Birthday cake is one of life’s guiltiest pleasures. The sweet treat wouldn’t be so bad if we only consumed it on our own birthday–a generous portion with some ice cream on top is well deserved on a celebratory occasion. The problem is that birthday cake doesn’t appear only once a year. There are the kid’s birthday parties, the office celebrations and the birthdays of friends, family and loved ones. Birthday cake pops into your diet more than it should!
If you’re mindful about living a healthy lifestyle overall, you can still enjoy birthday cake. It’s a matter of keeping everything in balance.
Plan for Your Cake
It’s smart to get in the habit of planning around any sort of heavy or caloric food you intend on eating, especially in the case of birthday cake. You know when birthday parties are coming up because you’ve likely rsvp’ed to an event or have it written in your calendar. If you think cake is going to be present, start thinking of ways you can cut back and be healthy during the week leading up to it, if indulging in a moderate sized piece of cake is important to you.
Skipping dessert leading up to the celebration is smart. Save your calories for something that’s really worth it. You can also load up on healthy foods like vegetables, fruits and nuts the few days before the party. Think of calories as money in a bank. After they’re spent, they’re spent. Be frugal leading up to the cake so you can enjoy your treat guilt-free.
Always Have Healthy Snacks On Hand
If you work in an office, you probably have all kinds of unhealthy goodies constantly at your disposal. Sitting at a desk all day and enjoying pastries and cake every other week–or every couple of days–is not healthy. Keep healthy snacks with you at all times. A container of almonds, an apple or even a small bag of plain popcorn are all great things to have on hand to fight off your cake cravings. Eat one of these snacks before you go anywhere near the cake. You’ll be less likely to indulge in a huge piece if you eat something filling first.
Calories in, calories out. If you indulge in a piece of birthday cake, plan to do some sort of exercise later that day to burn it off. A two mile walk, when done in 30 minutes, burns about 170 calories–approximately half of the calories in a piece of cake. A good 45 minute workout on the treadmill or elliptical trainer could burn off all of the calories.
Eat Cake Wisely
You can have your cake and eat it too, but you’ll be healthier if you take a small center piece with minimal icing and forgo the ice cream. Give in and have the corner piece every now and again, but enjoy smaller center slices most of the time.
Cake is not a healthy food option by any means, but you can enjoy it in moderation as long as you stay active and watch what you eat most of the time.