When you have a sweet tooth, one of the hardest things to try to give up when you’re working to lose weight is your favorite desserts. There’s something spectacular about finishing a meal with a truly scrumptious dessert, but the calories, sugars and fats they often contain can wreak havoc on a weight loss strategy.
That is, unless you learn how to lighten up your favorite delectable desserts. No matter how naughty your favorite sweet treat may be, there is a way to enjoy it in the same way but at a far lower calorie cost.
Consider the following options the next time you know you’ll want something rich and sweet after your meal:
• Lighten-up pineapple upside down cake – Make this buttery, caramel, glazed and fruity dessert without the guilt and slash each slice from around 700 calories with a classic recipe to around 250 and half the fat. Your first step is to use fresh pineapple rings instead of canned. Use half the butter and sugar recommended and caramelize it to bring out its natural sweetness instead. Use a whole grain multipurpose flour and a light sour cream to shred the caloric impact and keep the nutrients and fiber levels high. The flavor is out-of-this world. It’s truly one of those recipes that proves that you don’t need as much fat and sugar to create the taste you want as long as you use the right alternatives and techniques.
• Strawberry shortcake shortcuts – The traditional recipe will hit you with about 715 calories each. This alternative is just as decadent at only about 225 calories. For your topping, whip 2% Greek yogurt into cold whipping cream. A dribble of honey or a light sprinkling of sugar gives it the perfect sweetness. Use whole grain flour to make the biscuits. Once you try it, you’ll be glad you did because the earthier and nuttier flavor of whole grain flour is a better complement to the brown sugar you’ll also be using. Finally, reduce the amount of butter in the batter by up to two thirds. Believe it or not, you don’t need it. It won’t alter the flavor or texture.
• Tiramisu just for you – Chocolate and espresso come together in perfect harmony in this Italian favorite that typically brings you about 575 calories per serving but that you can enjoy for closer to 225 calories. Much of the secret is to replace about 2/3 of the mascarpone – a cheese that has about the same fat content as butter – with reduced-fat cream cheese. Lighten up the custard by folding in whipped, fluffy egg whites instead of heavy whipped cream.