Last week I got lunch at Olive Garden with a friend and was met with some formidable food temptation in the form of Pumpkin Cheesecake. This cheesecake happens to be one of their seasonal specialties, so it’s only around for a limited time. You may not know this about me, but cheesecake, in its many forms, is my kryptonite and my Achilles heel rolled up into one. The graham cracker crust, the moist cake… It’s divinity in dessert form.

This Pumpkin Cheesecake was taunting me from the supplemental menu on the table from the second we were seated. There it was among the other desserts, calling to me like a fury in all its ginger-crumb-covered glory. Yet in the back of my mind, the (very quiet) voice of reason was reminding me that one slice likely has anywhere from 700-900 calories. What’s a girl to do?

I’ve never been an advocate of deprivation when you’re watching what you eat. One of the most important (and challenging!) parts of eating healthy is letting yourself indulge every once and awhile. To walk out of Olive Garden without eating that Pumpkin Cheesecake would have been a personal sacrilege—so I ordered it. But! I got without the whipped cream and caramel sauce drizzled on top.

When you’re indulging in your favorite calorie-packed dishes you should realize they often come with a lot of extra toppings that aren’t really essential. I honestly didn’t miss all that whipped cream and caramel sauce or the calories that come with them–I’m in it for the cheesecake. When you decide to give into temptation with one of your weakness foods, ask your server to hold off on the extras. I know no one wants to become that person at the restaurant with the long list of special directions, but making these simple requests will keep your guilty conscience at bay later on.

If you’re at level 50 with your will power, order that dish you’d die for, only eat half of it, and bring the rest home for the next day. The difficulty here is stopping at half. If you just eat half, you stop yourself from eating all those calories in one sitting, and as an added bonus, you get to treat yourself for two days instead of one.

The next time you’re dining out and indulging, skip that extra cheese, the whipped cream, and the cherry on top (hopefully those aren’t all on the same dish, because… ew.) and enjoy your food! You’re not going to gain five pounds from succumbing to temptation every once and a while. You should never completely abandon your favorites… Which is good, because I have no intention of giving up cheesecake. Ever.

As long as you’re smart about how you distribute your calories, you can conquer your own personal pumpkin cheesecake. Enjoy!

9 thoughts on “Conquering Your Pumpkin Cheesecake

  1. When I get the urge for pumpkin cheesecake these days, I ask my hubby to make his infamous pumpkin swirl cheesecake. He swirls Giardelli dark chocolate into his recipe. I figure once in a great while is ok…and dark chocolate is good for the heart. But I’ve also learned over the years that it’s all in moderation. 🙂

  2. most definitely true! I love cheesecake as well and normally if I am out with friends and just having a good time I will indulge. Life is too short to say no all the time. But you are right, being smart about it is better than nothing. Having it two days in a row sounds even better!

  3. My technique for this is to go with several friends and all share the thing. I find with desserts, one bite is generally enough to satisfy me, but if it’s just sitting there, I will eat it. Sharing with others means it disappears before than can happen.

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