Do you really need to make a choice between building your ideal body and eating the sweet treats you love?
Not necessarily. Though a lot of candy products will absolutely derail your fitness and nutrition goals, there are alternatives. It is possible to find healthier options that satisfy your cravings, without delivering your daily calorie or fat quota in one bite.
That’s what we’re going to show you, with a delicious yet nutritious chocolate coconut shake recipe.
Calories and Sugars in a Regular Candy Bar
Most candy products are calorie-dense, packing a ton of calories into a small serving, making it easy for you to go past your daily calorie goal. Worst of all, they’re empty calories, meaning they come with little or no beneficial vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
The exact calorie and sugar content in candy bars varies from product to product. But you’re usually looking at a minimum of 200 calories and 20 grams of sugar per bar.
For example, a Snickers bar has 280 calories, 20 grams of sugar and 4.3 grams of protein. While if you love a coconut twist to go along with your chocolate fix, you may be upset to learn that a Milky Way has 264 calories, a whopping 35 grams of sugar, and just 2.3 grams of protein.
The recommended calorie intake per day is around 2000 for women, and 2500 for men. And that’s just to maintain weight – if you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll want to reduce your calorie intake.
For sugar, experts say we should get a maximum of 25 grams (for women) or 37.5 grams (for men) of artificial sugars per day.
So a single candy bar can make up more than 10% of your daily calorie quota, and all (or more) of the maximum recommended sugar intake. Not ideal.
Why Regular Candy is Not Great for Weight Management
The downside of candy if you’re trying to watch your weight goes even deeper than calorie and sugar content.
The worst part is that foods with empty calories cause a spike in blood sugar. Your body’s natural processes then kick in to reduce your blood sugar to a normal level. Yet this process often reduces blood sugar below baseline, which makes your body crave sugar-heavy foods, to raise your blood sugar again.
In other words, eating calorie and sugar-dense foods like candy cause the body to crave more candy, creating a vicious cycle, and making it hard to stick to your calorie and sugar intake goals.
How to Enjoy the Foods You Love Guilt Free
So do you need to swear off chocolate for life?
A lot of people go for the “cheat day” approach – keeping their guilty pleasures to one day per week. But the problem is that this kicks the craving cycle into gear, and makes it hard to stay on track for the rest of the week.
A more sustainable way is to recreate the foods you love with healthier versions, which still taste great, but deliver more nutritional benefit. You’ll start to build mental cravings for these foods, instead of sugar-heavy candy bars.
A Healthier Alternative
One example is the chocolate coconut almond protein powder from Naked Nutrition. It’s made with pea protein, MCT oil, almond flour and natural cocoa, giving it a similar taste to the chocolatey snacks you love, without the downsides.
It has 140 calories per serving, with just 3 grams of sugar. It also has 20 grams of protein, which helps you maintain healthy energy levels, and makes you feel full faster.
Try the “Almond Joy” Protein Shake
You can use this shake recipe to recreate the great taste of an Almond Joy bar, without the sugar content and empty calories.
Here’s what you need:
- 2 scoops Chocolate Almond Coconut Naked Shake
- 6-12 oz low-fat milk, plant-based milk or water
- ½ or 1 whole banana
- 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
You’ll get a lot of the goodness, in terms of nutrition and taste, from the Naked Shake powder to start with. Add your choice of milk, such as lite milk or a plant-based alternative – or for minimum calorie count, just use water.
Add a banana (whole or half) to add consistency to your shake, and a bit of natural sweetness. Finish with cacao nibs for texture, and a stronger chocolate taste without adding any more sugar or empty calories.
Blend these together and drink. If it’s not sweet enough yet, you can add in a little coconut sugar.
Taking this shake every day will not only fulfill your chocolate cravings, but also help you get more protein and other vital nutrients you need to get in your best shape ever.