Managing your sweet tooth

Managing your sweet tooth
Managing your sweet tooth

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Are you ready to sell your soul for a chocolate éclair or a fistful of sweets? Then your vice is sugar, while a little is no problem, overdoing it is no good for you or your family. Here’s a quick guide to learning how to indulge your sweet tooth with minimum impact on your figure, weight and teeth!

When you have a sweet tooth, you just can’t bear missing out on all that sweetness and pleasure: and such sweetness even improves your mood and helps you keep emotional buoyancy!

As we have probably all experienced, if you try to avoid sugary food completely – going cold turkey – you inevitably “crack” and dive for the nearest sugary snack jumps in the way of all your good intentions. There can be no doubt that it is better to successfully tame and gradually reduce your addiction – moderation is the key…

  • You need a sweet finale to every meal…  

You love a bit of cake, a luscious custard or a sticky pudding after dinner. Every now and then this isn’t a problem, but not every day and certainly not at both lunch and dinner. Consider having a ‘light’ yoghurt, a big piece of fruit, or a couple of squares of dark chocolate instead. In addition to a sweet treat, you’ll also be getting vitamins and minerals – and much less calories.

  • If chocolate is your guilty pleasure…

Go for quality, rather than quantity, and choose the darkest, richest chocolate, which saturates the taste buds quicker and stops you going back for more. Get into the habit of nibbling a square of chocolate at a precise point in the day; for example with a quick coffee after lunch. Once you’ve had a nibble, put the bar of chocolate back in the cupboard!

  • You’re the queen of baking, and everyone drools over your delicious deserts…

Make a delicious cake, pudding or cheesecake from time to time by all means, but why not serve some lighter deserts as well: fruit salad, baked fruit, compote, cooked fruit or whipped cottage cheese with fruit on the side are a few bright ideas to get you going and keep your family and friends in good health.

  • A biscuit here, a biscuit there… after all they’re nutritious, right?

It is true that many types of biscuits are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibres, and have bit less sugar than other snacks, which often have fructose added… but they still have a lot of calories! If you get a bit peckish during the day, prepare a snack for yourself with one or two biscuits at the absolute maximum, a drink and a piece of fruit. This means you won’t get the munchies so much and ensures some real vitamins and minerals.

  • You need at least two or three sugars in your tea or coffee…

If you go for tea and coffee a lot during the day and you’re a sweet tooth too, you’ll end up having a lot of sugar as well… and a considerable number of calories to boot (20kcal for a small 5g serving). To reduce your consumption, there are two solutions: stick with an unadulterated black espresso (coffee lovers say that this is the only way to truly appreciate good coffee), black tea with a swirl of lemon, or adopt a mantra “one sugar plus one sweetener”, a tried and tested approach that’s well worth a shot!

  • You’ve stopped smoking, but you need a substitute to cope…

Of course, in this situation the quick fix is usually sweets! You could calm this sugary habit if you suck really strong mint sweets. Cashews are also a good substitute for sugary things. In fact, nothing is stopping you from sucking something else sweet rather than lollies… a stoned-fruit; a cherry in season or a prune anytime in the year, can be a good replacement for both cigarettes and sweets!

  • Plain water? What for, fizzy drinks are so much nicer…

No matter how much you love fizzy drinks, water is really refreshing (still or sparkling) and remains the most thirst-quenching drink you can get. Add a slice of lemon or a couple of drops of mint or aniseed flavouring (without sugar!) if you like and you will be convinced! If you really can’t live without Coca Cola then why not try and replace it with Diet Coke at least every now and again?

Anne Laurent

More information:
Sugar and calorie-free sweeteners
Spotting hidden calories in your restaurant meal…
Nutrition discussions