Sweets, Treats, or Desserts

Sweets, treats, or desserts differ for each of us. For many of us its salty foods, for others its sugary foods, and for some it is both. Deprivation makes us want treats more. Is there a way to incorporate treats into our lives without going hog wild?



Here are my thoughts on sweets, treats, or desserts, and a few healthy diet habits to incorporate into your life:

  • We are all different, so not every strategy will work for each one of us.

  • In your meal plan, if you enjoy sweets or treats, you could plan a 100 to 200 calorie treat after a meal every day, if that makes you happy. You would not be able to plan many more calories than that though, especially if they were empty calories. Limit sugar to 10% of your daily calories!

  • You could plan a 200 calorie treat for the days that you exercise. No more than that though, because many people overeat on the days that they exercise and actually gain weight.

  • You could make a plan to not eat sweets daily, but plan one or two treat days per week. Be very picky and choose treats that you love. Always turn down treats that you do not love. Why eat second best, when you could eat something that you love!

  • Always avoid your trigger foods as your treat of choice. A small serving of a non-trigger food should not derail you, but a small serving of your trigger food might. Know your trigger foods and have a plan to avoid them.

  • Buy your treats in pre-done serving sizes, so you won’t be able to cheat. See the 100 calorie list or sweet substitutions. Remember portion control is where most of us fail. We do not know correct portion sizes.

  • Find lower calorie substitutions, or recipes for your love treats or desserts. If you love apple pie, look for an apple pie type substitution or food swap. Trader Joe’s used to have a really low calorie apple tart in the freezer section that was wonderful. There are many great substitutions. Keep yourself market savvy for your love foods.

  • Don’t buy the big bag of your favorite snack because it is much cheaper. I know the thrifty cheapskate in you wants to buy this, but don’t buy it. It is a subconscious plan to buy more and eat more. Pay more and buy the smaller bag. Being overweight costs a lot more than the smaller bag.

  • Don’t be fooled by advertisers who offer fat-free items. Look at licorice or jelly beans, both fat-free, but very caloric. We often over eat fat-free foods, thinking that they are healthier. They are not healthier!

  • Try to cut the tie between special occasions and food. You can actually go to a movie and enjoy the movie without treats!

  • In other cultures, a large fruit bowl is served after dinner. This is a very satisfying end to a meal. A healthy, sweet, natural treat!

  • Share a dessert with a friend, skip the bread bowl, and eat a lower calorie meal, like a veggie/bean soup. Plan your meal around your treat.


There are many Lifestyle Solutions that will allow you to keep the foods that you love in your diet. You must have a plan, and keep your portions under control for success. Life is about finding ways to include many of your favorite sweets, treats and desserts into your life, and eat for health also.

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