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Have Your Own Sweets

Por Carola Sixto -

After an exhausting day, and having strictly followed your diet to the letter--who wouldn't have the urge to eat something sweet before going to bed? At the witching hour, a dieter's willpower starts to decline. 

You don't even need to have your feet on the ground to experience an uncontrollable need to eat something sweet. When in 1996, the astronaut Shannon Lucid traveled in space for 140 days to the Russian Space Station, she brought with her sugar-free Jell-O in small packets to share with her Russian colleagues. And just like her, 640,000 people buy a box of Jell-O each day to enjoy when they're struck by the urge to eat something delicious and to consume less than 10 calories. 

Out of Sight

For some experts, it's easy to explain: "Out of sight, out of mind. Many people are disciplined during their workday, while they're busy. The danger starts between 7 and 10 p.m. People start to snack and stretch the limits of their diet until eventually they're overcome by a strong sense of guilt," explain Dr. Uche y Dr. Kary Odiatu. In any event, the solution is not to try to eliminate all temptation from the house, because if we don't find something in the refrigerator, we'll probably just go out and buy it! The answer lies in having something in the house that can satisfy our craving--as long as that "something" is low in calories!

One alternatine is to always keep a bowl of fruit within reach. Fruit contains a reasonable amount of sugar, and provides us with enzymes, fiber, minerals and water. Occasionally, you can treat yourself to a bar of chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa. Dark chocolate eaten in moderation is a souce of antioxidants. 

Choose the Treat You Like Best

Although the term "sweets" is associated with an "excess of calories," there are many options to replace especially fattening ones. The important thing is that you anticipate your craving and always have a low-calorie "Plan B" for when you get that urge. But keep in mind: if you're one of those people on a diet who shouldn't have anything sweet in the house, perhaps you shouldn't buy too much. Even though your treat might be reasonable in small quantities, eating your entire month's supply in one day will surely make you gain weight! 

5 Sweets that Won't Make You Gain Weight

  • Hershey´s Chocolate:  They're not diet foods, but miniature candy bars like Krackel, Mr. Goodbar, Hershey's Milk and Special Dark have just 46 calories (and 5 grams of sugar). You might also try the special dark chocolate bars by Hershey: each package contains 7 individual bars at 100 calories each.
  • Cocovia chocolate bars(80 to 150 calories per serving):  The Mars corporation recently launched this line of "healthy" snacks, made especially for those with heart problems. They reduce bad cholesterol and help stimulate circulation by way of one of the ingredients--flavanol. They come with almonds, soy crispies or blueberries.
  • Diet gelatin(10 calories):  You can prepare it yourself or buy it ready-to-eat.
  • Diet pudding(60 to 90 calories):  Some contain sugar, but they're not recommended if you're a diabetic. But keep in mind there are also sugar-free varieties, like some of those offered by Jell-O, which can be prepared in 5 minutes. If you add nonfat milk, each serving contains between 60 and 80 calories.
  • Sugar-free chewing gum(5 to 10 calories):  According to a new study by Extra® gum on the snacking habits of Americans, many people in the United States feel the need to snack at 3 p.m. This study shows that  chewing gum without sugar helps combat this urge. In another study, the Mayo Clinic discovered that chewing gum can burn up to 11 calories an hour, given that it is a thermogenetic process (generates heat through physiological processes), as it helps you maintain or lose weight.


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