Hot fudge sundaes, chocolate brownies, strawberry cheesecake…. Are you hungry yet? The list of delicious desserts is never-ending, and because I love dessert as much as the next person, and enjoy my fair share on a regular basis, I’m always trying to come up with ways to balance my love for chocolate, with me physique related goals. Today’s article is about a strategy I use called, “The Delayed Dessert” to help me balance the two.
“The Delayed Dessert” is exactly what it sounds like, delaying your dessert. Real complicated stuff, right? Not so much, however there’s more to this strategy than meets the eye. Let me explain how it works, and the benefits you get from it…
What you do, is first, finish your main meal.
(Getting more complicated by the sentence, right?)
After this, instead of just blurring your dessert right behind your main meal, slamming down a large chocolate milk shake as soon as you finish dinner, relax. Don’t order anything else, or get up and walk over to the cabinet grabbing the package of Oreos, following your usual, almost unconscious, routine.
Instead, just sit there and relax. Better yet, try to get lost in an activity or conversation. Start cleaning up the kitchen, check your emails, scroll through your Facebook newsfeed, whatever. It doesn’t have to be anything super complicated, just something that distracts you and causes you to get “lost” for a bit.
After about 15-20 minutes, you’ll probably zone back in, remembering that you’re still at the dinner table. However now, you have given your food time to settle, without day-dreaming and focusing on the dessert to follow. What you’ll find, is that most likely (as long as you have had enough to fill you up during your main meal), you won’t be craving dessert nearly as bad as you were beforehand. Now that the food has settled, you’re relaxed, and can remember your health and fitness goals, as they slowly return to the forefront of your mind, taking the place of the previous visions and fantasies about chocolate, ice cream and cookies, you can make a more informed decision about whether or not you really want to have that dessert.
The benefits to this strategy are two-fold: not only may you end up passing on dessert entirely (or at least have a smaller portion than you otherwise would have), but even if you do decide to have dessert, your taste buds will have had time to resensitize themselves, making the flavor of the dessert much bolder and more satisfying, instead of getting lost and diluted behind the flavors of the main entrée.
This is a difficult thing to do. The first 10 times you do it, you may not be able to get your full focus off of dessert once you’ve finished your meal, making it hard for you to think about anything else, especially enough to get distracted. You may find it hard to wait the full 15-20 minutes to have your dessert. You may, and will, probably still eat dessert the first 10 times you try this, however stick with it, and overtime, you will get more used to this, and find it easier to distract yourself after the meal, and more likely to pass on dessert.
The real trick for this to work, is getting distracted, getting your mind completely off of dessert. If you can’t stop thinking about dessert, and clear it from your mind entirely, the chances of this strategy working in terms of getting you to pass on it are significantly less.
Practice, and stay patient. Do this every night and eventually it will come. And remember, even those times where you do decide to still have the dessert, it will taste much better, and you shouldn’t need as much of it to satisfy your cravings.
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