even my favorites often lead to an unintentional binge and four protein bars later my digestive system feels wacky. The best bar I’ve tried to-date for a replacement sweet is the Think Thin Bar. It has zero sugar, but doesn’t taste artificially sweetened either. It literally satisfies my taste buds and doesn’t leave me craving for more. (Bonus tip: I cut my protein bars into small slices and eat them in little bites when I have multiple cravings throughout the day.)

Negotiate with your sweet tooth

Give your favorite sweets a timeline for when they’re allowed to visit, such as only after lunch, or every-other-day, until you work your way down to once-per-week. The idea here is, the less you eat it, the less you crave it, but start slow so you don’t feel immediately deprived. Try to eat your treat earlier in the day when your activity levels are higher and remember to tell your sweet tooth who’s boss.

Schedule a cheat meal

Keep a list of your favorite desserts and plan out a cheat meal on a day when you can take the time to enjoy it. The cheat meal becomes an event worth waiting for and you’ll start to be more selective in what you choose so you don’t waste it on something subpar. You’ll also start to enjoy the food more (if that’s even possible) because you’ll be eating it for a reason, instead of by habit or mindless reaction to boredom, stress or emotions. Always maintain positive self-talk on the days leading up to your cheat meal, and remind yourself, “I am going to have some, just not today.”

See the big picture

When you’re stuck in a rathole and all you can think about is how much you want to give in to your craving, pull out, look at the big picture and seriously consider your goals. Do you even want these goals? And if so, do you really believe this to be an important part of achieving them? Remember, the temptation to quit will always be greatest just before you’re about to succeed.

What works for you when cutting back on sweets?
Quick note for my Utah readers: Two of my favorites, Albion Fit and The Shine Project, are hosting a shopping night next Saturday, Oct. 4, at Albion Fit City Creek, from 6-8 p.m. Grab your sisters and girlfriends and stop by for 15% off all purchases at Albion Fit. And of course, The Shine Project will have great deals on their darling bracelets that benefit at-risk American youth.
Happy Weekend!



  1. Posted September 26, 2014 | Reply
  2. Sweets are my biggest struggle with eating clean for sure! I love these tips! Great look, you look incredible! Thanks for the inspiration and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    The Style Storm
    <3, Christina

    Posted September 26, 2014 | Reply
    • Thank you! You're so sweet. Always comforting to know others struggle with it, too. We're all in this together. 😉 xo

      Posted October 2, 2014 | Reply
  3. Love these tips!! I have a major sweet tooth as well. I've been trying to try to drink a lot more water lately and that really does help you feel full!



    Posted September 29, 2014 | Reply
    • Great reminder to drink more. I always need to drink more water. Seems to help when I drink at least 8 oz when I wake up in the morning.

      Posted October 2, 2014 | Reply
  4. Starshine says:

    Love this, so helpful! I cannot stop eating dark chocolate after dinner, I might just start moving my sweet tooth time to after lunch. That way, I'm not sitting on the calories at night! 🙂

    Posted October 1, 2014 | Reply
    • At least you're eating DARK chocolate! Great strategy, though. The earlier in the day, the better. 😉

      Posted October 2, 2014 | Reply
  5. I'm terrible for sweet cravings and I give into them way too easily!
    Thank you for the tips will definitely try these out.



    Posted October 2, 2014 | Reply
  6. Stella says:

    great tips… i eat sweets every day, but try more on dark chocolate and less sugar sugar stuff. so far so good.

    Posted March 1, 2016 | Reply