Desserts seem like a forbidden fruit when it comes to weight loss. But knowing you shouldn’t have something can only make the cravings grow stronger. In the long run, constantly denying yourself can be highly stressful and make your diet a torturous endeavor. The good thing is, not all desserts are so bad. You just have to know what things to avoid and how to make smart substitutions. The following are four dessert no-nos, along with appropriate substitute dishes.
1. Creamy Desserts
Desserts like crème brulee, napoleons and tiramisu are extremely creamy and can feel heavenly on your tongue. But they are also the archenemies of health and fitness. These desserts contain enormous amount of saturated fat, cholesterol and sugar. They are also heavily loaded with calories. An average cup-size serving of creamy desserts contains at least 600 calories with 50 to 80 grams of fat and more than 500 milligrams of cholesterol. When you have a craving for something creamy, go for a sugar-free chocolate or vanilla pudding. An average serving of sugar free pudding is only about 60 to 70 calories with 1 or 2 grams of fat. Chocolate puddings work especially well because they give you an extra dose of fiber and magnesium, which helps lower blood pressure and stress levesl.
2. Full Fat Ice Creams
You don’t have to give up entirely on ice cream. Just don’t have the whole fat version. An average cup of whole fat ice cream has about 140 calories and 9 grams of fat. Trade this for a reduced fat ice cream and you can cut more than 50 calories and 6 grams of fat. Nonfat ice creams with no added sugar are even better. Brands like Edy’s make slow churned or double churned light ice creams that give you the same satisfying taste without nearly as many calories. You can usually save about 100 calories per cup-size serving. One final tip on ice creams: soft serve ice creams or frozen yogurts usually have fewer calories and fat than hard serves.
3. Crusted Pies or Fried Desserts
Things like cherry pie, tempura ice cream and cheesecake are on average more than 500 calories and can contain as much as 80 grams of fat per serving. These desserts are also highly sugared. The making of crusts or batters relies on the heavy use of shortening which can clog your blood vessels and cause heart attacks. Eliminate the crust and forego the frying process, and you can save from 100 to 300 calories every time. Of course, you can do even better with special diet-friendly brands like Weight Watchers or make your own desserts with sugar substitutes.
4. Puff Pastries
The light, flaky and unleavened puff pastries come from dough that is spread with butter, shortening or lard and repeatedly folded and rolled out. Things like apple turnovers, croissants and elephant ears are laden with calories and are detrimental to weight loss. Top a thin slice of whole grain toast or a whole wheat cracker with a dollop of nonfat yogurt, pudding or mashed banana to get the same crunchy and creamy taste without the excess oil and sugar.