Making a Treat a Treat

September 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Health and Fitness

By Cami Checketts 

When did a treat become the sixth food group?  Or in my middle son’s case, the second food group, right after Fruity Pebbles and Pop Tarts.  Oh, wait, those are treats also.

We recently returned from a wonderful vacation to southern California with extended family.  After each ample meal, we would have dessert and then we would start passing treats around.  The only word I can think of to describe myself is glutinous.  As Christians, we want to take care of our bodies and not become glutinous pigs (like me).  I remember as a child that a treat was a special thing reserved for holidays or something fun.  Here are some ideas to help us make a treat a treat again:

1.  When do you truly enjoy a treat?  I’ve found that I don’t savor a treat if I eat it in a party setting.  I’m too focused on the social aspect of the party and I consume treats mindlessly.  I try to only eat treats when I’m alone and can focus on the sensation and delight of each bite.

2. Holidays are special times for treats: pie on Thanksgiving, sugar cookies on Valentines, but how about making some healthy traditions as well?  A walk after Thanksgiving dinner or a flag football game with the extended family.  A dance-a-thon on Valentine’s or a family wrestling match.  Nothing says love like a kicking, biting, screaming wrestling match, at least for my three boys!

3. Don’t keep treats in the house.  Go out for an ice cream cone or a slice of pie.  Make a treat a special time to be with those you love, not just a convenient thing to grab out of the fridge.  (I had to toss my 5-quart container of chocolate ice cream in the trash to write this article.  Maybe if I type quickly I can pull it back out before it thaws.)

4. Eat fruit as dessert.  Satisfy your sweet tooth with something healthy.  I try to steer away from fruit juice because of the extra calories.  In Prevention Magazine they stated that reducing “liquid calories” is five times more effective for weight loss than cutting back on calories from solid foods.  So if you can, eat the whole food.

5. If you absolutely must have a treat, try a small ice cream cone or a couple of wrapped chocolates like Dove Promises.  Yum!  I find sometimes it’s better for me to have a small portion of a treat I’m really craving rather than eating everything in the pantry and still feeling unsatisfied.

Try each of these suggestions to make a treat a treat.  If it’s something we eat on special occasions, we’ll improve our health as well as our waistlines. 

Cami Checketts is a wife, mother, author, and exercise scientist.  For exercise routines, please refer to her blog –  Her latest novel, The Sister Pact, was just released last month!  © 2009

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One Response to “Making a Treat a Treat”
  1. I enjoyed this tremendously. The article was a motivation booster to keep the treats at bay. I have done some of the suggestions you make and will try a few I haven’t done. Other’s I know won’t work for me. Tried them already. We’re all individuals and have to find what works for us. Kepp the articles coming, however. The motivation to fend off the sugar and excess fat is much needed, at least by me.

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