Too often, our minds can get caught in an all-or-nothing approach to eating healthy. Just as often, many dieters simply give up under the pressure of changing so many of their habits all at once. The good news is that there are many ways to achieve a healthier lifestyle that won’t force you to turn your world upside down overnight. In fact, by structuring your nutrition plan around the addition of low calorie alternatives into your diet, you can steadily achieve your goals without feeling like you’re in a constant battle of wills with your appetite. The Beauty Detox Diet and Glowing Lean System both take a gradual approach that will help you ease into your new way of eating without the mental and physical discomfort that can accompany the adoption of a healthier lifestyle.

While we’ve often talked about this gradual, flexible approach to healthy living, many people continue to believe that dessert is forbidden for any diet or healthy lifestyle. This couldn’t be further from the truth! If you’re trying to lose weight or otherwise improve your health, that doesn’t mean you need to swear off dessert completely. We want you to live your life and enjoy yourself! You can have your cake and eat it too (literally), so long as you substitute some of your ingredients for healthier, low calorie alternatives.

When it comes to dessert, a lot of people mistakenly think that fruit’s the only acceptable option, but that misconception is so far from the truth. The fruit will sit on top of the meal you just ate and ferment, causing discomfort and bloating. Fruit should always be eaten alone or with greens for optimal digestion and the absorption of those valuable nutrients. Low calorie desserts are baby steps to a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy shouldn’t be something you dread; you should enjoy it! What I recommend when dessert is calling your name is a couple of squares of organic dark chocolate. Stash some in your purse if you’re going out to dinner and you know everyone else at the table will be asking for the cheesecake or brownie. You won’t feel left out, but you’ll feel so much better after dinner than you would if you’d caved and had that dessert from the menu.

Sometimes you want a dessert at home, and that, too, can be a challenge, especially if you’re making something for the whole family or guests. Giving everyone a couple of squares of chocolate might not be your style when entertaining. That’s okay—you can still stick to the Beauty Detox principles and whip up something delicious and healthy for dessert!

Instead of giving you entirely new recipe ideas, let’s focus on some ways that you can make your current desserts just a little bit healthier – and just as delicious – by using healthier substitute ingredients.

INGREDIENTS YOU SHOULD REPLACE

Sugar –

A lot of the empty, pound-packing calories in desserts come from their high levels of sugar. One very simple way to cut down on sugar without sacrificing taste is to replace it with either nutmeg or cinnamon.

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You’ll still get a sweet taste, but both of these spices contain fewer calories. They also don’t have the rush-and-crash effect or the addictiveness that make sugar such a stubborn obstacle to healthy living. In some recipes, you may be able to get that sweetness from maple syrup, raw honey, coconut nectar, or dates.

Butter –

Butter is another ingredient that jacks up the caloric content of many desserts and causes clogging in the body. Thankfully, there are a lot of great substitutes that you can use. If you’re making baked treats, you can substitute applesauce or coconut oil for the butter that the recipe requires. This will greatly reduce the saturated fat in desserts such as brownies and cakes. If you’re using coconut oil, remember that this is still a fat and should only be enjoyed in moderation (so don’t eat half a pan of brownies because they’re “healthy”)!

Buttermilk –

Buttermilk is a common ingredient in many breads, muffins, and biscuits, and it’s also high in fat and overall calories. Plus, again, since it’s dairy it’s clogging to the body and should never be consumed. You can sidestep this source of fatty dairy by replacing it with 1 cup of non-dairy (like coconut!) milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice for each cup of milk.

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White Flour –

Flour is the essential building block of many baked desserts, as well as other foods. It’s also a refined starch, which means it can spike your blood sugar, interfere with your metabolism, and play a role in the development of inflammatory diseases like heart disease and arthritis. A lot of people think whole wheat flour is a promising substitute, but wheat is a highly allergenic crop and we want to avoid gluten.

There are several gluten-free flour alternatives that contain fiber that’s easier for your body to digest. For example, there’s Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour and a list of gluten-free options at the Celiac Support Association. You can also use coconut or almond flour, though those behave differently in baking than your traditional white and wheat flours so you’ll want to do a test run or two before creating a dessert for guests. In some cases, you may find that you need more or less moisture in a recipe than normal.

Small Substitutions Lead to Big Results

If done regularly, these small substitutions can go a long way in helping you stay on track towards achieving your healthy goals, detoxing your body, and feeling more alive, energetic, and beautiful. Remember, the goal is not to wake up one morning stoically committed to every possible healthy life choice. As ideal as that would be, it’s a tall order because we all have habits that have been staples of our lives for months or even years. Taking on so much personal change at once can be overwhelming and self-defeating. The real key to success is not to magically transform your life overnight, but rather to evolve over time to a healthier, happier version of yourself.

Recipes to Get You Started

If you’re looking for healthy dessert recipes to get started and don’t have time to tweak your regular go-tos to make them Beauty Detox-friendly, here are a few of my favorites:

 

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New York Times Bestseller and Nutritionist