Thursday, June 11, 2009

Healthy tip

Eat Sweets, Lose Weight!
By eDiets Staff

Don't let your sweet cravings sour your weight-loss efforts. Not everyone has one, but for those of us who do, our sweet tooth is nearly unstoppable in its quest for satisfaction.

Whether you're home or passing the company snack machines, that voice inside your head is calling... "Come here, sweetie."

The most logical action to take is to clear your house of everything you don't want to eat. Let's rephrase that... clear it of MOST of what you know you should cut back on. Notice we say "cut back" and not rid yourself of your sweet little treats. Some sinful indulgence is not only not bad, it's downright necessary for you to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

Besides, a little chocolate is good for your heart. Not just metaphorically... literally! "Cocoa contains flavonoids, antioxidants that are heart healthy," says nutritionist Susan Burke March.

But stick to powdered chocolate if you need a fix on a regular basis. Chocolate candy also contains saturated fat and sugar... so stick to a hot cocoa on a cold winter's night. If you're watching your weight, how about a fat-free hot chocolate... preferably one with calcium added for extra bone protection.

Moderation is the key. You've heard it a million times. Remember, there's nothing wrong with a little bit. It's the whole box of chocolates that poses a problem.

Keep only a single serving of a high-calorie sweet that you might crave around the house.

"Another sweet treat that's easy on your figure is fresh-frozen fruit," says March. "I love to freeze seedless grapes for a sweet, cool snack. Frozen fruit smoothies are sweet and taste too good to be so low in calories," she says.

Here's a quick little recipe you can enjoy: For a really smooth smoothie, blend 1/2 cup plain, nonfat yogurt with 1 cup of strawberries, 1 cup of low fat milk, crushed ice and add sweetener to taste. A teaspoon of sugar has only 16 calories, or you can sweeten with a non-nutritive sweetener of your choice.

Even though less sugary but sweet alternatives are best, there's no reason not to have a wee indulgence once in a while. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a bite-size piece of chocolate. And don't just inhale it! Keep it cold and let it sit in your mouth. That way, it will last much longer.

Sugar-free powders and artificial sweeteners are a big help, too. Stir cheesecake mix or pudding mix into plain yogurt to make a delicious dessert. Fruity powders added to nonfat cream cheese can make a sweet but low-calorie spread.

Find creative ways to satisfy your sweet tooth -- sprinkle candied ginger over mandarin oranges, put a dollop of low fat whipped cream on top of yogurt with strawberries. Even dunk a few strawberries into a little bit of chocolate.

Include something sweet in most of your meals. Peanut butter on toast and fruit as a snack will reduce your cravings. If you have an unplanned slip -- and what slip IS planned anyway -- don't just shrug and say you'll get back on track tomorrow.

There's no time like the present. Be proactive and positive at a time when you feel like a failure. Get right back on track, that very moment. Make your next meal or snack a positive one.

The key? Always have healthy low-calorie sweets on hand, such as grapes, melon or frozen fruit bars. Consider this analogy... it's like having a fire extinguisher at your side, ready to extinguish those burning desires aching from your sweet tooth.