Health(ier) Ways to Sooth Your Sweet Tooth
By Chris Brown
One of the hardest parts of dieting is giving up foods that we've unknowingly come to rely upon for emotional support. Guilty pleasure desserts can have a powerful effect upon willpower and the ability to maintain a diet. The after-dinner pull of sweet treats can often be too difficult to resist, destroying the dieting efforts of the entire day. A few tricks can keep your diet intact while preventing the need to go off nighttime treats altogether. After all, a day of healthy eating should be rewarded.
Try Dessert Alternatives
Instead of reaching for calorie-heavy sweet snacks after dinner, a lower calorie alternative can psychologically satisfy your snack crutch. Popcorn or pistachios are examples of healthier alternatives to ice cream or pie. On days where one's calorie count is maxed out, celery or carrots can fill your stomach till morning without disrupting the diet. If the sugar pull is just too strong, however, you may not need to cut out that tempting sweets entirely.
Less Is More
There is no bite better than the first two of any dessert. Personally, I hit the point of diminishing return relatively quickly. One way to trick your sweet tooth is to eat the same desserts, but only a fraction of your regular serving, like one scoop of ice cream as opposed to a full bowl. The taste may be enough to keep your cravings at bay while maintaining your calorie count.
Another option, instead of limiting your sweet intake daily, is looking at the week as a whole and setting aside a single "dessert cheat day." One of the fittest men on the planet, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, regularly posts his cheat day feasts on social media. Six days of diet consistency is far more important than any single meal of gluttony. And, heck, if a cheat meal is good enough for The Rock, it should be good enough for the average dieter.
Healthier Diet-Modified Sweets
Life exists in the gray and being healthier is nearly as good as being 100 percent healthy, and certainly better than not trying at all. There are ways of adapting common desserts to fit any specific diet. Recipes for everything from ketogenic cookies to vegan cakes and low-fat brownies abound the internet and, with some simple sleuthing, you'll find a homemade dessert that works for you. Make sure though not to overindulge. Since, no matter your diet, eating too many cookies is never part of the plan. Moderation is key, but if that moderation can be a larger portion size of a healthier dessert, all the better.
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