Beware Mini Desserts and “Just a Taste”
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It was my birthday last week and some friends took me out to dinner to celebrate. When it was time for dessert, they cajoled me into celebrating my birthday with a treat. Normally I don’t cave when people push me to eat, but the menu featured a mini key lime parfait and I thought: “What harm can a tiny dessert do?”
The serving was slightly larger than one of those popular mini shot glass desserts; perhaps about a half cup of key lime pudding on a graham cracker crust with a miniscule amount of whipped cream. It was delicious and a nice treat to celebrate a birthday.
Since the restaurant was a national chain, they had nutritional information on their website. When I got home, I checked my tiny dessert and it was … groan … 545 calories! That little half-cup of pudding was more calories then the entire meal I had eaten.
There are three lessons here:
- Don’t assume that just because something is advertised as “small” or “mini” that it will be low calorie.
- If you are committed to your diet, don’t let well-meaning friends push you into eating something you shouldn’t.
- You need to inwardly decide if a diet lapse was worth it.
Here’s how I see it:
- A core part of successful dieting is knowledge (doing your homework and learning about food). A menu or food purchase may be listed as “light,” “low cal,” or “diet friendly,” however, it may not be. And “small” and “mini” are relative terms. Do your homework!
- My diet faux pas was 100% my responsibility. I do not blame my friends. If we blow our diets we can only blame ourselves, no one else.
- For me, that lime dessert was tasty and enjoyable (at the time). However, for 545 calories, I could name a dozen other foods that I would rather have blown my diet on. It’s okay to go off your diet for your birthday (or other special event). But if you are a committed dieter, chose your diet treat very, very carefully. For me, a bowl of gelato, eaten slowly and relished would have been far nicer than a 545 calorie pudding that was eaten in three bites.
As far as the “Just a Taste” approach, all dieters have faced it. It’s time for dessert and well meaning a friend suggest you share a dessert: “just a bite.” If you can stop at one bite, good for you! I have never been satisfied with one dessert and two spoons. Once I have a taste, I become obsessed with having more bites; inwardly wondering what my friend will think when I have six bites to her three. And – like that lime pudding – you cannot assume that half of a dessert is necessarily low calorie.
Whether ordering small portion or having a bite, it’s all about your commitment to your diet and the long-range impact of blowing the diet. Is it worth it to you to destroy a diet meal with a 545 calorie dessert?
It is definitely not worth it to me.