I definitely find a correlation between kids who are overweight and families who eat dessert on a regular basis. Over the years, so many of my clients have talked to me about how they can’t get their kids to lose some weight. For a number of parents, it’s a mystery why their kids are overweight.

I’ve been a personal training for over 25 years and spend a lot of time talking to my clients. I analyze their diets and lifestyle, and try to figure out why they are over weight. I try to determine what they can do to better control their weight. One thing that I have noticed is most families who have a weight problem, always eat dessert.

When I was a child my family only ate dessert on special occasions like holidays, birthday parties or when we had dinner guests. I followed suit with my own family. The only time my kids eat dessert is on special occasions. I know this is something that can be very hard for families to change, especially if you grew up eating dessert every night after dinner. But it sets the stage for overeating and weight gain.

Eating a high calorie dessert right after you just ate a full meal makes no sense. It’s surprising how someone can always find room for something sweet after a meal even if you’re full. Some of my clients have told me that all they can think about when they’re eating dinner is what they will have for dessert. I think eating dessert is more of a habit or reflects the way you were brought up. Some people have been doing it their whole lives. There are so many behavioral modifications you can enact that can make a big difference in controlling your weight or your children’s weight. Giving up dessert or at least minimizing the damage is a great place to start.

If eating dessert is ingrained in your life and you can’t give it up, try to minimize the damage by following my recommendations below.

Healthy Desserts for Kids:

• Piece of fruit

• Cup of hot chocolate with real milk

• ½ cup of regular ice cream

• Sweet nuts

Healthy Desserts for Adults:

• Cup of coffee or tea

• Glass of wine or port

• A little fruit and cheese

• 1 oz of nuts

• Small piece of dark chocolate

Give these recommendations a try and let me know what your family is doing about dessert.

Does your family eat dessert? What do you do to avoid eating sweets after dinner?

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Best – Mike Cola

Fitness Contrarian

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