General Diet Plans and Questions - Tips on avioiding the dessert counter?

09-15-2013, 01:46 PM
Might be kind of a silly question, but I felt like putting it out there. I'm a college student, and as anyone who has been on a college dining plan will know, dessert is a very unnoticeable part of the meals (where else would the Freshmen 15 hail from). Anyway, I still can't bring myself to avoid it even though its bad for me. I've done the math, and eating 1 dessert a day usually keeps me within my 1500 calorie limit. But it still can't be good for me so I'd like to limit it to a few times a week if possible. It just gets pretty hard because ALL my friends take something, and unless I grab something, I'll get crap for "not taking the best part of the meal". Again, sounds easy enough, but it really is easier said than done. Suggestions?

09-15-2013, 02:25 PM
If you're still within your calorie limit, why deny it? I always save up a few extra calories a day for a treat, whether its an ice cream bar, a cookie, a cupcake, etc. I LOVE dessert, and for me to say "no, you can't have this because you shouldn't eat it", even though it wouldn't put me over my calorie budget, just makes me grumpy. I'd start resenting it until one day I wouldn't be able to say no and just go to town and eat whatever.

If you really don't want to take the dessert, do they offer coffee? Many people will get coffee after dinner instead of dessert, and maybe you can zing it up a little with flavored creamer and a dollop of whipped cream or something. It'll still have some calories (I use flavored creamers and 2 tablespoons is generally around 70 calories), but not as many as the dessert would have.

09-15-2013, 02:41 PM
For me, sweets can set off binging and can make my diet harder to stick with in the long run, so I avoid them most days. Other people do fine with desserts.

It sounds like you are budgeting for it, so if it's social thing you enjoy then go for it. If you feel like you need to eat something to fit in, see if you can get a piece of fruit or a handful of berries. If not, get in touch with your college ask for some healthier options.

And if you consistently don't take dessert, your friends will quit bugging you about it. Especially when they see how great you look in another month, they will be too busy trying to learn your secrets!

09-15-2013, 04:35 PM
KillerBee, I am 62 years old, but your post whisked me back in time 44 years to my freshman year in college! I went on my very first diet that January and lost about 20 lbs. I was a strict calorie-counter and limited myself to 1000 calories a day (wouldn't recommend that).

"Back in the day" there were no computers - except the ones that used punch cards! - and certainly no internet, phone apps, etc. And nothing was labeled either. I depended on a paperback book for my calorie calculations, but I was able to do it. I ate most of my meals in the commons, so eventually I pretty much had the various items memorized. And of course they were estimates.

As far as dessert went, I generally ate it. Most of the time I'd get an ice-cream bar and break it in half. There was always someone at my table more than willing to eat the other half. They marveled at my control. I documented every single morsel of food that went in my mouth and reached my goal weight in about 4 months.

Unless sugar sends you off on a binge (I never had that problem) I'd say eat the dessert. If you start denying yourself anything that item becomes larger than life and you'll start craving it & eventually if you give in then you'll eat a lot more of it than you would if you'd just let yourself have some to begin with.

I no longer diet but I have to say that when I did calorie-count I found it the easiest way to control my eating. I never had to deny myself any particular food. Any diet that says I can't have this or that food is anathema to me.

09-15-2013, 05:08 PM
As long as you can limit yourself to a reasonable portion and fit it into your calories I say go for it. I face this same question this semester since I am eating dinner on campus many nights and I allow myself 1 cookie as I am walking out the door so I can't give into seconds (and thirds and fourths etc lol)