If you like dessert after dinner, then avoid cookies in the afternoon or after lunch, says Young. Have dessert, share it and surround it with something healthy. For example, when at a restaurant, order the chocolate cake — and get your dining companions to agree to share — but also ask for a plate of plain berries. Take a few bites of the cake, push it aside and munch on the berries, which are healthier and will make you feel that you are still enjoying an after-dinner treat.
Another helpful move, according to Young: ordering herbal tea. “Sometimes it’s just flavor that you want after dinner, and a tea that has taste can satisfy you,” she says. A hard candy or a mint may offer the same experience. “When it comes to dessert, you have to legalize it and allow it. The guilt people might feel after is a problem and shouldn’t be,” says Young.