(BPT) - When you were a child you could eat anything you wanted without worrying about the result. The calories never stuck around.
Now, not so much.
And so you're following the steps. You're eating right, you're exercising and you've given up the snacks. But wait a minute, who said you had to give up snacks? You can still enjoy your snacks, including many of the familiar tastes you grew up with.
'We all have flavors that we crave,' says food and entertaining expert Evette Rios, host of CBS' Recipe Rehab. 'But you don't have to give up your favorite treats just to eat right. Plenty of healthy alternatives can satisfy that same craving without the excess calories.'
If you're ready to eat smarter while enjoying the flavors you've always loved, incorporate these healthy substitutes into your diet and you'll feel like a kid again - just one with a later curfew and driving privileges.
* Ditch the doughnut. You've heard the logic that says you're better off eating the doughnut than eating nothing because it jumpstarts your metabolism. But you know what's even better than eating the doughnut? Eating just about anything besides the doughnut. If you need your morning carbs, replace that doughnut with an English muffin for a similar texture. Cover it in jelly so you don't lose out on the sweet taste and then slowly work your way down to the low-sugar jam for an even healthier snack.
* Delectable drinks to satisfy your sweet tooth. As a kid you loved candy. You grew up eating Sweet Tarts and Red Hots. And if you still love these nostalgic flavors as an adult, you can enjoy them by making some simple replacements. Good Earth Tea fusions satisfy your candy cravings with a healthy, natural twist. Love Red Hots? Try Good Earth's Sweet & Spicy. Sweet Tart fan? You'll love Sweetly Twisted. 'I love candy,' says Jamie Krell, lifestyle expert. 'And Good Earth Teas allow me to enjoy the tastes I've always loved without the excess sugar and calories.' There is a Good Earth Tea flavor to match any candy crush. You can peruse the full list by visiting the Good Earth Tea Facebook page.
* Sayonara, snack cakes. Snack cakes come in many shapes and sizes, but they're all essentially the same: cake exterior, cream filling interior and they don't spoil. But you still enjoy them. So how do you avoid them? The next time you're in the mood for a snack cake, make a smart replacement and try some low-fat angel food cake instead. Top it with healthy strawberries and low-fat whipped cream and you really can have your cake and eat it, too.
* Chuck the chips. Sweets are one thing but salt is another slippery slope. If you crave salty snacks, you probably find chips difficult to pass up. So don't abandon your crunch crush, just make sure you're enjoying a healthy substitute. Replace those fatty chips with toasted pita chips and savory hummus and you'll satisfy your craving without feeling remorse afterward.
* Choose the garden over grease. You can't find your favorite greasy appetizers in the vending machine, but they make for dangerous happy hours. The next time you feel tempted, opt for vegetables instead. Veggies are more than just garnish in many of today's restaurants because of smart snackers like you, so take advantage of them. Crunch a carrot or savor a celery stick dipped in low fat ranch dressing and you'll be thankful you did once happy hour is over.
* So long sugary drinks. You may think it's impossible to get through your day without your favorite sugary-sweet lemonade or other soft drink, but your body might be happier if you did. When you feel the desire for a sugary beverage, quench it with Good Earth Tea instead. Good Earth Tea's Citrus Kiss, for example, is a naturally sweet, great alternative to lemonade. Bizzie Gold, celebrity trainer and founder of Buti Yoga, concurs: 'Giving water a flavor boost with bold teas is a great way to ensure you drink plenty of it throughout the day. Healthier, flavorful beverages like Good Earth Tea let you reap the benefits of water with each sip.'
Your metabolism may have changed since you've gotten older, but your taste buds are just as strong as ever. Fortunately, you don't have to ignore one to satisfy the other. By incorporating a few smart substitutions into your snacking routine, you'll enjoy the flavors you crave without the calories. To learn more about Good Earth Teas, visit www.goodearth.com.