They have ever come across some people who you admire? Their physical appearance just makes you envy everything about yourself? You probably think they possess the best body one could have and that they probably put in a whole lot of effort to stay in shape. Regular, excessive hour-long workouts, and strict diet routines, with minimal to low calories which have bulk nutrients. Must be so hard to be them, you might think to yourself. And that thought lasts for as long as the next time you see them filling their plates with everything you thought they would be far off from. And upon conversing with them, you realize they’ve been eating unhealthy for all these years. Good genes? Probably yes. But there’s also a good chance that they’re playing smart with their digestive system and are tricking their stomach into the fact that they’re ‘eating healthy’ so they keep away from the extra few pounds they could potentially gain.
If you’re worried about gaining weight and are interested in how you too can trick your stomach into eating a dessert that could prove to be so full of calories, then be sure to read the rest of this article. Maintaining a balanced diet could be quite much of a task, especially when you can’t resist all of the sweet goodness. Don’t worry; we won’t restrict your diet with minimal to no sugar. Just like most diet plans involve a strict diet with no contact with some of the most delicious foods; it’s no surprise that many people fail to keep up with such a diet routine. Why follow and keep up with such an irrational plan when you can have the best of both worlds? If you’re still puzzled with where this is going, have a look at these simple options you could incorporate in your routine that will not only bring about a difference in your weight but will also ensure your cravings are satisfied, to say the least.
You can still do a lot to satisfy your cravings with just a few tweaks to your usual recipe. Try these simple and easy substitutions that save you from gaining those extra unwanted pounds:
Honey could be used as a natural sweetener in desserts that do not need heat to be prepared. It works best for smoothies, shakes, yogurts, and sorbets. However, you must bear in mind that you should not involve honey in anything that needs to be cooked/baked or heated. Creating a dessert with honey that needs to be heated just defies the whole purpose of using honey as a healthy alternative. Honey heated at 40 degrees could lose its healing properties, and anything above 60 degrees could turn into a harmful product at most. Though it’s not a substitute for every kind of dessert, it might just do the trick for some of you. Sliced up fruit with honey or cinnamon-spiced, natural yogurt with a spoonful of honey is a great healthy dessert for most of you out there.
- Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content is generally a healthier option compared to milk or white chocolate. It is rich in antioxidants and minerals and contains lesser amounts of sugar than other types of chocolate. Dark chocolate possesses a lot of health benefits some research suggests consuming dark chocolate could aid to reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, improve brain function and even protect your skin from the sun! So the next time, its better you’re craving for chocolate, opt for dark chocolate instead of milk. However, you’re probably aware of the term ‘too much of anything is bad,’ therefore, you must keep in mind that according to experts, while dark chocolate may be healthy for you, the daily recommended dose lies between 1-2 ounces or 30-60gms at max. Don’t consider gobbling down that entire extra large bar of chocolate down your stomach.
Stevia is a plant-based sweetener, which is the healthiest alternative there is to sugar. Unlike sugar, stevia is derived from a plant and not made in a lab and processed with several other harmful chemicals. Stevia sweeteners are extracted directly from their leaves and are 200 times sweeter than sugar. Want to know the best part? It does not raise your blood sugar levels and at the same time contains little to no calories at all. Make sure you purchase 100% natural stevia as some of them tend to be processed with other ingredients such as sugar alcohol, other sweeteners, and flavorings. In case you are wondering, stevia-based sugar is available and can be used as a direct substitute to regular sugar but with no excess carbs or calories involved. It contains more fillers like maltodextrin but possesses the same sweetening power as sugar. However, there are possible downsides to its consumption and use. Products that contain fillers like maltodextrin are linked to causing dysregulation of healthy gut bacteria.
- Create your dessert
While you could go through the hassle of carefully examining all the ingredients mentioned at the back of a sweet treat and then count the calories, a better option is to create your healthy dessert at home. This way, you’ll be able to substitute the harmful stuff with healthier options, which will reduce the risk of gaining more weight while also allowing not compromising on that sweet tooth of yours. Opt for natural low fat/fat-free skimmed milk instead of full-cream milk. Use only egg-whites instead of whole eggs, consider using apple sauce as a good replacement for oil, and if you still wish to incorporate some sugar, use it by half the amount or less.
- Share your dessert
Okay, as if that’s not the hardest thing in the world to do. Sure it must be hard letting someone else indulge in your piping hot molten lava cake, but it’s better to have some tolerance and at least satisfy your tastebuds than it is to be obese, right? And we don’t mean this at the expense of your budget, don’t go out of the way and order or bring back two dessert servings instead of one. The trick is to share your dessert with a friend, so you end up eating lesser than usual. Don’t enjoy the whole thing for yourself. Besides, a friend that shares your calories stays together… through thick and thin (pun intended).
- Don’t eat directly from the packaging
Whatever it is you do, do NOT commit this unhealthy diet sin by eating directly from the container that carries your dessert. Yes, it may be tempting and you probably just cannot wait to scoop our your ice-cream in a bowl or slice-up and place that chocolate cake in a plate, Not only does it save time, but also the energy to wash any extra dishes. But trust me when I say this, you’re just making things harder for yourself this way. It’s important that you must bear in mind your dessert proportions, only then you’ll be able to limit yourself from overeating. You’ll be surprised to find out that a scoop of ice cream or a slice of cake was all you needed to satisfy your cravings rather than considering and unintentionally opting to finish the rest of your dessert serving that was sufficient for more than one person.
- Have desserts on special occasions only
Okay, we get it, sweet tooth lovers, dessert after dinner is probably part of your culture by the number of times you’ve followed this tradition. But if you’re doing exactly this and are still wondering why you’re gaining weight, then you probably just got your answer. Avoid having dessert every day; instead, convince yourself with the fact that you should only have dessert when you need it, or on special occasions. Let’s put it this way, that day-old donut with crusty frosting laying in the grocery store is not worth a dessert you could have on a Saturday night while you Netflix and chill, or a tempting dessert you might see and could have at a birthday or engagement party, right? So, the next time your colleagues are grabbing a quick snack, you might want to save yourself from it so you can enjoy something even more scrumptious later.
- Choose healthy desserts
Ice-cream and fruit sorbet are both sweet and delicious. However, one contains more calories than the other. There are desserts then there are desserts, so you better choose wisely as to what you might need to consume. Opt for sweeter yet healthier options. But then again, you don’t have to go too crazy with the ‘healthy’ option. Remember, its dessert, and it still contains a degree of sugar. Excessive eating could even make the healthiest option an unhealthy one for you. Choosing such kind of alternatives could end up being more beneficial for you, especially when you’re counting your calories and restricting your diet.
- Burn your calories
Just as if we couldn’t emphasize more on the obvious. You can most definitely finish that entire bowl of custard or that shake topped with whipped cream especially if you can hit the gym shortly after or even before you have such a thing. You can always burn out the excess calories through exercise, and if you can’t go to the gym, why not try other activities that involve a lot of excursion such as running, cardio, jumping, etc. Just as long as you’re willing to go through a workout based on the number of extra calories you’ve consumed with that craving of yours. This may be the hard way but will at least ensure you could eat whatever you wish for, all while you maintain your weight.
- Make room for only one unhealthy meal per-day
You should either consider having that bowl of Mac & Cheese or that chocolate pastry. The choice is yours. Having a meal at the expense of another is a great way to train yourself and your brain into knowing you just can’t have both. The regulation of this depends on how strict you are with your diet. The stricter you are, the less you’d have to choose between such options and instead would maintain a healthier routine throughout. You might as well choose between the two on your cheat’s day or a special occasion. But don’t make the oblivious choice of having both.
- Track your calories
It might be hard to keep track of all your calories, especially when you’re on the go. Besides who has the time to carry out an analysis before every meal and whether or not it contains the right amount of calories. Consider downloading an app that’ll do the job for you. There are several apps available that will help you count your calories throughout the day. You can customize your goals accordingly and even mention your target weight; this will in turn automatically set a calorie budget for you and will keep you updated with how many calories you’re consuming throughout the day. The only thing you’ll need to do is log on to your meals every day. That includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and any midday or midnight snacks. The point is if all of the calories you have consumed, summed up together does not exceed your calories budget, you’re good to go. However, if it does, then at least you’d know for next time.
Another plus about such apps is that before you consume a meal you and are probably in a dilemma for what you should have, you could log on several meals and look out for their calorie count before you even consume anything. You can even create your meals with ingredients and proportions given to you to provide you with accurate results about what you’re eating.
- Every bite counts
Once you’ve made up your mind for absolutely no desserts, you must stick to this and oblige by it, no matter what! If you claim that you’ve cut down on your daily calorie intake, you have to remember that every little indulgence you steal in between just adds up to the number of calories you’ve consumed and yes it does make a difference. Telling yourself its okay to have just a little and end up having a bite of that cheesecake before you leave for work after you’re back and throughout the day, only to eventually result in an empty cheesecake tray. Know that the effect of the calories would be the same, regardless of whether or not you consume that dessert throughout the day or all at once. Timings don’t matter, proportions do.
- Don’t give in
You must resist peer pressure. You might face a lot of discouragement from people around you that’ll tell you how having that slice of cake ‘won’t make much of a difference.’ Regardless of what people say you must remember that every effort you put into something, no matter how small it is, it matters. Baby steps will lead you to your goal one day. You must acknowledge the fact that you’re trying to say the very at least. So don’t beat yourself up, you’ll get there. Remember to stay consistent and have the willpower to resist anything. Don’t be too influenced about what other people say, especially when it comes in the way of you trying to develop and adopt a healthier lifestyle. You may prove to be a source of inspiration for others after you’ve reached your goal. Never give in and cut down on those calories, because in the end it only for your good.
By now you’re probably aware and have fully understood some easy healthy options and substitutes you could switch to and opt for instead of just hoping a miracle would happen where you’re blessed with the power of not gaining any weight at all, no matter how much dessert you have. Though it sounds amusing and enchanting, both at the same time, the unfortunate, bitter reality is, that’s not possible. However, you can always at least try to make a difference. It’s important to keep your health into consideration always if you’re not making an effort to lose weight, you might as well be able to prevent yourself from gaining any more weight. This could also then possibly lead and encourage you to lose a lot of weight in the long run. A good start to something healthy may prove to be beneficial for you along the way. It’s always important to take the first step. Besides, you don’t have to cut down on your favorite treats all at once necessarily, all you need to do is substitute it, limit yourself, and you can have the best of both worlds.