Sweets and Weight Loss - Friends or Enemies?

Saturday, 29 January 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sweets are generally considered an enemy when a person wants to lose some weight or wants to maintain the current weight. It is indeed true that most sweet food is high in saturated fat as they usually include butter, whole milk, and heavy cream.

There are healthier exceptions to this rule but in general people have associated sweets with fat. However, this should not stop you from satisfying your sweet tooth. Studies show that unsatisfied cravings can cause depression causing the person to eat more thus gain more weight.

Sweets in Moderation

Eating sweets in moderation is the key to the success of one’s weight loss plan or in maintaining one’s weight. A small piece of that chocolate cake or a bite- size of chocolate bar will not affect your weight if you’ll just have it once in a while. The weight problem occurs when you eat a large piece of cake or a whole bar of chocolate every day.

Burning the Sweet Calories

The bad news is, sweets are generally high in calories; but the good news is, we can burn the calories out of our body. Physiologically, calories from the sweets we eat provides us with energy however, living a sedentary lifestyle do not require much energy so calories are stored in the body as fat deposits. This means that if you want to continue eating sweets, you must take note of the amount of calories you take in and burn it off by doing activities that require energy like cardio exercises, sports, or even dancing. Remember: in every 3500 calories more than the body needs add up a pound on your weight; burning 3500 calories more than you eat allows you to lose a pound.

Sweet Alternatives

More and more people are getting health conscious so fat-free and low-calorie food alternatives are available in the market. These sweet alternatives are great ways in satisfying a person’s sweet tooth without the guilty feel.

=Instead of eating an ice cream cone that contains 417 calories per serving, try a low- calorie frozen yogurt which contains 105 calories per serving. To make it more delicious and healthy, you may try a frozen yogurt parfait – frozen yogurt drizzled with honey and topped with your favorite fruits (recommended: banana, strawberries, and peaches). Low calorie yogurt parfait total calorie: 170 calories.

=Instead of eating a 4oz chocolate cake with cream that contains 420 calories, have the same quantity of angel food cake with almost half the calories less of 240. Other low calorie pastry alternatives include gingerbread with 220 calories per serving, Applesauce cake with 230 calories per serving, and weight watcher’s carrot cake with only 170 calories per serving.

=Though having brownies (regular brownies: 405 calories) are quite impossible when you are watching your weight, with little substitutions, you can have a lower-calorie brownie. Try a Bittersweet chocolate brownie (250 calories) that uses bitter-sweet chocolate that contains 70% cacao instead of a semi-sweet chocolate and decreased amount of butter.

=Substitute White chocolate (280 calories/50g.) or Milk chocolate (265 calories/50g.) with dark chocolates (255 calories/50g.) because it does not only contain lesser calories but it is also rich in antioxidants.

So, are sweets really enemies when you aim to lose weight? The answer is yes and no. Sweets become enemies when it is eaten uncontrollably but with proper management, sweets can be a weight loss friend.