If you are on a reduced-calorie diet for weight loss, cutting down on rich, high-calorie foods is a ‘must.’ Fatty, fried foods and desserts are often the first items to go. While this is necessary to a degree, many nutrition experts agree that cutting all favorite foods out of your meal plan and denying cravings often leads to high-calorie splurges and ultimately, poor success. In fact, the moment you tell yourself ‘I cannot have a donut’ (for example) is the moment you will want nothing else but a donut.
Controlling your behavior, environment and surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family are excellent ideas. In addition, never tell yourself ‘I can’t have it – it’s not on my diet!’ Instead, make trade-offs and save splurges for special occasions. If you cannot imagine ending an evening meal without a dessert, choose from one of these ready to go or simple semi-homemade sweet treats. Each semi-homemade item provides less than 140 calories per specified serving.
Each offers less than or equal to 100 calories
- Fage 0% fat Greek yogurt – 1 container of any flavor including: honey, blueberry acai, strawberry gogi, cherry pomegranate or mango guanabana
- Skinny Cow chocolate truffle fudge bar
- General Mills FiberOne chocolate fudge brownie bar
- Slim-Fast peanut butter snack bar
- Sugar-free dark chocolate candy-covered York peppermint pattie
- Jell-o brand chocolate mousse cup
- Yoplait crème caramel, cherry cheesecake or triple berry crème delight dessert
- Healthy Choice mocha fudge swirl bar
- Five (each) vanilla wafer cookies
- Breyer’s Double Churn 100-calorie ice cream cups
- South Beach Diet snack bar delight
- Yoplait light smoothie
- FrozFruit gourmet frozen fruit bar
- O’Coco’s Organic chocolate crisps (1 bag)
- Vitamuffin VitaTop
- 5-minute ‘apple’ crisp – (serves 3): Divide ½ a jar (23-oz jar or 656 grams) of chunky-style, no sugar added applesauce among 3 greased 6-oz ovenproof dishes. In medium bowl, blend 1/8 cup each light margarine, packed brown sugar, dry bread crumbs and All-bran cereal. Mix in 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon and top each small dish with 1 tsp chopped walnuts. Spoon mixture over applesauce in dishes; broil 4” from heat source for about 5 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Calories per serving: 128, 5.7 g fat, 20 g carbohydrate, 2.4 g dietary fiber, 1.2 g protein, 6 g added sugars.
- Mini mint chocolate cheesecake bites – makes about 12 (one dozen): melt ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave (about 20 seconds). Mix the melted chocolate in a bowl with ½ cup fat-free ricotta cheese and add a splash of peppermint extract. Top 12 chocolate wafer cookies with chocolate-ricotta mixture (spread about 1 tbsp over each wafer cookie). Top with a few candy sprinkles, if desired. Calories per cookie: 59, 2 g fat, 9 g carbohydrate, 0 g dietary fiber and 1.5 g protein.
- Frozen chocolate-covered banana pops – makes 12 ‘pops’ (one dozen): peel 4 large, ripe bananas; cut into thirds and insert a popsicle stick into the cut end of each ‘third.’ Melt ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave (about 20 seconds) or over a double-boiler. Cover each banana with melted chocolate and sprinkle with chopped peanut pieces. Re-heat chocolate if it melts during the process. Place banana pops on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze (at least 2 hrs). Calories per pop: 100, 4 g fat, 6 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber and 1 g protein.
- ‘Green’ fruit smoothie – makes 3 servings: In a blender combine 2 cups of honeydew melon cubes (for best results, freeze them the night before in a plastic bag) with one sliced granny smith apple (peeled and cored) and one whole kiwi fruit (peeled, cut in ½). Add ½ tbsp of fresh lime juice and 2 tbsp Splenda (sugar substitute). Blend well until smooth. The frozen honeydew melon will give the smoothie a thick consistency. Serve in a glass with a fruit slice for garnish. Calories per serving: 110, 0 g fat, 27 g carbohydrate, 3 g dietary fiber and 2 g protein.
- Berries with banana cream – makes 2 servings: combine 1/3 cup low-fat, plain Greek yogurt with ½ small ripe sliced banana and 1 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate. Mix in a blender until smooth; divide 1.5 cups mixed (unsweetened) fresh berries between 2 serving dishes, top each with the banana- cream mixture and sprinkle a dash of cinnamon over the top of each dish. Calories per serving: 137, ½ g fat, 31 g carbohydrate, 5 g dietary fiber and 3 g protein.