Nothing is better than ice cream or frozen yogurt on a hot day. It seems like self-serve FroYo locations are as popular as Starbucks, popping up on every corner. Their marketing is genius because they tout the benefits of probiotics and the fact that there is less fat and calories per ounce than eating traditional ice cream. This is true and I adore frozen yogurt, but just like any other food, you need to read the labels (usually on the machine next to the flavor) and be conscious of both ingredients and serving size. Many of these frozen yogurts have a hard-to-pronounce list of ingredients (especially the sugar-free). And just because it is low fat or fat free, it doesn’t make it a free-for-all food. The fat has been replaced by sugar, which wrecks diet and resolve (personally I think it is worse than fat). AND there is the issue of serving size at a self-serve joint. It is like a yogurt buffet and you know how difficult it is to be good at a buffet.
So just be smarter when it comes to the soft serve. You could sabotage your entire workout with one cup. I’m not saying don’t enjoy it now and then, just make it your treat for the day and know that it isn’t the diet dream food that the marketers want you to think it is.
Here are some things to keep in mind before hitting the Pinkberry:
1) Read the nutrition information they have next to each type of yogurt on the soft serve row.
2) Stay away from the sugar-free varieties unless you are diabetic. The bad chemicals making it sugar-free are worse than the extra sugar. Instead, watch your portion size as it is a treat.
3) Set a limit for yourself (it will be cheaper too)! I aim for 5-6 oz.
4) Nix the toppings. Yes you can get fruit, but much of it is in a syrup and it’s just extra sugar anyways. If you must have your topping then reduce your yogurt ounces by 1-2.
5) Try the new dairy free, gluten free Silk almond milk soft serve at TCBY! If you are a fan of almond milk then you will love this! I wasn’t even a big TCBY fan (my heart goes to Pink Berry and Menchies) but I go in just for this type. It also has less sugar and calories than most of the other varieties.
6) This is a little moderation trick I wanted to share. Usually I walk up to the yogurt place with Camden. After I get my cup, I say, “Once we walk back to the garbage can on Holmes Street, I’m done.” So I eat until I get to a certain point and then toss the rest. Same thing holds true if you get it and eat in the car (which isn’t recommended). Set a limit. “Ok, at the next red light, I’m setting the cup down in the cup holder and no more bites.” Does it work every time? No. But it works often and often is better than never. – CC