Desserts are a delicious and fun part of life that most of us enjoy.That is until you start working toward a fat loss goal. Then, dessert becomes the enemy that pops up at birthday parties and get-togethers in the form of cakes, cookies, cupcakes and candy; tempting you to give in.Do you give up desserts forever?Taking a zero-dessert stance can be risky because it increases your chances that the large slice of cake that ends up taking you down will be followed by some ice cream, a handful of cookies and topped off with some chocolates for good measure.I don’t want your fitness results to be forfeited over a slice of cake, so I’ve come up with the following 7 Steps to Guilt-Free Desserts. Use these steps as your guide to safely navigate sweet temptations and arrive at your fitness goal.
- Fruit is best. Fresh, organic, seasonal fruit is the ultimate guilt-free dessert. It’s filled with fiber, vitamins, minerals and delicious, natural sweetness. Don’t be afraid to include some fruit in your diet. Learn to savor and enjoy fruit just as you would a decadent slice of cake. Fruit should be your No. 1 go-to favorite dessert.
- Wholesome sweeteners When fat loss is your goal, cane sugar and corn syrup have no place in your diet, not even when you indulge in dessert. Lucky for you, there are plenty of more wholesome sweeteners available, which will have less of an impact on your blood sugar. Try raw honey, pure maple syrup, coconut crystals or Stevia.
- Whole food flours So, you have your wholesome sweetener and now you’re reaching for some white flour to bake a cake? Try these whole food flours instead: almond flour, coconut flour, flax meal or oat flour.
- Dark chocolate If chocolate is your dessert-of-choice, then learn to love the dark stuff: 73 percent cocoa content is a good place to start. As your sweet receptors become more sensitive, you’ll start to like even darker chocolate. Dark chocolate is lower in sugar and higher in cocoa, which is where the actual benefit of chocolate lies: antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
- Portion size matters Yes, this applies even to fruit. When you’re working toward a fat loss goal, you do need to control the amount of sugars that enter your body, even when that sugar is wholesome and from a piece of fruit. Keep your desserts to no more than a few bites. Learn to savor and enjoy.
- Moderation If fat loss is your goal, then dessert should not be an everyday occurrence. Lean meats and an abundance of fresh vegetables should make up the bulk of your diet. Wholesome, portion-controlled desserts are OK to include occasionally, but not regularly. When you’ve met your fitness goal and are maintaining your results, then you’ll be able to include wholesome desserts more often.
- Hard workouts I would never propose to use food as a reward for exercise, but I will say that working out should be a requirement before including wholesome desserts in your diet. If you’re not working out, then even wholesome desserts in moderation could lead to pounds gained. Exercise is a huge part of the puzzle when it comes to losing fat and getting lean.