Giving up desserts entirely is not possible for some people (myself included). If you’ve got to have your sweets once in a while, there are smarter choices you can make. It is possible to satisfy a craving without destroying a diet. Moderation and portion control are the key. Here are some excellent choices to satisfy your sweet tooth without negatively impacting your diet:
Sorbet with Fresh Fruit
This is a great alternative to ice cream that can satisfy a craving for sweets without adding too many wasted calories to your daily intake. Lemon, strawberry, lime and other options in sorbet work wonders for tackling a sweet tooth. I even found a good mango sorbet that went great with Indian food.
Whip up some low-fat pudding to handle cravings for something sweet and creamy. This is a fantastic way to tackle a huge chocolate craving without busting your diet. Vanilla, strawberry and butterscotch can also prove as excellent choices. I’m even partial to a good tapioca.
Yogurt with Fixings
Plain vanilla yogurt or flavored low-fat yogurt can double well as a dessert. Add some fresh berries, bananas or even a few chocolate chips for a quick pick-me-up that doesn’t destroy a diet. Granola is also an excellent addition to pack in a little crunch with the mix. McDonald’s has a fruit and yogurt cup that’s pretty good. And Yoplait Whips! make fantastic deserts. They have chocolate, but I’ve found that their raspberry and strawberry are real treats.
Home-Baked Pies or Cakes
Take your favorite sweet treat recipes and alter them to include low-fat ingredients. Cut sugar where possible. If chocolate is called for, try a lower-fat alterative or use sugar-free cocoa.
Fresh Fruit and Whipped Cream
Mix up some low-fat whipped cream and spoon it lightly over freshly sliced fruit. Oh heck, the cream doesn’t even need to be whipped when served with strawberry slices. Yum!
If milkshakes are your weakness, try switching them out with fruit smoothies instead. This alternative is a much healthier choice and still offers plenty of creamy flavor. You can also make a fruit milkshake that doubles as a meal by tossing some low-fat milk, fruit and instant breakfast mix into a blender and mixing until the fruit is smoothly blended in.
Angel Food Cake
If you’ve just got to have cake, this is a lighter option that still offers plenty of sweetness. That’s part of the reason its called “Angel Food” — its light as an angel. Dress it up with fresh fruits, such as sliced strawberries, and even some low-fat whipped cream.
If you can’t bring yourself to give up on the flavor and consistency of ice cream, this is a good alternative. Also, consider some of the low-fat ice creams now on the market (I mentioned Breyer’s Slow Churned last week as a good alternative). Many taste as good as their full-fat counterparts with a fraction of the calories.
Take Charge of Your Health!
Changing your eating habits can be tough. But it doesn’t have to be if you take a little time to think it out and create a plan.
This Healthy Eating Worksheet will walk you through the process of creating a healthy eating plan. All you need to do is print it out, set aside some time to complete it, and then fill it out. Then you can create your plan, knowing that you have addressed potential obstacles and came up with some creative ways to handle them.