7 Healthy Alternatives to Chocolate

My main vice is chocolate. I've never smoked and very rarely drink, but, despite eating very healthily and living an active lifestyle, when my chocolate cravings used to kick in, I would often struggle to fight them. I found that, after going "cold turkey" for two weeks, my cravings were significantly reduced, but I still fancy some chocolate every now and then. So I decided to look for healthy alternatives to get me through the cravings. I personally don't think all cravings should be ignored, as it's actually healthy to indulge occasionally, to prevent you from going crazy and scoffing loads after weeks of fighting the urges. However, right now I'm trying to look my best for summer (like many of you), so want to avoid these cravings as much as I can. Many of the alternatives I've found taste nothing like chocolate (sadly), but they work to take your mind off it, and give you something tasty and satisfying. Try them and see if they work for you. 1. Banana peanut butter treats
Image credit: http://media4.onsugar.com/
Image credit: http://media4.onsugar.com/
Peanut butter is nearly always the thing I reach for when I'm craving chocolate; it's delicious and filling, and most importantly; makes me feel far less guilt than when I reach for chocolate. These treats are tasty and tiny, so you can eat as many (or as little) as you fancy and leave the rest in the freezer for next time. 2. Chocolate milkshake
Image credit: http://www.healthy-drinks.net/
Image credit: http://www.healthy-drinks.net/
With chocolate milkshake being a good alternative snack for post-workout if you've run out of protein shakes, it's a great thing to turn to during a craving. It (obviously) tastes chocolaty, and contains a healthy amount of protein, carbohydrates and calcium...more than you would find in your average chocolate bar anyway! 3. Fruit
Image credit: http://www.bmj.com/
Image credit: http://www.bmj.com/
Fruit may be the last thing on your mind when you're craving chocolate, but it's a great sweet alternative. Try oranges, grapes, strawberries, bananas, grapefruit, watermelon or blueberries. I usually find that berries work best for me. 4. Green tea
Image credit: http://cdn.sciencefocus.com/
Image credit: http://cdn.sciencefocus.com/
Admittedly, this tastes nothing like chocolate, but I often find that making myself a cup of green tea takes my mind off the chocolate cravings because I'm putting my focus onto making something particularly healthy, which reminds me of how hard I've been working to improve my fitness. By the time I've finished the drink, I don't usually fancy anything to eat anyway. It's more of a distraction method than finding something to replace the chocolate, but it works for me, so give it a go. 5. Nuts
Image credit: https://onnit.global.ssl.fastly.net
Image credit: https://onnit.global.ssl.fastly.net
Nuts are great alternatives to chocolate, as they contain both the magnesium and nitrogen found in chocolate and your body could be craving chocolate for the nutrients. Almonds, walnuts and cashew nuts are the best nuts for weight loss, so try these to see if they satisfy your craving. Walnuts are quite sweet, for a nut, so if you really want something sweet, choose them. 6. Protein-packed peanut butter cups
Image credit: Natalie Roberts
Image credit: Natalie Roberts
These do contain cocoa powder, but, contrary to what many people believe, that's not a bad thing. They also contain protein powder, so are great for a healthy and fit lifestyle (if eaten in moderation). They satisfy my chocolate craving perfectly and taste great! Many people think that cocoa powder is as bad as chocolate, but cocoa powder doesn't actually contain any of the sugar and other ingredients added while being processed, so it has numerous health benefits. 7. Peanut butter Easter eggs Image credit: Natalie Roberts Image credit: Natalie Roberts Although I originally made these eggs for a recent article with Easter in mind (hence the name), they are great for any time of year, and, for those times when nothing else will do, and you feel desperate for chocolate, these do contain chocolate. However, it's only a thin coating of dark chocolate around the edges, so they will provide you with your "fix" without making you feel terrible for giving in.   Picture credit for featured image: http://www.parlevelsystems.com/   Sources: http://www.livestrong.com/article/283477-chocolate-milk-vs-protein-shake/ http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/superfoods/chocolate-milk-after-workout/ http://www.livestrong.com/article/132920-healthy-chocolate-substitutes/ http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/7-healthy-ways-to-satisfy-your-chocolate-cravings.html#b http://www.livestrong.com/article/331715-cocoa-powder-health-benefits/ http://food.allwomenstalk.com/alternatives-to-chocolate-for-when-you-have-a-hard-to-ignore-craving/ http://www.fitsugar.com/Frozen-Banana-Peanut-Butter-Recipe-24047720

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