Today you all get a special treat – a guest post from future Registered Dietitian and friend of mine, Michelle Felts who is going to provide us with some tips on how to satisfy our sweet tooth without gaining weight! With that, I turn it over to her!
Hey everyone, as Tanya said my name is Michelle Felts and I am currently a junior at the University of Wyoming studying Dietetics. I live on a ranch about 30 miles outside of Cody, Wyoming and have one sister. I have always loved learning about healthy eating and ways to keep my body healthy which is why this profession is the perfect one for me! I am enjoying learning so much about dietetics and meeting such great people along the way, just like Tanya, who have helped me so much! I love the outdoors, running, spending time with my family, and riding our horses.
We have all heard it time and time again; do not touch the sweets, candies, ice-cream, etc. In today’s society there are many diets where these kinds of foods are eliminated, no questions asked. Yet, it is hard to sustain this level of deprivation and some suggest that it may unhealthy to be so stringent with what foods we choose to eliminate. However, there is also the other line of thinking that sounds more like “we only live once, so why not live a little and consume foods we find more appealing?” Unfortunately, a lot of times that line of thinking can result in overindulging and overconsumption of calorically-dense “sweets and treats”. Basically, we need to find a happy medium where we can enjoy these foods without placing unnecessary guilt on ourselves or going overboard with our intake. Luckily, there are many desserts out there that can help to keep us both happy and healthy!
Thus, I want to share with you all, three tips for balancing the line between allowing ourselves some of these foods without allowing it to wreck havoc on our eating habits.
1. Single Serving Treats – Do you struggle to limit yourself to a single serving of your favorite dessert? Let’s be honest, a single serving of ice cream is typically defined as a half a cup, and that amount can look pretty tiny in our typical bowls. It can also be hard to refrain from going back for seconds or thirds when we have a large tub of ice cream, an entire batch of cookies, a whole pie, or whatever else it may be sitting in the kitchen tempting us. Therefore, the first tip is to purchase single serving treats, such as individually packaged ice cream cones, a single slice of cake from the bakery, etc. For example, the Skinny Cow line of ice cream products includes pre-portioned bars, cones, sandwiches, and even individually portioned “mini pints”, most containing less than 150 calories. It seems that consuming desserts that have a more structured and visible serving size makes it easier to control intake compared to being responsible for scooping out only a single serving of ice cream from a large container!
2. Lower Calorie Sweets– Sometimes it seems more appealing to have a larger portion of a dessert than is recommended. In these instances, I recommend lower calorie foods so that we can fill up and satisfy our cravings without putting us in the “caloric dog house” so to speak. 🙂 For example, instead of a huge triple fudge brownie try a generous serving of angel food cake. In this type of cake egg whites are used which is a healthier alternative instead of using the whole egg as in most other types of cakes. Also, no butter is added to angel food cake recipes and in order to allow the cake to rise properly, the sides of the pan it is baked in are not even greased! Therefore, angel food cake has a lighter texture, is lower in calories, and contains little to no fat when compared to traditional cakes. I recommend topping angel food cake with fresh berries and dark chocolate chips. If you love whip cream on the cake, whip up some cream made from skim milk. This might be the tastiest low-calorie desert I have ever had!
3. Incorporate Fruit – We are not all cake, chocolate, or ice cream fans. Some of us want the ultimate in sweetness to satisfy our cravings. For those of you who fit this category I think the way to go is by using fruit as your dessert. Fix yourself a bowl of fresh fruit such as berries, pears, kiwis, apples, bananas, etc and then drizzle agave nectar over them for an even sweeter taste!
All in all, I encourage everyone to try to eat with moderation in mind. Load up on fruits and vegetables, choose lean protein and whole grains…but of course live a little on the sweet side! We all have different tastes and therefore different cravings when it comes to what desserts tend to “do us in”. Therefore apply these tips in ways that fit your tastes and habits!
What foods does your sweet tooth crave? How do you balance satisfying your cravings without consuming too much of these types of foods?
Tanya here – Huge thanks to Michelle for providing us with these great tips. I know that I personally struggle with limiting my serving sizes, so I think tip #1 especially would be a good one for me to incorporate. Usually I just don’t even purchase desserts because I struggle to eat them in moderation, so hopefully using single serving portions will allow me to keep these items in the house without fear that I will eat the whole box, container, batch, etc in one night!!
Note: Michelle can be contacted for questions/comments/etc at: firstname.lastname@example.org And of course she can reply to any comments you leave on this post as well! 🙂