I work sweets into my diet for planning for them with my calorie count. But I have to be careful of the type of sweet. A total sugar rush just makes me grumpy with bad cravings later in the day. Ice cream works for me. It has enough nutrition that it doesn't throw me off track craving and sugar high wise. I try to limit the ice cream to one day per week. But I count the calories no matter what, even if I go over my daily allowance. I can't eat as much ice cream as I used to now that I have months of portion control under my belt.
I say have your cake and enjoy it - just don't do it too often. A dessert once a week is not likely to totally derail your plan, especially if you compensate for the calories by exercising more or eating less, or both.
Like some other posters here, I have a crazy sweet tooth. I went vegan a while back, and it has helped a lot. Vegan desserts (such as cake, brownies, and ice cream - some of my faves) usually are 1) hard to find in stores, 2) crazy expensive, or 3) require me to actually make them myself. The result is that I eat far less of the baked goods I used to love, and the desserts I do eat are usually healthier.
Another thing you may want to try is eating a smaller portion of the dessert you want and loading it up with fruit. That way your tiny piece of cake or itty bitty scoop of ice cream looks and feels much bigger than it actually is.
What's working for me is Quest bars: www.questproteinbar.com/ . The sweeteners they use do not seem to trigger the overeating desire that I can have with sugar-sweetened treats. I am following a low-carb eating plan so the additional protein also helps with curbing my hunger and the extra fiber makes up for the fiber I'm not getting from grains. I'm able to limit myself to one, in part because I'm aware that they are a pricey treat.
Ultimately I agree that this is a YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) type of question, and the important thing is to figure out what works best for you, your body and your lifestyle.
Honestly, I really won't eat an entire dessert anymore. If it's a special occasion and we're out I might split something with my husband. On a normal day, I'll have a mini candy bar maybe, or small spoonful of Nutella (I really love Nutella.) Something I can easily fit into my calorie budget. The little treats work better for me than a big splurge.
Once I reach my goal and hit maintenance, maybe I'll tweak this but for now, I am really trying to be strict with myself and not talk myself into saying it's OK to eat things that aren't going to help me reach my goals.
My nutrition tracker allows me plenty of calories and can allot desserts in the tracker, as long as I watch fat, carbohydrate and salt, etc. in other foods I choose for the day! However, those dessert calories don't have any other good nutrient in them usually!
Fitness Minutes: (55,260)
3/29/14 9:38 A
I want to eat what I like-dessert, so I try to track my food to balance what I like or need to keep my cal.
Fitness Minutes: (32,502)
86 3/28/14 4:16 P
There's no substitute for a well made piece of decadent chocolate cake or key lime pie :-) Sorry, no "diet" or light alternative is going to satisfy my taste buds so I incorporate real desserts into my lifestyle.
I don't keep the rich stuff in the house--it's a dinner out kind of treat. If I bake, a portion or two is out for the day, everything else goes into the freezer or is given away.
When I'm enjoying a treat, I share with my husband and make sure I'm drinking something with it (it makes me slow down so I don't accidentally "inhale" it (grin again).
No guilt allowed. No dessert with the idea that I'll "burn it off" later. If I work out more, yeah for me but I don't do "deals." They just give you the opportunity to feel guilty twice-once when you make them and again if you miss your planned on penance.
If I plan to go out, I make adjustments during the day, more fiber, less calories, plenty of water (so I'm not starving when we go out). I look at the desert menu first and decide if I'm having any. If yes, then I order something lighter, sometimes soup and an appetizer. If not, I might have a slice of bread, but I try to avoid overeating then having dessert.
Fitness Minutes: (9,092)
3/28/14 2:49 P
I like my sweets! When dieting, I like angel food cake topped with berries and fat-free CoolWhip. I like banana pudding made with 1 % milk & reduced-fat vanilla wafers. I substitute Special K bars or pastries for candy bars. I like fig Newtons & graham crackers. There are lots of things which fit right into a diet plan! You don't have to give up sweets, just pick & choose better ones! Also, fruit, dates, trail mix are also good! Some trail mixes are high in fat, but there is one called Tropical Mix that is very reasonable! Gingerbread is another, as are quick breads made with pumpkin, applesauce, and so on. Pureed prunes (in the baby food section) make good quick breads.
It's nice to see this thread. Some people are so against treats, that I feel like I'm doing something wrong by indulging daily-even though I'm maintaining. I also just plan my sweets into my daily calorie count. I know that for me I have to have my treats or I feel too deprived. There's no way I could go through life with NO goodies. I'm all about portion control too. I love splitting desserts-getting the taste and a half or third of the calories.
Fitness Minutes: (59,774)
3/28/14 8:52 A
Great tips, I buy one caramel, (a nice expensive one) cut it into four pieces and I get a treat for four days.
Fitness Minutes: (30,696)
89 3/28/14 4:03 A
Hey thats really helpful :D thanks a lot for your reply!
Fitness Minutes: (82,403)
208 3/27/14 11:05 P
I eat sweets every day, but I plan for them. I often eat similar meals which makes things easier. I do choose sweets that allow me to get more "bang for my taste buck" such as jelly bellies (4 calories each). I have nearly stopped eating my favorite candy, cinnamon bears.
Fitness Minutes: (290,488)
19,946 3/27/14 10:03 P
portion control and only eat things that your really want. if you dont like it dont eat it.
3/27/14 7:49 P
One suggestion I have seen before is the three bite rule. If you want a treat eat it but only three bites. The trick is to slow down and enjoy those three bites. I find that when foods are forbidden they become more appealing. I bought a pack of Dark Chocolate M&M's and made it last a week.
I have a MASSIVE sweet tooth, so cutting out sweets for me wasn't an option and trying to force myself to do so only meant I would break down eventually and binge.
What has helped me is #1. Slowly decreasing the amount of junk I allow in my diet as over time as the less I eat it regularly, the less I crave it.
#2. Completely cutting out certain things that I can't eat moderately. If I buy a bag of potato chips I will eat the whole thing or at least 1/3 of it. And I won't have even satisfied my craving either! Meanwhile Doritos are fine for me and I will still eat them on occasion because I know I can eat moderately.
#3. Use different/healthier options to substitute for my cravings. I ate sooo many sour pickles when I was weaning myself off of potato chops and now I eat them occasionally. Frozen grapes or other fruits are also good options to avoid sugary snacks since even if I binge a little it's not that bad. Dark chocolate (I love the Canadian Camino brand; it's fairtrade and organic) with orange is a favorite and one little square is a super boost of flavour but doesn't affect my diet too much.
#4. Work your treats into your tracking. I have a nutrition plan of 1200-1500 calories a day, but I can often fit super yummy treats in if I'm smart. A trick here is to make sure you're getting your bang for the buck... Or the satisfaction for the calories/fat/etc. For example last Christmas I was visiting family and I had a handful of cheetos thinking that couldn't be too bad only to realize later that that handful had approx 21 g of fat in it! I tend to eat fairly low fat in general, to the point that sometimes I need to add in some fattyness at the end of the day (good fats of course!), so that's not THAT terrible for me as I didn't go over my fat quota for the day, but I could have had a bacon cheeseburger or a piece of cheesecake for the same amount of fat! So you wan to make sure that when you do splurge a little it's worth it!
#5. What double-up items can you include in your diet? I have a severe magnesium deficiency and need to constantly be adding as much into my diet as possible (and even that's not enough; without supplements I get anxiety attacks, severe muscle soreness, etc), so dark chocolate is something that satisfies my craving and also bumps up my magnesium. Similarly I'm not a big meat eater and often find it difficult to eat enough protein, so milk is a great addition of 8g of protein if I find I'm a little low with my planned meals; if I have chocolate milk I can add in that protein, but also add a little yummyness to my day.
#6. Work for it. Now for me sweets as a reward don't work, aren't really motivating, and just end in me developing bad habits/attitude, but the amazing bakery near me is about a 45min fast walk from me, so if I want one of their DELICIOUS chocolate babkas, then I have to work for it, get off my butt, and go get one.
I definitely still incorporate dessert, just track it! Even if it's depressing how many calories it is!
3/27/14 2:45 P
When I choose to have desert, I include it in my ranges for the day. I am one of those people that has to eat the real thing. Artificially sweetened diet deserts won't do. So I will eat a fourth of what I used to eat. Because the stuff is just so sweet now, I can't eat the whole thing.
Definitely don't stop eating dessert if it's important to you. You'll feel deprived.
3/27/14 12:42 P
A lot of restaurants have their nutrition facts online. Why don't you find a local place, grab a friend or two, and split one serving of dessert?
Whenever my hubby and I go out, I have to track what I eat before we leave the house, or I go crazy. I've noticed that I stick to my choices when I track ahead, and that often includes the ability to split dessert.
No one ever said you had to eat the whole thing. Or, you could always plan your day in advance. Do low cal meals and snacks, so you have room for a slice of 500cal dessert.
My inlaws recently bought a giant (seriously, 10" :K) ice cream cake for my husband's birthday. So I tracked out my dinner with a grilled chicken breast, a small serving of rice, and a medium sized salad. It gave me enough wiggle room on my tracker to enjoy a slice of ice cream cake. Though I still have a quarter of the cake in my freezer.
When I choose to have a dessert, I include it my my calorie range for the day.
Fitness Minutes: (9,224)
3/27/14 12:02 P
Instead of baking an entire cake, why not mini cup cakes. Cake does freeze well, make up a batch of mini cupcakes, leave a few out to eat in the next day or so, then freeze the rest. Frosting will also freeze, I just dish frosting in little containers and freeze. Use Applesauce instead of oil, and use cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate bars. For tieramisu (sp?) I usually use part marscapone and part cottage cheese. Make your lady fingers from scratch, and use less sugar then called for because the dessert is already sweet. Coffee doesn't have many calories, and use rum extract instead of dark rum, or forego the rum all together. Cookies, I usually go for the real thing. I don't like butter in my cookies, I think it makes them taste burnt. I use margarine, but if you really want to spoil yourself go for bakers shortening.I use half the amount of chocolate chips and supplement my flour with dry instant oatmeal.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
3/27/14 10:23 A
I am very fortunate that I don't like sweets. For example, I can eat a bite of cake, but icing makes me nauseated. Too sweet.
Many have a good idea to fit the dessert into your calorie plan. That's good as long as it's not a trigger food that will set off a binge.
I think if you stay away from sugary foods long enough, your body will no longer want it. I think that's what happened to me. Dessert can become sugar-free jello topped with fruit and/or Redi Whip. Or just fruit. Just think how good it would feel to say "No, thank you, I don't care for any." And really mean it!
I like what everyone else has said. If you can manipulate your calories to fit a treat in, you can be successful. My problem is that one bite can lead to a binge.
Fitness Minutes: (60,517)
3/27/14 9:58 A
Well I haven't got that figured out, either, but I'm working on an experiment. I know that every Wednesday my boss will bring a goodie from Starbucks, and right now I can't seem to say "no thank you." I admit it, I like the treat, SO I will cut back on calories for the rest of that day. Say, if I normally shoot for 1500 cals, on Wednesday I'll shoot for 1100 cals so that I can have that 400 cal treat. But on most days I MUST have chocolate, so for most days I'm trying to find lower cal chocolate treats in the 100 - 200 cal range, that I can fit into a 1500 cal eating plan. However, if someone brings a surprise cookie or cake to work, I do need to work on the "no thank you" line, because that will be much harder to work into my diet. We'll see how this goes!
Fitness Minutes: (40,967)
3/27/14 9:33 A
I plan for desserts fairly frequently so that I am not tempted by things I see. Last week I bought some apple cherry crumble and ate it over four evenings. Knowing I had that at home, I was not tempted by the garbage available at work.
But I need to make sure any dessert I choose fits into my calorie range and does not displace any fruits or vegetables or other good foods. I can't have crumble if I've not had enough of any important nutrients that day.
Naturally, this is not always the way it goes...but I try.
Fitness Minutes: (180)
3/27/14 9:14 A
our favorite is a serving of low fat vanilla yogurt, with cooked blueberries on top and some low fat shipped cream. Yummy!!
My favorite "dessert" right now is 1/4 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup sliced strawberries and 2 Tablespoons of light whipped cream (from a can) - it works out to about 60 calories. And if I have had a low-carb day I add a crumbled graham cracker to the mix, this doubles the calorie count, but is very satisfying and tasty!
3/27/14 7:32 A
I like sugar-free jello made with fruit juice with a dollop of cool whip on top.
I've found that if I'm really craving something, I will have it for breakfast so I can burn it off during the day. I love Hawaiian Rolls, so if I have 3 of them with butter first thing in the morning for breakfast with my Dannon Vanilla Yogurt with peanut butter granola and bananas and blueberries on top, and if I run fast for 4 minutes first thing every morning, and if I walk all day at work, and if I just drink tea when I come home at 9 pm, then I don't gain a pound, and sometimes I can actually lose a pound a day that way.
I do interval running every morning for 4 minutes to the youtube song Techno Popcorn (google it). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN8iRqAFQQo Interval Running is running at a normal pace for 30 seconds, running fast for 30 seconds, and doing this back and forth for 4 minutes. This particular song picks up the pace and slows down and then picks the pace back up, so it's easy to interval run with this song every morning.
I even had a piece of German Chocolate Cake yesterday and still lost a pound. But we have a carried dish dinner at work tomorrow. I'll have to make sure to grab healthy things, and eat only one plate (not 2!). But if I do have a good time tomorrow, I'll know that I'll be able to take off an extra pound or two quickly.
I think it's normal to gain a couple pounds and then lose those same pounds every week. As long as you are making steady progress losing about 2 pounds per week, a little fluctuation is normal and healthy.
Fitness Minutes: (3,748)
133 3/27/14 6:47 A
If I have a "real" dessert, for instance, out at a restaurant where I don't control the portion size, I share it with my husband, and am usually just as satisfied with half.
3/27/14 2:39 A
Portion control is key to any dessert. I can eat a half a cup of ice cream every now and then. But, I also have found some healthy sweet alternatives: a banana and a half cup of carbmaster yogurt, whole wheat toast with I can't believe it's not butter and a container of apple baby food, frozen fruit, a sliced orange with more carbmaster yogurt. Sometimes you need something sweet, but something sweet, healthy, and filling will satisfy you a lot more than a tiny portion.
Fitness Minutes: (36,405)
14,340 3/26/14 8:04 P
I have a piece of Angel Food Cake with fresh fruit. Also will make pumpkin pie without the crust. Use egg beaters and sweet and low. Works great!
I believe that you can have anything you want but you can't have everything you want. It's OK to indulge now and then. It's real life.
Edited by: WHEELS54 at: 3/26/2014 (17:34)
3/26/14 3:08 P
If you're someone who can have just a few bites of cake or tiramisu (or whatever you want for dessert), then you can always incorporate a small portion without derailing your day.
Fitness Minutes: (27,144)
1,082 3/26/14 3:00 P
It is entirely possible to have dessert once in a while. As someone else said, if you think about your eating in terms of calories for the week or month, instead of for the day, you can easily adjust for the occasional treat or indulgence.
1,200-1,500 calories a day is 8,400-10,500 for the week.
If you eat at the bottom of your range all week, you have almost 2,000 calories left to play around with. Even if you eat 1,300 a day, you're left with over 1000 to use on a special dinner or fancy dessert. I would try to avoid hitting the top of my calories range every week, but I think that periodic days of higher calorie eating are good for you, both from a mental health perspective (knowing that I could have dessert if I really wanted it makes it easier to not have dessert) and I think that for me at least, my body responds better to having low and high calorie days than it does to having the same amount of food every day.
I don't keep dessert in the house, but I do like to bake, so sometimes I make brownies, eat one and then take the rest to work. Or I save my sweet-eating for when I go out.
Fitness Minutes: (11,028)
104 3/26/14 12:19 P
I enjoy a small desert when I feel the need. Not often maybe once every one to two weeks. I try to bake these myself so I know what is going into them and give the rest to my husband to take to work to share. This way I am not tempted to eat more than I planned.
My opinion is it's all about calories. Of course you want to get the most nutrition for each calorie eaten. That said, just adjust your intake to include the dessert. When doing this it makes me ponder if it's really worth it. Sometimes it is.
Luckily, I'm not one afflicted with much of a sweet tooth.
*If* I eat dessert, it's usually something like gelatin, or a popsicle, sometimes a mini cheesecake. I like dark chocolate, but it's so intense (to me) that I can usually only manage one small piece. I like juicy fruits, frozen. Berries and grapes. A small palmful of those seem like "dessert" to me. I especially love them wrapped up in one of my coconut wraps, with whipped topping! yum! Once in a while I'll take one spoonful of a commercial fruit-only spread - but that's so sweet it makes my teeth hurt, and I'm "cured" for a while!
I feel for you about the sweets. I'm that way about breads. Good luck.
Honestly, in my opinion it really depends on just how often you want to eat a high-calorie dessert. If you want to have it once a month, then you'll need to trim 20 calories per day off of what you normally eat for a 600 calorie dessert. If you want it once a week, then you'll need to trim 87 calories per day off of what you normally eat.
You are pretty close to your goal, and I imagine that you are thinking about how you can continue this through the weight-loss and in to maintenance. I'm in maintenance now, and am like you in wanting to enjoy a high-calorie "something" once a week or so. A really well-made tiramisu is not something that I want to pass up! I eat in the bottom half of my maintenance range most days, which, during the course of a week, gives me an "extra" 900 - 1200 calories to "play" with. This has allowed me to enjoy an occasional dessert, or glass of wine, or rich restaurant meal, without a negative impact.
Even during weight-loss, I preferred to look at monthly trends instead of worrying about daily details. If you look at your calorie differential for the month, then you can determine just how many calories you would want to trim from each day (or extra exercise that you really will do) in order to enjoy the desserts and still get the results that you want.
while exercise does allow you some wiggle room, the inability to out exercise your diet is pretty accurate. and when people start to work out those extra 400 cals so they can have a slice of cake at dinner what tends to happen is that they fall short one day and call it good. then then fall a little shorter the next time so they're only exercising 300 cals of the 400 cal cake. then it goes down again. and then they find themselves faced with a cake they want and they haven't already exercised it off, which means they plan to do it tomorrow and never get around to actually doing it. or people tend to walk a mile more than usual, say 100 cals, and use that as an across the board excuse to eat more at every opportunity, say ending up eating an extra 500 cals. i think that one of the things that you should look at is including the best foods you can [nutrient value for the calories] on days you want to have a cakier treat. so things like berries and collards. and perhaps be a little more strict on the things that you like, but not as much as cake. so perhaps skip the coffee creamer and have your coffee black or have a flavored tea instead. don't finish your pasta dish with parmesan cheese. have a salsa and broccoli topped baked potato instead of a cheese and broccoli topped potato. perhaps skip the granola with your yogurt. ideally your replacements are things that you like just as much what they're replacing. the goal isn't to suffer so you can have cake later, but to skim a little bit off the top of other things to make room for it.
If you bake your own treats you can tweak any recipe to fit into your lifestyle. I'm more concerned about sugars than fat in my diet so when I make a recipe I'll cut the amount of sugars, (there's always way too much) and leave or increase the amount of fat, (I always use butter).
I have a new recipe for a chocolate cake made out of cooked quinoa for the "flour". It looked and smelled great (the local health food store was selling it), the recipe calls for 2 cups cooked quinoa and 1 cup sugar, I don't like that 2:1 ratio at all. I try and use a 4:1 ratio of flour:sugar in my baked goods. So I will be tweaking it. I usually only eat a baked dessert once or maybe twice a week.
My favourite easy dessert is a few squares of dark chocolate. 80% cocoa made with cocoa mass is so creamy, rich and deliciously satisfying. I eat some every day.
3/26/14 7:41 A
For a lot of people, the longer they go eating "healthy" or "eating clean" or whatever, means that eventually they crave those kinds of foods less and less. and they cut them out of thier diet completely.
Some don't. Some continue to make those treats a part of their life, in moderation.
And neither style is set in stone right - it's an individual choice.
So let me try to actually answer your question.
"How can I change my eating for that particular day in which I decide to eat cake? and how can I change my exercise routine?"
The best way is to figure out how many calories the treat is. Let's pretend it's ice cream for 400 cals, and your range is 1200-1500 per day.
Well, that day, due to the ice cream you are most likely going to be at 1500 cals, so you need to subtract calories from your snack, lunch or dinner to make it up.
As far as exercise, you can attempt to burn off 400 cals either that day or the next via cardio - or burn off an additional 400 cals via cardo (if you already exercise).
Just remember, you can't exercise a bad diet ;)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
3,691 3/26/14 6:24 A
When I was eliminating sugar (and all white foods), I think the thing that helped most was filling my free time with new activities and hobbies.
I very occasionally have some baking I have done and that is in the freezer. At the moment it is a Date Loaf (no sugar added other than a little bit of Golden Syrup) with pureed apple (skin and all), a heap of milk powder rather than fresh milk, and Oat Bran and Wheat Baker's Bran. There is very little oil because the apple helps with that. A slice is just over 100 calories and has good fibre and protein content, too. Warmed with a little yoghurt and it is nice. How about a coffee flavoured Date Loaf in place of Tiramisu?
It might be that each of your mains could be slightly less in calories, and have the dessert later in the evening when you might normally have a snack, to accommodate this.
Fitness Minutes: (30,696)
89 3/26/14 2:24 A
As we all know part of a healthy life style is to include the things that we like with moderation. Lately I've been doing pretty good with my diet, I've been going to the gym and in general Im learning how to improve. (thanks God!).
Still, sometimes I want to eat that delicious cake or tiramisu but I want to include it in a healthy way, I tried to use a healthy recipe but it doesn't help me to low down my cravings.
So, any ideas? How can I change my eating for that particular day in which I decide to eat cake? and how can I change my exercise routine?
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