The Sweet Tooth Diet

Sweet Tooth Diet

The key to a successful diet is to find a balance you can live with.

If you're really hungry and something sweet, like a bowl of caramel corn, comes your way, chances are you'll want to nosh. If you're on a typical eat-no-sweets diet, however, you'll probably want to pig out and get down to the bottom of the bowl as fast as your fingers can take you.

Denying yourself an occasional sweet can make life pretty tart; some folks say bitter. Most dieters find that it's all they can do to control their appetite and reduce their food intake, let alone resist every sweet sensation. Personally, if I had to choose between life without sweets and the electric chair, I'd leap into the hot seat and demand a banana split for my last meal.

Now that the word "diet" has been voted "The World's Worst Four-letter Word," anyone following a traditional diet must surrender to a culinary catch-22: While wagging a finger at those dirty dietary devils- fat, sugar, salt-and reciting the horrors of obesity and diabetes, they still want some of that cake. So what's wrong with that? Is wanting to have your cake and be lean, too, asking for too much? Unfortunately for traditional dieters, the answer is yes; for the average dieter on an average diet a minor slice of fudge cake can cause a major dietary disaster, especially if the result is binge eating.

The proof is in this discouraging pudding: 98 out 100 dieters fail to maintain any weight loss when meal plans make no provisions for the consumption of sweets. As soon as the dieter begins to shun sweets, a craving for them usually develops-even if the dieter has had no such previous desire.

Since cravings of any kind can make or break a diet, and considering that the typical dieter's commitment is often delicate, if a particular craving isn't confronted, subdued or satisfied, rebellion is often the result and-Whoops!-the next thing you know, that dieter falls off his or her slippery dietary wagon.

Understandably, diets that ignore such cravings are semi-automatically doomed. Sweet-restricted diets, for instance, regardless of whether the calories have been reduced, almost always incite strong feelings of deprivation. Dieters suspect that they're "missing out" every time a dessert tray rolls by. No more glorious and gooey taste treats for them. They may even feel punished for some horrible wrongdoing-like gluttony.

Woe is the diner who must go without dessert. (Tsk, tsk. If only we could eat self-pity, world hunger wouldn't exist.) Show me a traditional full-fat final course-say, a slab of fresh strawberry shortcake under a cloud of whipped cream- and I'll show you a salivating line of shortcake-lovers. But show me a diet dessert, an honest-to-greatness taste treat that contains no added fat, sugar or sodium, and I'll show you a sweet-and-lean loving line that whips twice around the block.

The solution to America's dietary problem is obvious. Dieters shouldn't wait for "the right dessert" to come along to satisfy their sweet tooth. If what you want is a fabulous sweet, something substantial but virtually fat-free, why bother with the bland and boring? Yes, Virginia, life can be sweeter when you're on a diet.

There's a new diet plan-the Sweet Tooth Diet (STD) - that will pull you out of the dietary doldrums and put you back on the wagon of weight loss. Yes, you can kill a few birds with just one savory stone - control the diet devils, satisfy both your appetite and your sweet cravings-if you throw the rock that reads: Sweet Tooth Diet.

Here's how it works: While following your STD Personal Meal Plan, let's say you're suddenly seized by the desire to eat something sweet. No matter if it's breakfast- lunch- or dinnertime, you'll select from hundreds of hearty fast-to-fix recipes that are "sweeter than honey" but contain no added sugar, fat or salt.

Although STD recipes provide a fraction of the calories of their traditional counterparts, they offer significantly more nourishment. For example, a classic cheesecake recipe calls for so many fatty ingredients, a four-ounce serving contains up to 500 calories yet hardly any nutrients. For only 100 calories more, however, dieters can eat a whole STD cheesecake-if they so dare-and obtain an optimum amount of nourishment as well. Besides offering a variety of sumptuous chowfests for the least number of calories, the STD provides the most nutrition.

Using this revolutionary, creative and confrontational approach to a seemingly unsolvable problem, the STD supports the same dietary principles doctors and nutritionists recommend. It's structured to provide a more than adequate amount of protein from reliable sources and enough complex carbohydrates to stabilize erratic energy levels, minimize further cravings for carbohydrates and subdue symptoms of "dieter's nerves."

All STD recipes provide fiber, including a secret "bulking agent" that makes the most of every meal while improving bowel regularity. Although a limited amount of both saturated and unsaturated fat is recommended each day to hasten fat metabolism, fat is never added to a recipe.

These and other fun food features make the STD a satisfying, exciting and delicious way to reach and main-lain your ideal body weight. Finally, a diet you can really sink your sweet tooth into! Keep your hungry eyes on this column in the future for specific STD recipes.

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