Are sugary desserts and drinks OK when losing weight?

Do you have a sweet tooth? Eating something sweet can be important for well being and happiness. Sugar, in a small dose, can absolutely be part of a weight loss diet. Added sugar includes sugar in desserts, or sugar added to sweeten foods like fruits or coffee.

Only a small dose of sugar is best to make sure your body is getting good nutrition while you are losing weight. Dietary guidelines suggest that you take no more than 10% of your calories as added sugar (up to 50 g for a 2,000 calorie diet). Sugary foods like sodas and candies have a lot of calories without a lot of other nutrients your body needs. You are eating a low calorie diet to lose weight, so it is important to make sure the source of those calories is rich in all the nutrients you need for health.

You can take a few approaches to managing a sweet tooth during weight loss. One strategy is to allow yourself a small, 100-150 calorie portion of something sweet every day. This portion size is small enough that it won’t hurt your weight loss or your health.

You’ll see examples of these dessert or sweet snack portions in your eating plan with this program. You’ll also see specific quantities of added sugar for tea or coffee, and for making fresh drinks like Lemonade. If you find yourself wanting more than that, try a zero calorie sweetener like Splenda or Equal.

If portion control is hard for you, you may find yourself taking more than planned on a regular basis. Or, you may stick to it but still crave something sweet. In that case, there are some other tricks you can try. Some other ways to manage a sweet tooth include taking a zero or very low calorie options like sweet gum, or a few hard candies, or diet drinks. Just be mindful of the caffeine in diet drinks.