Dieting is never easy. Although it is difficult to track statistically the percentage of dieters who succeed in keeping the weight off, clinical psychologist Lavinia Rodriguez, a specialist in weight management, in an article for TampaBay.com, estimates that the rate of failure is around 90 percent. One of Rodriguez' biggest criticisms of too-strict diet plans, those most likely to result in failure, is that they eliminate certain types of food completely, and that these foods are usually your favorites. If you love eating candy, but need to lose weight, do not fear, there are still ways you can incorporate your favorite treat into your diet.
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Indulge in sugar-free candy for a low-calorie treat. Be aware, however, that low-calorie does not mean no-calorie, and that not all sugar-free candies are created equal. While two pieces of Eclipse sugar-free spearmint gum are a mere 5 calories, one Dove dark chocolate sugar-free chocolate creme is 38 calories.
Look for sugar-free candies made with xylitol if you are concerned about dental health as well as weight loss. An article in the 2006 "Journal of Pediatric Dentistry" reports that regular consumption of xylitol-sweetened candies reduces the formation of cavities in both children and adults.
Eat a little dark chocolate every day. Not only will the dark chocolate satisfy your craving for something sweet, it will also provide other health benefits. Dark chocolate has been shown to reduce anxiety, decrease blood pressure and has a beneficial effect on metabolism. A 2009 study by the Nestle Institute found that consumption of 40g of dark chocolate every day for two weeks resulted in significant metabolic changes, although it is still unknown as to whether those changes can lead to weight loss.
Try appetite-suppressant candy. Although the once-popular Ayds weight-loss candy is no longer on the market, new appetite-suppressant candies are on the market, many of them made with the supposed appetite suppressant herb hoodia gordonii. There is no evidence to suggest that these candies will work to control your weight, but if you enjoy the taste, they may do as well as any other type of candy to control those sugar cravings that might otherwise have you diving into a box of doughnuts.
Enjoy any type of candy you like, as long as you do so in moderation. Any type of sensible weight loss plan allows some leeway for snacks and other free-choice items. If you can set aside just 100 calories of your daily allotment to satisfy your sweet tooth, you may enjoy a daily candy treat of four Hershey's kisses, half a package of almond M&Ms, five Starburst fruit chews or 1 oz. of Trader Joe's peanut brittle. If you use an online calorie counter, or download a calorie counting application to your smart phone, you can look up your favorite candy treats and determine just what sized portion will fit into your daily calorie budget.
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Divide your candy purchases into 100-calorie snack-sized portions, and place each portion into a separate, sealed baggie. Only allow yourself to consume one baggie per day. Eat your candy slowly, savoring each bite, and drinking plenty of water. This will help you to feel full and satisfied, so you do not raid your candy stash for another unauthorized helping.
- TampaBay.com: Why Diets Fail, and How Weight Control Works
- Livestrong: My Plate
- "Pediatric Dentistry": Xylitol, Sweeteners, and Dental Caries; Kiet A Ly et al; Mar./Apr. 2006
- NutraIngredients.com: Chocolate May Benefit Gut Health and Metabolism
- "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition"; Short-Term Administration of Dark Chocolate is Followed by a Significant Increase in Insulin Sensitivity and a Decrease in Blood Pressure; Davide Grassi et al; Mar. 2005